The 50th Big Blue has managed to provide one of the most phenomenal results in an incredible demolition lock in the decider of the A-League.
Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory
Sydney FC has managed to humiliate Melbourne Victory with a thrilling 6-1 victory in the preliminary final of the A-League. This incredible result has equalled the most significant winning margin in the history of clashes when it comes to the Big Blue, matching Melbourne Victory’s 5-0 triumph in 2005 in only the second game between the foundation clubs.
Archie Thompson, the Fox Sports pundit, wore a Sydney FC team jersey after the game after he lost a wager. However, he didn’t have to do much to let his feelings get recognised. Thompson stated after the match that it is undoubtedly one of the darkest days in the history of Melbourne Victory and that it was challenging to take.
The victory party for Sydney FC started only three minutes into the game when the goalkeeper for Melbourne Victory, Lawrence Thomas, completely misjudged the Sydney FC corner and dropped the ball after catching it. Unfortunately, the ball rolled into the net after Aaron Calver got a slight touch on it. It was a nightmare start for Melbourne Victory and a dream come true for Sydney FC.
The defending champions, Melbourne Victory, had no answer after two late goals during the first half. Alex Brosque managed to score a phenomenal goal before he decided to put a scorcher of a strike past Thomas that resulted in an own goal thanks to the header from Leigh Bloxham.
The 50th Big Blue Match
While Melbourne Victory might have hoped for something similar to a Liverpool comeback in the Champions League, the hole got bigger and deeper as the match continued during the second half.
Sydney FC managed to comfortably march into the A-League final against Perth Glory after they doubled the lead against their rivals, only giving Melbourne Victory one consolation goal for the evening.
Adam Le Fondre managed to bag a double during the second half to humiliate Melbourne Victory and take completely revenge over the prelim shootout defeat from last year. Milos Ninkovic made it 6 for the evening before a last-minute header from Ola Toivonen placed Victory on the scoreboard.
Only one team decided to come out and play during the 50th Big Blue meeting between the biggest football clubs in Australia. This provided a nail-biting clash between Sydney FC and Perth Glory, who won against Adelaide United in a dramatic shootout on Friday evening.
This is considered the biggest win for Sydney FC in a final and the biggest defeat for Melbourne Victory, a result that no one expected to happen much like the Champions League final on 1 June 2019. As everyone would be expected, the head coach for Sydney FC was thrilled with the win and cannot wait for the final to take place against Perth Glory.
Posted in News | Comments Off on Melbourne Victory Gets Humiliated by Sydney FC in 1-6 Demolition
It’s been an exciting couple of months for the newest franchise within the Hyundai A-League. The new franchise has revealed its playing colours along with their brand-new name back in February 2019. But that’s not all. The club also released its latest signings to give you an idea of how the club will perform when they play their first match next season in the A-League.
The newest franchise turned a lot of heads when they signed the experienced Serie A player and Greek international. Kone, who is currently 31 years old, was a midfielder for Greece during the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and played a total of 160 matches for the Italian top flight team, Bologna. He was also nominated for the prestigious FIFA Puskas award in 2013 due to his phenomenal bicycle kick against Napoli.
The highly experienced fullback in the A-League and Caltex Socceroo transformed into Western United’s second signing only 12 days after Panagiotis Kone signed his contract. Risdon is considered one of the best fullbacks in Australian football since he made his debut in 2010 for Perth Glory. Since then, he has appeared in 170 A-League matches and is one of the best performers during the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
The highly developed central defender will provide tons of international experience along with top-level know how from European football where he played with Besiktas who are considered Turkish giants. He is also no stranger when it comes to the A-League as he already played 22 matches for Adelaide United during the 2017/18 season. He is one of the key players to develop the youngsters in the franchise further as will offer a calm presence during the early stages of the new season.
Connor Chapman signed his new contract with Western United on 7 March 2019 and is considered a phenomenal defender who played for Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City. The 24-year-old is a central defender but can also take the role of a defensive midfielder as well as a fullback when he played overseas. This wide variety of experience will benefit the team next season.
Aaron Calver decided to join the newest franchise on 12 March 2019 and is considered the second-youngest player to join the club. Although he doesn’t boast with loads of experience, he does find the move the Western United as a new start where he can prove his worth within the A-League.
Sebastien Pasquali is regarded as one of the most brilliant young players within Australia during his time with Melbourne Victory where he proved his worth. He was playing for the club during the renowned International Champions Cup in 2016 against Juventus. His overall performance was quickly picked up by European scouts that transferred him to Ajax soon after that. At only 19 years of age, the youngster is looking for a fresh new start to enjoy senior football regularly within the A-League.
Posted in News | Comments Off on All Recent Signings for Western United FC
Archie Fraser recently stated that he is going to continue supporting the promotion-relegation for football in Australia as well as the national second division establishment even though he is being appointed as the chief executive for a brand-new A-League club, known as the Macarthur South West United team.
Archie Fraser is going to quit his current job with the Association of Australian Football Clubs. He was heading the national second division campaign during his time there to necessarily take charge of the A-League club that was based in Campbelltown in time for their entry into the tournament in October of 2020.
The difference between leading a franchise-style football squad from trying to revolutionize the football pyramid in Australia might appear rather stark. However, Fraser believes is far from inconsistent with the views and values of the game.
He confirmed to reporters that this would be the highest level he can participate in when it comes to football. He believes that Australian football needs to be integrated from bottom to top so it can continue to have a positive impact on the sport. He eventually wants both relegation and promotion. However, it needs to be spot on to function correctly.
Archie Fraser’s Career
Even though he previously worked as the A-League head during 2009 and 2010, Archie Fraser has managed to become a louder critic of the Australian Football Federation in recent years. In the coming weeks, he will take charge of the Macarthur South West United squad where his primary task will be to drive commercial operations for the brand-new club. Another aim for him will be to include a top-shelf player within the team to improve their overall skills and abilities within the A-League.
Archie Fraser’s main job as CEO will be to remove rocks that are in the way and to ensure there are enough funds to make anything possible. This will need to be crowd drawn and will require somebody that will continue to play in Fraser’s opinion. This will necessarily assist the team to get established. Fraser also believes that they have an elite player for the team that will draw spectators to enjoy games throughout the season.
The First Task for Archie Fraser
Fraser recently stated that his first task with the new A-League team would be to appoint a new head coach. Ante Milicic, the head coach for the Matildas, is strongly linked with the new role. However, there hasn’t been any deals made yet. Various sources predict that Milicic will remain the head coach for Matildas until well after the World Cup in 2019.
Fraser also stated that the club needs to consider engaging with demographics that are still untapped for clubs in the A-League. This means migrant groups from Asia within the region. This will substantially influence the recruitment of the club by signing several players from country’s that have a significant population in the southwest region of Sydney.
Posted in News | Comments Off on Archie Fraser Will Continue to Push for Reform Even With New A-League Expansion
After the Everton thrashing, Manchester United fans got an apology from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Six of their past games lost by United out of eight and now the team is sixth in the Premier League. When interviewed by Sky News, Solskjaer said that everything just went wrong from the very first whistle. He feels he should apologise to the club fans. He also said that the fans are the only ones that can hold their heads high as the team simply can’t.
Manchester United Beaten in All Aspects of the Game
When asked about the match of the day, the boss of Manchester United said they were basically beaten in every aspect of the game. The only place in which the team did excel according to Solskjaer is supported. Yet, he feels they were not near good enough.
He has no excuses line-up and simply agrees that the team performance was simply not good enough for Manchester United. He includes himself and the players when he apologises to the fans. He feels they let the club down as well as the fans and when it comes to describing the performance, he says it is difficult. As it was that bad.
Manchester United Will Make Amends on Wednesday
The team is as much to blame for their lack of running as poor decision making according to the club boss. When asked if the players even care, he answered that the question should be asked directly to the team. He wants his team to be the hardest working of the league. Regardless of the talent, a winning team runs more than the opponent.
When asked about team changes, he answered that you could never change an entire squad. It takes one step at a time and he feels positive that they can be successful, although there are players who won’t be a part of that.
David de Gea Captain of Manchester United
In an interview with the captain, he replied that it is extremely difficult to put into the world the feel after the massive defeat. On Twitter, Gea said that as the captain he feels the performance of the team, as well as the result, is not near what is expected of Manchester United. This is not the standard once you pull on the Man United shirt.
Was it That Bad?
Not sure where to start, it was the biggest win Everton ever enjoyed over Manchester United. That includes in any match since the victory in 1984 of 5-0. Manchester United have not enjoyed a clean sheet in eleven consecutive competitions. Everton outruns United by 8.03 km.
When it comes to fan comments, quite a few suggested the reserves should play as they have more fight in them. While several blamed Solskjaer, as many feel he is a great appointment and feels embarrassed that he is doubted.
Posted in Club History, News | Comments Off on How Bad Was the Trashing if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Feel the Need to Apologize to the Fans!
Sydney FC has recently decided to move their A-League clash against Perth Glory, considered a top-of-the-league battle, from the SCG following Saturday evening’s match victory against Melbourne. The match will be played on the 18 April 2019, has been relocated to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in an attempt to avoid the concerns surrounding the venue’s surface when it comes to Test cricket.
SCG managers and A-League officials have been criticised following the knee injury that was suffered by Terry Antonis, the midfielder for Melbourne Victory, on a poor section of the pitch during the match on Saturday. Although games for other sporting events will continue, the tone is now unsuitable for soccer, requiring a flat surface.
Sydney FC’s Last Remaining Fixture
Kevin Muscat, the Melbourne Victory coach, labelled the pitch as dangerous. However, Greg O’Rourke, the A-League boss, steered away from using the same language after he met with chiefs of SCG on Monday afternoon and agreed to relocate the last remaining fixture of Sydney FC to the playing field this season.
“We admit that the pitch surface was, and will be, safe and playable for A-League football which was verified by two separate expert reports only days before the game took place as per our standard process,” he stated.
“The wicket block of the SCG, however, compromises the field uniformity, especially when it comes to football. We highly appreciate all the hard work that the SCG Trust has undergone to accommodate an extraordinary amount of activity on the pitch of the SCG recently and will continue to work with them when it comes to using the venue in the future.”
Everyone is still patiently waiting to see if the home final of Sydney FC will be hosted at SCG along with the grand finale that will be determined towards the end of the season. On Monday evening, Melbourne Victory decided to distance themselves from possible legal action after the injury occurred. However, they urged the A-League to learn from this incident.
Trent Jacobs, the Melbourne Victory chief, informed SEN, the radio station, that the injury was partly due to the inconsistent surface of the pitch. However, the club avoided taking any legal action when it occurred with Jacobs stating,
“The incident occurred away from any player and far away from the ball which means it had to be the inconsistent pitch that caused the problem,” Jacobs stated. We are now requesting a review of the incident to see what exactly happened during the game.”
Jacobs added that,
“We need to ensure that the pitch surface at SCG is best suited to accommodate the visual play and aesthetics we all need and that the workplace is safe and secure for players. If A-League matches are played on pitches where existing cricket wickets are embedded, we vote that football games shouldn’t be played there.”
Sydney FC is forced to move all their home games away from Allianz Stadium as the pitch is currently under development.
By the time we reach the end of April, we will know correctly which teams will sit where when it comes to the ladder of the A-League. However, until then, there’s plenty of questions that need to be answered, starting with the round 24.
There’s no denying that Melbourne City has an encouraging run in. However, does it matter, to be honest? Has Ernie Merrick honestly given up on the spot in the finals? Is there a potential hiccup that can occur for Perth as the should-be Premiers?
Current Situation for Melbourne City
When you look at the last four matches of the season, only a handful of teams will have more to gain when compared to Melbourne City. The team is capable of reaching the fourth position before the season comes to an end along with a home final in the process. Alternatively, the team can drop as low as the 7th position and miss out on an opportunity to win the trophy altogether. This gives you a clear indication that Melbourne City has a great deal to play for throughout April.
A fixture list that managed to toss up a few winnable matches against some of the league’s worst sides is good news for Melbourne City. These teams include the Central Coast Mariners and the Brisbane Roar. However, the team also need to face both Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United in the process which will determine where the team eventually ends up when it comes to the log. The only bad news for the team is that they have no idea what’s going on of late.
“To be honest, I have no idea what’s going on most of the time, and I have no idea what to say.”
These were the pretty straight forward words of Luke Brattan who was dejected after his team managed to claim three goals against Western Sydney Wanderers who are outside finals contention and currently in 8th spot in the league.
The encounter on Friday night against Brisbane Roar is a game that needs to win if they want to catch Wellington Phoenix who is currently fourth in the standings and brilliant form. Thankfully, the signing of Jamie Maclaren during January looks like a turning point for the team. However, one gets the feeling that the tactical problems of Melbourne City are a bit too much to fix, even with Jamie Maclaren in the equation.
The Ultimate Clash
When it comes to the best upcoming matches that can determine quite a bit, you cannot deny that the match between Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United will go a long way to decide who will end up in the fourth spot. Adelaide is steady, controlled, and lean, while Wellington is fun, fast, and extremely fluid. So it should be an exciting match to watch, especially when it comes to the A-League standings. Let’s hope Melbourne City are up for the task to catch their rivals before the season comes to an end.
Posted in Club History | Comments Off on The Importance of Melbourne City in the A-League
The Wellington Phoenix team continued with their incredible barnstorming finish in the A-League season where they dispatched the Newcastle Jets with a 4-1 victory following their phenomenal David Williams treble that occurred at Westpac Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix vs Newcastle Jets
Wellington Phoenix is currently chasing their first appearance in the finals in 4 years and have set their focus on overhauling either Melbourne or Sydney FC to qualify third and required a victory over the weekend to remain on track.
Although Wellington Phoenix missed Roy Krishna, the golden boot front runner for the year, the team needed Williams to make his mark during the match, and he immediately obliged where he combined effortlessly with Sarpreet Singh to make it through the defence of the Newcastle Jets in only 30 seconds after the game started.
The exceptional right-foot strike of Williams didn’t give Glen Moss, the goalkeeper for Newcastle Jets, any opportunities to stop the ball from hitting the back of the net. This is also Williams’ 9 goal of the season However, the striker, who is currently 31 years old, was far from done, even though Wellington Phoenix could only muster a 1-0 lead after halftime.
A penalty during the 60th minute provided Williams with his second goal followed by a remarkable curling effect during the 65th minute to give Williams his incredible hat-trick. During the 73rd minute, Singh managed to make it 4-1, allowing Wellington Phoenix to cruise through the rest of the match.
Wellington Phoenix is now eyeing the playoffs with more confidence than ever before as they managed to score a total of 15 goals in the past three matches.
Newcastle Jets’ Mistakes
The Newcastle Jets certainly had loads of opportunities during the first half of the match. They could level the score within 6 minutes after the start of the game. They almost scored an easy goal when Daniel Georgievski managed to break through on the left with plenty of room for Jair only for the striker to miss a beautiful sitter.
Both soccer teams played a very creative game, especially when you look at how dangerous Newcastle was with dead ball situations. However, the pace of Wellington in the middle kept the defence of the Jets stretched.
Goalkeepers Filip Kurto and Moss were both extremely busy during the match. Moss offered stunning diving save to stop the pile-driver from Max Burgess when 30 minutes were on the clock, while Kurto managed to punch the ball clear after a free kick was given to Dimitri Petratos.
The nail-biting action continued during the second half where Kurto managed to keep a clean sheet after an own-goal save during the 53rd minute. This occurred before Nigel Boogard, the skipper for the Jets, pulled Williams down while he was making a run for the goal. After this, a penalty was award to Wellington, allowing the team to retake the lead. Let’s hope their performance continues during the next matchup around the corner.
Posted in News | Comments Off on Wellington Phoenix Claims Victory Against Newcastle Jets
The head coach for the Australian Under-23 national team, Graham Arnold, stated that his team could take loads of positives away from the friendly match against Petaling Jaya City FC. Jaya City is considered the top flight team in Malaysia, on Thursday evening, even though they suffered a 2-0 defeat.
Australia U-23 vs Petaling Jaya City FC
In overwhelming conditions in Shah Alam, a city close to Kuala Lumpur which is the capital of Malaysia, the youngsters of Australia were defeated on the scoreboard. However, this was not due to their balance of play while they contested in their first match aboard.
Graham Arnold stated that most of his players managed to lose between 4 and 5 kilograms during the match, giving you a clear picture of how intense the humid conditions in southeast Asia is. The Australian squad will now head to the Championship qualifiers for the 2020 AFC U-23 in Cambodia next week after suffering a 2-0 loss against the top-flight team in Malaysia.
“The match on Thursday against a senior top-flight team from Malaysia, as well as our week together as a team in Malaysia, was incredibly invaluable, especially for the qualifiers in Cambodia next week,” explained Arnold.
“For most of the players in the team. This week represented the first time that all of them have played together in southeast Asia. Therefore, adapting to the difficult conditions that they played in was paramount.
“We triumphed in several key areas during the match on Thursday and managed to hit the woodwork on multiple occasions. Giving us loads of positives to take from the defeat at the hands of Petaling Jaya City FC. Especially when you factor in the brief preparation that each player had over the last couple of weeks,” Graham stated.
Australia’s Next Fixture
Australia will participate in another friendly against the Malaysian U23 national team on Sunday evening before they shift to Phnom Penh the week after that. This is where three matches in 5 days patiently await the team.
In Phnom Penh, the Australian squad will play against Cambodia on 22 March 2019m Chinese Taipei on 24 March 2019, and the Korea Republic on 26 March 2019. Australia will be able to qualify for the AFC U-23 Championship in 2020 if they can finish first in Cambodia in Group H, or emerge as one of the 4 second-best squads during qualifying.
The second-placed 5th best team from the 11 AFC groups will also be able to qualify if Thailand. They managed to qualify automatically as the hosts of the tournament, finish as either runners-up or winners in Group K.
“We are regarded as one of the unseeded squads for this qualifying phase,” stated Arnold. “My Australian team is desperate to qualify for the AFC U-23 Championship in 202. Which will take place in Thailand and they are extremely determined to become the first team to qualify for the prestigious Olympic Games which hasn’t occurred since 2008. So, let’s hope they can achieve this goal this time around.”
Posted in Player | Comments Off on Australian U-23 National Team Impress Graham Arnold
It was inevitable when Mike Mulvey was sacked recently given the way the A-League season has gone. However, the real problem lies more profound than most people think and only getting rid of yet another coach won’t fix it.
Sixth Coach in Five Seasons
The Central Coast Mariners are currently searching for their sixth head coach in five seasons after they decided to fire Mulvey after a horrifying 8-2 defeat against Wellington Phoenix. He was rather unlucky during the season. Especially when you take into account the departure of Ross McCormack, and Tommy Oar’s injury couldn’t be predicted either. However, regardless of these factors, Mulvey still managed to sign 17 players this season, and it’s safe to say that his recruitment failed.
The Central Coast Mariners are currently at the bottom of the log with only one win for the season, and their last two matches were genuinely embarrassing. Brisbane managed to score five goals against them, while Wellington scored a total of 8 goals, making it impossible for things not to change at the club.
However, the problem stems from the top. Mike Mulvey must have known when he decided to take the job that it was mostly a poisoned chalice. There needs to be a drastic change in culture at the club who was once one of the most elite teams in the country not too long ago.
Central Coast Mariners were considered one of the most stable teams in the tournament, only having two coaches in 9 years, including Graham Arnold and Lawrie McKinna. However, since then things have been a slippery slope, and it all took place once Mike Charlesworth made his entrance. This cannot be denied.
Charlesworth hasn’t been seen a great deal this season, and we don’t think he has a lot of love for the club, to be honest. He can do as he pleases and gets away with it quite quickly as the focus is on other crucial areas. However, its high time that he sits down and reads a book.
Club Lacks Quality
This will be the fifth devastating season for the Central Coast Mariners in a row, and something has got to give. You start feeling sorry for the people that work hard at the club, especially Shaun Mielekamp as the CEO along with his staff. However, you also have to question how and why this happens.
Stephen Mallon and Sam Graham were allowed to join the team recently from Sheffield United. Even though they are considered exceptional players, it’s not honestly the direction the club wants to go. Why sign players from other teams when the club struggles to develop their players? Football mentality certainly needs to return to the club as it lacks quality. It’s as simple as that. This is primarily caused due to a lack of spending.
Things are so bad at the club that even Pep Guardiola won’t be able to fix it!
Posted in Coaches | Comments Off on Central Coast Mariners Are Looking for Another Coach
When you visit the Football Federation Australia site and search for a vacant position, you will receive the famous 404 error message. When it comes to visual metaphors, an error message that relates to the destination on the official website of the governing body is nearly perfect, even by the standards of Australian football.
Ante Milicic did not recently fill the website page for that vacant position. Instead, it’s for the national technical director who is regarded as one of the most critical roles in football in any country around the world. Let alone in a glorious nation such as Australia. This is the role that still needs to be filled.
The Absence of National Technical Director
Eric Abrams made his departure in July 2018, and his replacement should have occurred in November of 2018. If a week is considered an eternity when it comes to football, what do 7 months make it? With Alen Stajcic’s dismissal and Milicic’s hire in mind, the absence of an Australian technical director could be conspicuous in a dissertation containing logic.
In the interim, the circumstances that led to the shocking sacking of Stajcic, conditions that will only be able to crystallise in court, also don’t make this point irrelevant or secondary. This essentially ties in with the outlook of the role surrounding the technical director position. Which for Abrams who recently departed, was whittled down to merely overseeing programs in football at the Maribyrnong and Westfield sports schools.
Apart from the Matildas, the Socceroos are also quite relevant to this discussion. In the past year and a half, it must be said that the governing body of Australian football has pushed out and hired brand-new coaches for both these team. Without the vital input of professional organisation. There’s no denying that the professional body is of paramount importance.
It is disregarding the Graham Arnold idea as head coach after Ange Postecoglou. The FFA looked for external consultancy during the hiring process which is a clear sign of just how insignificant the role of Abrams was. This is an instance and task that falls under the role of national technical director as well as head of national performance. It’s a position that was installed by the FFA in 2013. However, it’s a role that is still ignored to this day.
Is Milicic Adequate?
Officials, coaches, and players come and go in the world of football, and now the female national team of Australia needs to move on with Milicic. However, is he adequate?
There have been loads of reports that he lacks experience when it comes to women’s football. Although he has experience in youth football, it still raises plenty of doubt when it comes to his capabilities as a head coach. With no technical director at the helm, it also makes things quite tricky for the teams to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar in a few years.
Posted in Coaches | Comments Off on The Search For a National Technical Director in Australia