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A-League: what to look out for this weekend

The showdown at Suncorp

You’ve got to love Adelaide coach Josep Gombau’s determination to stick to the story. Even after last week’s sparkling display in which Adelaide walloped Wellington 5-1 and moved to third spot on the table, Gombau insisted his team were not title contenders this season. Why? Because his calculations, computations and configurations had Adelaide challenging next season, not this one, his first in charge: “I don’t want to put an impression on my players and I don’t want to lie to the people,” he said. “When you go to one team the work is not in one year. Next season we need to fight to win this [A-League].”

Understandable, I suppose, but at some point he might have to change his tune. Imagine if Adelaide are in the grand final and in the week leading up to it Gombau is still insisting his team is not in the running. “Are you loco? We’ve no chance. It’s next season I care about!”

Ah, but who knows, perhaps Gombau will concede some ground if best canada goose jacket for men his team manages to hold their own against Brisbane on Sunday. And that is looking a distinct possibility. Adelaide will welcome back Marcelo Carrusca, who missed the Wellington walkover (but wasn’t himself missed) while the make-up of the Roar’s midfield is still up in air goose, dependent as it is on how Thomas Broich and canada goose coat 1000 bulbs led Liam Miller pull up from midweek illness and injury respectively, and whether Socceroos Ivan Franjic and Matt McKay back up after Thursday morning’s rug-pulling loss to Ecuador in London. In any case, Sunday’s game should be rather entertaining.

Waiting for the Wanderers

Based on a reputation forged last season, but seen in only a few matches this season (their excellent 1-1 draw with Brisbane comes to mind), the Western Sydney Wanderers have been cut a lot of slack. Granted, they are second on the ladder but their aspirations are higher than that. They’ve been inconsistent, they’ve been flat, they’ve struggled to find the net and they’ve even been vincible at home, a place that last season was as hard to extract points from as a molar would be from the mouth of a wide awake psychopath with dentophobia.

It’s as if we’re all just expecting benefits of canada goose jacket them to find another gear when they need to, so no need to be concerned with their fluctuating form, even though they have failed to string consecutive wins together since rounds 10 and 11. But with just six games remaining, Tony Popovic — who is deflecting poor results, in public at least, with the insouciance of a man brushing lint from his lapels — will surely be keen for his team to start building towards the finals.

As the Heart are showing, momentum is a marvellous thing, and the Wanderers buy canada goose jacket london don’t have any. So they need to create some. What better time to do so than against Sydney FC? Labinot Haliti, Matthew Spiranovic and Jason Trifiro have all been omitted, but the quality in the squad remains if a spark best ideas about canada goose outlet on pinterest can be found. For Sydney, losers last week, a tough run commences that will define their year. After the Wanderers, they face Brisbane, Adelaide and Victory (the latter two away). Their grip on the top six is even more tenuous than it looks.

Jets staying grounded

Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said his team were not getting canada goose coat 0f carried away despite their 2-0 away win over the Wanderers last week. “Nor bloody well should they!” any right-thinking Newcastle fan would have responded on reading that. Sure, they’ll be pleased with the away win and all, but it’s only two weeks since Newcastle allowed an inferior Sydney to get the better of them at Hunter Stadium (which hasn’t seen a Jets win in six matches, by the by). Worse than that, they’ve won just four of their past 14 games, and they are still two points shy of the top six. Getting carried away indeed!

That said, the Jets are entitled to find encouragement from their Wanderers win and, just as significantly, from their 1-0 defeat of the Roar at Suncorp a fortnight earlier. They benefited in both those wins from a switched-on Adam Taggart, who is now threatening to form a telling combination with Emile Heskey and Joel Griffiths. The Jets’ form is impossible to pick but could they be the ones to stick a pin in the Heart, who are two points behind them? To do so they’ll need to find a way through the increasingly sound Patrick Kisnorbo, Rob Wielaert, Patrick Gerhardt and the imperious Dutchman whose name rang out around AAMI Park last Saturday night.

Ohh, Ahh, Engelaar

After failing to register a win in their first 14 matches, buying cheap canada goose outlet jacket online Melbourne Heart haven’t lost since Orlando Engelaar recovered from a pre-season broken leg that kept him out of the squad until round 15. Given that, you have to wonder — and John Aloisi surely is, constantly, when he’s putting out the bins, when he’s sleeping, even during Business Time — whether Engelaar’s broken leg cost Aloisi his job. Of course there are many more factors at play than that, but if Aloisi ever gets his hands on a flux capacitor and a DeLorean you can be sure he’ll zoom back to pre-season and withdraw Engelaar just before he fractured his left tibia against Brisbane in Lismore.

To see Engelaar against the Victory last weekend, particularly from the stands, was to see one of the standout individual performances of the A-League season so far. His positional play and his reading of the game was such that he rarely even had to break into his praying mantis run; rather, a few elongated strides and he was on the ball, and each time he dished it buy canada goose parka uk off with phlegmatic grace, often to Massimo Murdocca who has grown a leg (or he could just be happy to have Engelaar alongside him … I’m here all week) since the Dutchman hit the field. The goals have been coming thick and fast for the once misfiring Heart but it all started with Engelaar. Watch him against the Jets and spare a thought for Aloisi.

A fair go for all

This week’s round has been called the Fairer Play Round, the objective of which is to promote a greater respect between players, between players and officials, between fans and players, etc etc. We’ve seen the odd incident this year, like Joel Griffiths going all Wolf of Wall Street at a referee; we’ve seen Alessandro del Piero knocked over by passing zephyrs; and there was that ugly crowd trouble between Victory and Wanderers fans in Melbourne. But you’d have to say, in comparison with so many higher profile leagues around the world, we don’t see a lot of diving, let alone the kind of risible effort put in by Spurs’ Jan Vertonghen recently. canada goose coat 1000 calorie

Similarly, referees don’t tend to be surrounded like deranged wolves when blowing the whistle the “wrong way”. As for fans, well, there are always bad apples, but we’re generally a genial lot. Which is to our credit, really, considering there is some unfairness I’m sure most fans would like to see eradicated. That is, the ear-assaulting noise and inane patter we’re subjected to inside grounds, and I don’t mean from other fans. It’s those shouty ground announcers trying to generate atmosphere by yelling at us what’s got my goat. Oh my sainted Aunt. Somebody stop them. It’s not fair.

Round 22


Melbourne Victory v Central Coast are there any canada goose outlet stores Mariners, AAMI Park, Melbourne


Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart, Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers, Allianz Stadium, Sydney


Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane