BY BOZZA AND SPYRO
Week 4 of the A-League saw the Melbourne City juggernaut continue, while Sydney FC, Newcastle and Western Sydney also retained their unbeaten status. At the other end of the table Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar lead a list of teams still yet to taste victory in season 2017/18. With the dust settled on the round, what did we learn, like and dislike?
Learned – Melbourne City are the real deal.
City have started with 4 wins from 4 games and, in news that will warm the hearts of their fans, history tells us when that has happened in the A-League you go on to be champions. The most interesting thing which has gone unnoticed is the fact that they on the weekend they beat Adelaide away without significant involvement from their 3 marquee players, Marcin Budzinski, Tim Cahill (played 20 mins only) and Bruno Fornaroli.
A strong argument could be mounted that the squad City have assembled is the best we’ve seen in the 13 seasons of the A-League. Even those that disagree would have to acknowledge the unprecedented depth that Coach Warren Joyce has at his disposal.
The depth at Joyce’s disposal means him having the likes of Luke Brattan, Marcello Carrusca and Marcin Budzinzki on the bench. It is an unprecedented level of firepower and that isn’t even mentioning the luxury of picking and choosing when he uses Tim Cahill or the happy selection nightmare he’ll have when Fernando Brandan and Bruno Fornaroli return from injury in coming weeks.
This weekend they will receive their biggest test when they square off with defending Champions Sydney FC. Both teams are in super form and undefeated, is it too early to declare a match a Grand Final preview?
Liked: Western Sydney patience rewarded
It would have been easy for Western Sydney Wanderers to have rushed to a decision in appointing a new manager in the wake of the departure of Champions League winning manager Tony Popovic. Instead they waited for their man, finally appointing Josep Gombau on Wednesday. While they waited, their Caretaker Manager minded the seat masterfully.
Thrown into the deep end, with Popovic’s departure only announced in days immediately prior to the season’s commencement, Foxe will hand over an undefeated team when Gombau takes over the reigns in coming days. While positioning the club as well as anyone could hope for this season, Foxe has also let the football world know he is a Manager in waiting, and will no doubt be in high demand in coming years.
Disliked: Victory’s defensive woes continue
Against the Central Coast, like it has for most of this season to date, Melbourne Victory’s need for a left back was painfully evident. Since the departure of Adama Troare it has been a position that the club has found difficult to fill.
After seeing the likes of Scott Galloway, Daniel Georgevski and Dylan Murnane all come and go through the position, Kevin Muscat now has his Mr Reliable, Leigh Broxham, filling the breach. Despite Broxham’s efforts, with an international spot still open on the Victory roster, he should be just a stop gap solution and the club should be looking abroad to find and sign a quality option, or this years campaign may be over before it even begins.
Dishonourable mention: Vargas’ bad break
The Sportress nominated Vargas as a player to watch in our season preview and it was sad to see his season end at McDonald Jones Stadium on the weekend. He had appeared a class above his opponents in the early stages of the season and ready to light up the league. His absence will put a large dent in Newcastle’s finals hopes despite their undefeated start to the year.
Week 4 – Results: