Big guns back for Sydney FC

One team recorded a much needed win, the other were totally embarrassed by an unforgiving Mariners team.  Victory managed to hang on for an impressive 3-2 win over Wellington but are sure to face a far different Sydney team that conceded SEVEN goals to Graham Arnolds men.  Ian Crook will be under an extreme amount of pressure and will be hoping that key man Alessandro Del Piero is back fit and raring to go.  Archie Thompson has rediscovered the back of the net in the domestic form of the game and looks hungry for more goals.

Saturday Night 19:45 AEST          Allianz Stadium

The Form

Sydney FC                 (7th)  LOSS      LOSS      WIN       WIN       LOSS

Melbourne Victory (6th)                LOSS      LOSS      WIN       LOSS      WIN

Head to Head    Sydney 6 wins   Draws 11   Victory  7 wins

Boris Gligorevic takes a look at Sydney FC (@Gligsy23) as they take on bitter enemy Melbourne Victory

Last Round:

Just inept. Didn’t I say that last week too? Alessandro Del Piero, Pascal Bosschaart, Adam Griffiths, Fabio and Jason Culina. Five first team players out. The reserves should always be ready to play but what is concerning is that the reserves Sydney have to call on are not A-League standard. The only good things were the two goals Sydney scored; world class finishes.

This Round:

I would say back to basics this week but in reality, Sydney is struggling now. Key players have been out injured from anywhere from 1-3 weeks now. That’s the only buyable excuse they have. As I mentioned earlier, the reserve players aren’t up to scratch.

The good news is that Bosschaart, Griffiths, Fabio and Culina all played 45 minutes during a closed doors game against Western Sydney Wanderers earlier this week. From the highlights available, Bosschaart and Culina looked to have good touches on the ball after being out so long. The key now is how all 4 players pulled up the following day. One would assume that if any of them were ready they will be rushed into the team for the game against Victory.

Defensively, Sydney fans are hoping Bosschaart is fit. It’s becoming clearer each week that Trent McClenahan is a hinderance. At fault for not marking Dodd against Perth, he was at fault again for at least one of the 7 conceded against the Mariners. There’s no point in sugar coating the truth and Sydney’s defence was exposed time and again. All they can do is lift their game and show they are worthy of the jersey they were.

Ian Crook confirmed Del Piero will be back in the line-up. It will be interesting to see whether Culina will make the match day squad as well. A midfield trio containing Del Piero, Culina and Antonis is right up there with the A-League’s best. However, if Culina is fit he will more than likely make an appearance from the bench. Look for a Del Piero, Abbas and Reid midfield again.

In attack, Kruno Lovrek was poor again as was Mitch Mallia. I think the axe needs to fall on Lovrek and Mallia given a chance in his preferred position. In turn this would bring Yairo Yau into the left wing role and give Sydney speed across the front three.

Glimpses throughout this season have shown the brand of football Crook wants the team to play. It’s going to be a long season for Sydney and their fans while the team is adjusting to this, much like Victory. What Sydney fans have to remember is that firstly, the team has key players out and once they return, the style of football Crook wants will be more visible. Secondly, it’s no secret that some of Sydney’s players are substandard but it will take time to sell these players or wait for their contracts to wind down. The style and results will come, there just has to be patience from the people.


Melbourne Victory comes into the game on a high whilst Sydney FC come in a low. The game has the potential to another classic. My prediction depends on the personnel we have to win the game. If our key injured players aren’t fit to play, I predict Victory will do enough to win (although they are yet to completely implement Ange’s philosophy over 90 minutes). On the other hand if they are, it should make for an exciting game and give Sydney a great chance of winning.

Blake Hampton tells us how Sydney FC will bounce back (@blake_1986)

It is only 2 days until we lock horns with the old foe from down south. Given last week’s efforts, it could be a tough night at the office. As opposed to breaking down and analysing all of the many, many weaknesses in the FC team, its important just to set a few things right.

I refer firstly to the “Bozza v Crook” thing that arouse post game. Mark speaks his mind and stood by his statements. I can only agree 100% with the man and was quite disheartened at the coaches reaction. We have a very limited media presence, worryingly so. To react so quickly and directly, after such an embarrassment is in of itself an embarrassment. You lost your goodwill and capital the night before Ian. Do not pick fights you cannot finish.

The other talking point is the speculation of the coaching position. This has come to pass after news leaked of an interview with Del Piero who intimated at a potential coaching career in Sydney. The initial reaction is one of bemusement, for no other reason than the logistics of installing a player/coach in 2012. What would that say about our league?  About our football? The guy who flew down here a couple of months ago with zero coaching credentials could now be in the frame to take the gig. What does that say about Crook? Naturally this is pure speculation, yet it speaks to my earlier point about the coaches complete loss of capital.

To break down the stale and structured squad Lavicka built was always going to require some time and patience. The arrival of ADP has accelerated the need for success. This is the reality. What we’ve seen so far is tactical ineptitude to a tremendous degree. Players have no concept of positioning at either end of the field. The only saving grace for Crook and the team is the return of every single first team player. Culina, Antonis, Fabio, Griffiths, Pascal and ADP all need to be in the frame sooner rather than later. 7-2 defeats are not acceptable for the biggest club in the country.

If this coach cannot fix this, someone else will.

About David Hards (496 Articles)
The Founder of FTSAUS. A foundation Melbourne City man who is more than willing to voice his opinion, no matter how wrong it could be. An average goalkeeper or makeshift right back who had more bad days than good on the pitch, but still loved every minute of it. Follow on Twitter: @Hardsy05
Contact: Twitter