The Weekly Wanderer: Home Sweet Home

Three games, one point, dead last. After a rather frustrating few weeks, it’s good to be home.

The Western Sydney Wanderers return to Pirtek Stadium this Sunday to face a Perth Glory side buoyed by an impressive victory over Adelaide United last weekend. But before this encounter ensues, it seems appropriate to look back on the last two weeks of action away from Wanderland.

Despite Tony Popovic’s long list of off-season recruitments, not much else has changed for the men in red and black. Both the 1-1 draw against Adelaide in Round 2, and last weekend’s 1-0 derby defeat to Sydney FC featured a fragile back four and an inability to put the ball into the back of the net.

In truth, the Wanderers have not been as bad as their position on the standings suggest. In fact, across the three games played thus far, they have often controlled both the ball and the sights on goal. While new number nine Federico Piovaccari has found chances at goal few and far between, the sheer strength of the Italian has left many opposing defenders unable to handle him. Prior to last weekend’s hamstring twinge, Romeo Castelen had been one of the Wanderers’ best. His speed and skill often left him with a clear sight on goal, but once again, the ability to finish never followed.

New midfield signings Dimas, Andreu and Mitch Nichols have continued to gel and improve with each game. Nichols has hardly put a foot wrong through these three games and has comfortably made the number 10 role his own. Fellow Aussie signing Dario Vidosic is yet to start under Tony Popovic but looks likely to take the field in place of Jaushua Sotirio this weekend. Sotirio in particular has been hit and miss thus far (emphasis on miss). Although his goal, incorrectly ruled for offside last weekend, could have been a significant turning point.

While complementing the contribution of each player and assessing the team’s overall performance is all good and well, at the end of the day, goals win you games. This Sunday’s clash against the Glory is a must win for the Wanderers. Three points would lift them right off the bottom of the ladder and ease the pressure on the playing group as a result. The amount of talent within the starting eleven are more than capable of producing goals from anywhere across the park. But until this happens, the memories of last season will continue to linger.