Harbour View: The most difficult of months

GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 08: David Carney of Sydney FC celebrates his goal during the round 14 A-League match between the Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC at Central Coast Stadium on January 8, 2017 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

January normally comes and goes without much significant action in the football world these days. However when you’re a record breaking A-league team, well things can get tricky. Sydney Fc have started the season in unbelievable fashion finding themselves 14 matches unbeaten at the top of the A-league. Leading into the Mariners game, the sky blues suffered a blow when club stalwart Matthew Jurman left the club for Suwon Bluewings. This was an opportunity which the club couldn’t deny him so we have to move on.

Mariners Away
Well that was tougher than I had previously hoped it would be. Further compounding the worries of our faithful was the early injury of defender Seb Ryall with effectively his first kick of the game. From that point on the sky blues didn’t look comfortable at the back which is understandable when there was no natural centre back in the squad. Brandon O’Neil however did do a good job in his newly adopted role.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Milos Ninkovic proved why his is possibly the best player the league currently has pulling the strings during every single attack with his highlight coming in the lead up to the eventual winner taking the ball down majestically. Really I could write about this player all day however there were vunrabilities in the performance.
The sky blues are set up in a risky way which can be exploited. Without giving too much away, Rhyan Grant can be caught out on occasion. Yes his been good this season and possibly the most enthusiastic footballer I’ve seen on the field but unfortunately his decision making leaves a lot to be desired. This was particularly evident when he brought down his man to concede a penalty (one of many examples). The loss of Ryall was also compounded by the loss of Brillante next week through a stupid challenge.

Moving on
Moving forward we have a Sydney Derby to look forward to which is a lot trickier than what we were thinking a week ago. Although up front the sky blues will have captain Brosque back, the back half is looking less than certain. Without Ryall, Arnold will most likely have to rely on a youth centre back (either Flootman or Timotheou). Looking long term, a european replacement looks to be well on the way apparently arriving tonight (Monday). In saying all this we are 11-3-0. Forza Sydney Fc