Last weekend was probably the poorest performance we’ve put on so far this season. Brisbane clearly went out to nullify our attacking and pressing game, but we just weren’t able to put in the performance that we have been putting in through the previous rounds. It wasn’t that we were so terrible overall – we claimed a rare away clean sheet – but we weren’t as good in areas we have been over the first four rounds and that was frustrating. When we did get ourselves into the right positions we didn’t have the final pass or the finish required.

It was another game damaged by the #VAR. To be honest, at the moment almost every A-League game is being damaged by the #VAR. The powers that be continue to try and condition us to think there is merit in refereeing by video, but that’s what the governing body would say isn’t it? Most pro #VAR arguments claim improving any decisions makes it worth it, and a couple have been corrected, the problem is for every one decision corrected there are a dozen or more decisions which take too long and often came up with no result. I’ll admit I’ve been waiting for this but we saw the first instance where a throw in given the wrong way led to a goal in the Victory v Wanderers game. In that case there was a free kick was in between the two but still, a wrong throw in decision led to a goal and this is the kind of decision #VAR will find almost impossible to reverse. It’s also the perfect example of why video refereeing must either resolve all wrong decisions or else be gone destroying the spectacle of our great game!

On the issue of video of a different type (screens) – this week I’ve noticed that the old video screen in Central Coast Stadium is being dismantled or removed. The temporary screen either remains or has been re-installed, presumably for this week’s Friday night clash, but at least there is evidence a new screen might be on the way. This is good news for all users of the stadium and nothing less than what is absolutely necessary in modern stadia. Finally we might have a screen which is not only big enough so fans can read the score or clock from every seat but without seeing the failing pixel (in the past a red dot) in the middle of the video, like the one that has been on our screen for years now. I did mention last week it had been at least eight weeks for no change so it’s just nice to see things are progressing. I just hope the delay and the cost of having a temporary screen for so long has not damaged the available budget for the permanent replacement.

The A-League doesn’t get any easier as we head toward a Friday night encounter with the Premiership and Championship winning sky blues. While they haven’t looked at their “machine like” best at times this season, the sign of a good team is grinding our wins and taking points without looking flashy. Sydney has persistently done that in between good performances. They have quality all around the park so it’s hard to see a weakness in the Sky Blues. Paolo is tasked with making our boys return to Central Coast Stadium one to encourage the fans and he will certainly have his work cut-out for him.

While it must be deflating for the team not to have registered a season thirteen win yet, I’m hoping the clean sheet is enough for the confidence to remain in the squad. We’ll need every bit of it. We’ll also need each and every one of the team to play their very best and Paolo to provide a well thought plan if we want to give ourselves a chance at an upset. Few will be tipping us and that “flying under the radar” position might well be where we can give ourselves a good shot at taking something from this. To me we have the firepower, raw talent and probably the game plan it’s just a matter of bringing these all together at the same time and keeping them together for a full ninety minute effort.

Could this be our chance? I’ll admit I’ve tipped Sydney but I think we have a decent show in this. If not, we surely need a great performance to maintain confidence among the squad and the fans.

About Erin Morrow (106 Articles)
Football fanatic and amateur analyst. An over 35′s player and sometimes coach. He does the occasional refereeing. Passionate Central Coast Mariners foundation member. Follow on Twitter: @Erin_Mariner