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A-League Analysis

Running Mitch Nichols the key that unlocks Wanderers’ potency

Mitch Nichols has gradually evolved into the Western Sydney Wanderers key player, and one of the A-League’s complete playmakers

The Western Sydney Wanderers seem to experience a squad overhaul every off-season, despite having only been in existence for four years.

In spite of their success as A-League Premiership and Asian Champions League winners, Tony Popovic has had to continually refresh and reformat his side, particularly in attack. The most dramatic transformation occurred last season, when he switched from the direct, high-tempo pressing style that characterised their initial years, to a Spanish-flavoured possession approach based upon fluent build-up play from the back and fluid attacking movement in the final third.

The key figurehead of this stylistic revolution going forward was Mitch Nichols. This season, while there have been inevitable changes in personnel around him, Nichols has been the familiar face. That consistency has paid dividends for both him and his club, as he has gradually become one of the league’s complete playmakers. He is the players that knits the Wanderers attack together.

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By Tim Palmer

Tim is a football coach, writer, analyst and sports scientist. He is currently Assistant Technical Director, Head of Player Development & Video and a coach at GHFA Spirit, as well as working with the Pararoos. Previously, he has worked as an analyst with the Socceroos, and in the A-League.

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