A-League 2013 Grand Final tactical preview

The 2012/13 A-League season saw a number of coaches promise to try and play "attack based, possession based football", but two teams remain - the two that have consistently played structured, organised, counter-attacking football. Here are five key questions that will dictate the pattern of Sunday's Grand Final. Wanderers directness The Wanderers and the Mariners … Continue reading A-League 2013 Grand Final tactical preview

Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 Brisbane Roar: Counter-attacking conquers possession

Shinji Ono's spectacular goal was the highlight of a 2-0 win for Western Sydney, that takes them into the Grand Final. Of his first choice lineup, Tony Popovic was without Aaron Mooy and Adam D'Apuzzo, meaning Yianni Perkatis and Shannon Cole started in midfield and defence respectively, with Dino Kresinger leading the line. Thomas Broich … Continue reading Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 Brisbane Roar: Counter-attacking conquers possession

Will Wellington Phoenix’s drastic philosophy change prove costly?

Wellington hasn’t ever been seen as a proponent of ‘modern’, attacking football, but with two consecutive finals appearance, this didn’t seem to be a huge problem. A Ricki Herbert side was always strong defensively, physical and organised, and most importantly, produced results. That was, until recently, when the new owner Gareth Morgan recently discussed his … Continue reading Will Wellington Phoenix’s drastic philosophy change prove costly?

How Tony Popovic’s belief in structure has paid off for the Wanderers

It feels like it’s been said repeatedly, but there’s no getting away from the main story: in the space of half a year, the Western Sydney Wanderers was born, Tony Popovic has built a cohesive and integrated squad with a clearly identifiable system and a realistic chance of success in the finals, meaning thousands of … Continue reading How Tony Popovic’s belief in structure has paid off for the Wanderers

Gary Van Egmond’s overhaul better in theory than in practice

The last few years have been nothing short of disaster for Newcastle – there has been an identity crisis both on and off the pitch, most notably with their change in jersey colour, and more importantly, there has been an attempted change in style under Gary van Egmond. While it was initially difficult for the … Continue reading Gary Van Egmond’s overhaul better in theory than in practice

John Aloisi’s Melbourne Heart sending mixed messages

In terms of starting XI, this is one of the more difficult sides to predict, with a number of versatile players meaning spots are always up for grabs. This impacts upon the ability to define the Melbourne Heart style – in short, they’re not particularly good at any particular system, and that, in turn, has … Continue reading John Aloisi’s Melbourne Heart sending mixed messages

Melbourne Victory introduce not one, but two false 9s

Ange Postecoglou’s arrival at the Melbourne Victory – at least until the storm of marquees – was the most promising development of the off-season. Not only did he build a dual-championship winning side at the Brisbane Roar, he did so with an unprecedented (in Australia, at least) possession-based style that combined ruthless defensive qualities with … Continue reading Melbourne Victory introduce not one, but two false 9s

Do Brisbane Roar require a revolution?

After two wildly successful seasons, watching their side drastically underachieve must be a strange feeling for Brisbane Roar fans. But with the benefit of hindsight, perhaps this wasn’t unexpected – Ange Postecoglou is a fine coach who must take the majority of the credit for transforming Brisbane’s fortunes, and in his absence, the squad has … Continue reading Do Brisbane Roar require a revolution?

How the Mariners have stabilised in the face of disruption

The perennial cliché about the Central Coast is that it always ‘slips under the radar’ – but it’s hard not to describe the Mariners in any other way. Despite topping the table for most of the season, all the talk has been about other clubs, while recent discussion has only focused around the loss of … Continue reading How the Mariners have stabilised in the face of disruption

Kosmina’s departure adds to broken Adelaide United

"Before last weekend we had been first or second in the league and were recognised as a good football team. However, apart from survival, I can see no clear direction. There is no vision. Decision-making at management level is reactive and impulsive at best, and there is no consistency in managerial procedure.” "There is far … Continue reading Kosmina’s departure adds to broken Adelaide United