One of the biggest tactical developments of the past decade is a re-emergence in central defenders highly technical and comfortable on the ball.
A game that pitted two counter-attacking sides against each other was a tight battle, before a classic counter-attacking goal settled the game.
The last two World Cup qualifiers for Socceroos have raised not only the perennial questions over the squad’s age, the ability of the coach and the long-term future for the team, but also raised a more subtle tactical question.
The biggest trend of the A-League offseason was sides pledging to play more proactive and retain possession.
Both the Wanderers and the Mariners put an emphasis on denying the opposition space and neither side could find the breakthrough.
The high profile marquee signings of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono have immensely raised the profile of the A-League, but there are also plenty of intriguing coaching appointments and tactical developments to ensure the upcoming new season will be the most exciting yet.
Graham Arnold rejected the overtures of Sydney FC to remain coach of the Central Coast Mariners, much to the club’s delight.