Well here we are, only 2 rounds in to the season yet for me we already have a major question arising, has Sydney FC’s immense run come to an end?
Now as I said yes the season is only 2 games old but something seems off with Sydney already this year but what is the cause of it. I was at the game this past weekend for the loss against Macarthur at Kogarah and talking to people after the game I felt that there was 2 trains of thought:
- We started slowly last year and built up
- Teams have us worked out
I think there is also a 3rd option and that is the fact that we haven’t focused on the regeneration of the squad and have focused to much on retaining our older players. Yes I’m opening myself up to criticism for this given the experience of the team but in last year’s Grand Final we got beaten by a better Melbourne City team who had the youthfulness that outplayed the experience.
Looking at that match one of the players that tore FC apart was former player Marco Tilio who also went on to be involved with the Olyroos in Tokyo at the Olympics. I can’t say I know what he was thinking but having come through the Sydney system he would have wanted to continue with the Sky Blues but that wasn’t possible as Sydney was more focused on re-signing the experienced stars.
Then you also need to look at the recruiting that Sydney have done coming into this season. While they had good form pre-season so far in the 3 competitive games the side has played (2 A-League and 1 FFA Cup) they have looked so far off the pace it’s not funny.
To start the season away in the Sydney Derby and in my opinion only come away with a point given how much I feel we were outplayed in the majority of the match was flattering, that was followed up as mentioned earlier by this past Saturday’s insipid performance against Macarthur where even the ever consistent and reliable Rhyan Grant even seemed to be of the pace.
That’s not even the worst performance of the 3, I might seem crazy saying this about a win but the cup game last Wednesday night against Sydney Olympic was to me embarrassing. Sydney wants to lay claim to being the biggest club in Australia which given the last 5 years does seem reasonable but given in sport you are only as good as your last performance considering that FC was extremely lucky to get past Olympic it should have been a worry heading into the weekend.
As I said earlier the re-signing and recruitment aren’t the only other main issues facing Sydney FC now. I also feel like the issue is like what others stated to me after the game and that is the rest of the teams have worked out the Sydney style of play.
It hurts me to see FC struggling like this being a fan and season ticket holder. One thing that hurts more is the way that every other team in the last 2 seasons seems to adapted and progressed their playing styles, formations and tactics while Sydney have just stayed the same.
While the style and all of that for FC has worked well for so long we need in my opinion to see Steve Corica make an attempt at alternative options going forward and begin being more progressive with his tactics. All we need to do is go back 2 years to when we beat City in extra time to win the Grand Final, even on that day we as Sydney fans can consider ourselves lucky to have one the game.
In that game you could already see the way that they were getting caught out and outplayed for major parts of that game. Then move forward a year to last season’s semifinal against Adelaide United which is another game that come full time we can feel lucky to have won.
The final possible issue to look at is what some people have said in that we started slowly last year but managed to pull it together in the end. Although if you go back and have a look at the results in our first 5 games last year we had we had 3 wins 1 loss and 1 draw, so in reality that can’t really be looked at as a slow start.
While yes we very easily can get to the same point in terms of results in our first 5 games this season it means we will need to win our next 3 games. The worry though is they are tough games against Newcastle, Central Coast and Wellington, I’m not saying we won’t win those games but given our form so far in competitive fixtures it feels like it will be backs against the wall.
To finish up my hope is that in a few weeks time this post makes me look like an idiot who should’ve just waited to see how things play out but it could also be looking back to say I was correct ( which I hope I’m not) but only then will we know. Yet until that time comes we need to see improvement and changes to the team structure and style of play from Corica or for the first time since 2012 we may have a interim manager in charge of the team.