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Showing content with the highest reputation since 27/04/13 in Articles

  1. 4 points
    The Wanderers A-League Round 7 fixture against Wellington Phoenix has been postponed, with questions raised as to the legitimacy of the "poor surface" excuse. Reports were filed late in the afternoon that the game against Wellington had been postponed due to a poor playing surface, and these reports were soon confirmed by the Wanderers club. Sydney Showground has not been used by the Wanderers since Round 2 on October 14. Since then, the stadium playing surface was apparently put through a process of relaying to "transition" between the "winter" grass used during the AFL season, to the "summer" grass used during the Cricket & A-League season. Despite the month of time spent between games, it became apparent that the surface had not grown in as previously expected. Despite the month long absence, neither the Wanderers or the Sydney Showground appear to have bothered setting up a contingency plan, that could have included moving the game to Penrith, Campbelltown, Stadium Australia next door, or even an option such as the synthetic pitch at Sydney United Edensor Park or Lilys Stadium. There has been no explanation provided yet as to why the game couldn't be moved. Fortunately for the Wanderers, Football Federation Australia appear to have elected not to introduce any punishment to the club, such as a fine or a forfeit such as might happen in a European competition. The delay will likely be beneficial to the Wellington Phoenix, who have players coming back from their international duty in Peru. The game will be rescheduled at some point in the future, I would suggest likely dates being the weekend of the 9-11 February, or a midweek fixture from 26-28 December or 13-15 March. This scheduling disaster caps off the terrible transition the Wanderers have had in their temporary "home" of the Olympic Precinct. If the Wanderers leadership aren't filled with apocalyptic rage at yet another blunder from the AFL loving Showground they need to take a good hard look at themselves. Supporters are already having to put up with ignorant security staff and a precinct that resembles a morgue that's closed for the weekend anyway, and now they are causing fixture scheduling issues. Sydney Showground had scheduled an on-pitch rave dance party "Sensation Australia" for the Showground on the 25th of November. A press release for the dance party confirmed that the large set would take an entire week to build and start on Friday the 17th. Now, I question how could the Showground & the Wanderers have possibly played a football game on the Sydney Showground while it was being swarmed by a 100 person construction crew? Have the fans been lied to about this cancellation? Have the Wanderers been booted off our stadium because the Showground booked in a one-off dance party despite our club having confirmed our home fixtures months ago? These are serious questions that need to be answered. If the stated reason for the postponement is true, that the stadium surface is unplayable and unable to grow properly, I question why the Showground allowed this concert to continue? These high impact events cannot possibly be good for a surface which has already been struggling to grow to an acceptable level, and as we've seen in the past, these events have impact far beyond the few days the event is taking place on. I wonder when we do eventually return, will the pitch will have been ruined by construction and thousands of people walking on it? The Western Sydney Stadium at Parramatta cannot come soon enough for the Wanderers and their fans.
  2. 2 points
    The Western Sydney Wanderers have been robbed by Chris Beath and the worst use of the VAR since it's introduction to the A-League as it made multiple errors that cost the Wanderers dearly. Despite coming into the game unbeaten the visiting Wanderers started just one league position above Adelaide United by virtue of their goal difference. Josep Gombau elected to leave Kearyn Baccus on the bench, choosing a midfield trio of Jacob Melling, Roly Bonevacia & Alvaro Cejudo, backed by the usual back defensive block of Janjetovic, Risdon, Cornthwaite, Thwaite & Raul Llorente and an attacking trio of Riera, Sotiro & Jumpei. The game was 15 minutes old when the VAR's first mistake was made. The Wanderers took an attacking corner, where Oriol Riera was rugby tackled to the ground. In any league in the world with competent officials Riera would have been heading to the spot to take a penalty. Instead not only did Chris Beath, a referee who has it out for the Wanderers, miss the foul, the VAR which is meant to correct errors, declined to make the right call. Captain Robbie Cornthwaite was yellow carded as Adelaide broke up the field on the counter. VAR was again called into action in the 20th minute and once again made a dreadfully incorrect decision. With an Adelaide cross finding their striker on the edge of the penalty area, his first time shot flew 2 meters into the hands of Cornthwaite. Play continued until the ball went out of play. At that point, the VAR directed Beath (who the Wanderers now only have a 25% winning record against, the 2nd worst in the league behind Newcastle) to review the footage, and he changed his mind from the live call, awarded Adelaide and sent a furious Cornthwaite off for a second bookable "offence". There was a measure of justice when Baba Diawara smashed the penalty into the post but it hardly mattered as Adelaide went into half-time 1-0 anyway through Ryan Kitto. Yet again, the officials made the wrong call and were backed up by the VAR. Diawara managed a slight touch on a cross while in an offside position, the linesman ignored it and let the play run. The ball fell to Ryan Kitto who stabbed the ball home. Despite the replay showing Diawara clearly offside, it was not overturned and Roly Bonevacia went into the referees notebook for protesting. Adelaide pressed home their advantage in the 60th minute to make it 2-0 with Kitto picking up his brace after he passed the ball home after receiving it on a silver platter due to Janjetovic coming out and failing to meet an onrushing Nikola Mileusnic. Chris Beath added to his error ridden evening when he failed to deliver a straight red for a blatantly obvious studs up lunge by Ben Garrucio on Roly Bonevacia. The VAR finally managed to make a correct decision as it overturned the awarded yellow card. It was too little too late for the Wanderers with only 10 minutes to go, they couldn't force a goal to make Adelaide nervous in the home stretch. Both the VAR and Chris Beath made multiple huge errors in both judgement and application of the rules. Beath missed a rugby tackle on Riera, then missed the handball completely OR decided to change his mind and call it deliberate after the fact if he saw it live (a Morton's Fork of bad officiating), his linesman missed a clear offside for Adelaide's first goal, then both Beath and the assistant missed what was a 100% clear red card for Garrucio. The VAR backed up three of those poor decisions meaning it doesn't escape sanction either. The level of officiating in Australia has been abysmal in the past few years. The introduction of the VAR is simply stacking on an addition level of failure. The time is long past for the FFA to spend some of their $20+ million a year salary on some professional referees from the likes of South Korea, Japan, Germany, the Nordic states or England and start getting decisions right first time around. The VAR must be removed as soon as possible. Not only does it get decisions wrong, it compounds incorrect decisions by the officials, it also strips away the joy of scoring a goal, a critical expression that differentiates football from other games that score rapidly and/or review every play with a 5 minute long video replay.
  3. 1 point
    The Western Sydney Wanderers fell to their 5th loss on the trot after an awful VAR decision handed Adelaide United an undeserved 2-1 win. With a host of players out of action due to injury or suspension, Markus Babbel elected to play a 5 at the back formation, bringing Mathieu Cordier, Rashid Mahazi & Jausua Sotirio into the starting lineup. 8 minutes into the game Adelaide opened the scoring. A long ball over the top found Craig Goodwin, after he brought the ball back onto his right foot, he laid it into the path of Vince Lia, and he blasted a rocket through Nick Suman's hands. Not long after the half-time interval, Roly Bonevacia scored a superb equaliser. The Wanderers won a foul on the edge of the penalty area, and Bonevacia was going to do nothing but shoot on goal. He fired a perfect free kick up and over the wall with just enough power & direction that it dipped under the cross bar for 1-1. With an hour gone it looked like both sides could have taken all three points, but it ended up being Adelaide United with an assist from a blind linesman and a VAR booth that was as useless as a Maccas VAR frappe machine on a hot day. Michael Marrone attacked down the right flank, he drew Cordier before feeding the ball to Nikola Mileusnic, he launched the ball across the penalty area, finding Goodwin who managed to fly the ball through the eye of a needle, going between Tate Russel's legs, avoiding Tarek Elrich and leaving Suman no chance at all. The VAR had vanished off the face of the planet. As Wanderers fans well know whenever their team has scored a goal the VAR will spend long minutes scrutinising every frame for potential infringements to take the goal away from the Red & Black, but tonight it was the opposite. There was no apparent checking done at all. The linesman, and the VAR, had missed a simple and clear offside by Mileusnic when he received the ball from Marrone. Late in the game the referee & VAR also ignored a clear penalty to the Wanderers. For a system that spent 5 minutes coming up with a reason to chalk off Roly Bonevacia's goal in the Round 2 Sydney Derby, it was a baffling omission, an inexplicable failure to correct a blatantly obvious error. This week the FFA came out in the press, unable to figure out just why people were tuning out of the A-League this summer. It is clear and obvious that part of the reason is the incredibly poor standard of the officials. The are continually making major errors, the referees and VAR since it's introduction have favoured the two A-League teams that play in Sky Blue, and and they hold grudges against coaches & players who speak out against the low standard. It's time for the new FFA Chairman to take action, and fire Ben Wilson the incompetent head of A-League Referees, and ensure that Kris Griffths Jones is never put on another Wanderers game again. When the VAR didn't exist the referees had the fallback that they are only human and that mistakes are inevitable. Now with the VAR, there are too many mistakes being made and they are being backed up by too many excuses from the FFA. It's not even the first time Adelaide have benefited from the VAR not bothering to overturn a clear offside. Watching a team fail of their own volition is hard enough to take but that's what football fans sign up for. The systemic failures that exist in a protocol intended to correct such mistakes is a truly galling experience, and one that saps one of the will to bother watching our home league. It can't go on like this. The Wanderers play Melbourne City next Tuesday in Melbourne at 7:50PM EDT.
  4. 1 point

    Gombau Sacked By Wanderers

    Failing to finish in the finals has proven fatal for Josep Gombau as the Spanish coach was sacked by the Western Sydney Wanderers this morning. After just 5 months and 13 days since his first game in charge, having been appointed in the wake of Tony Popovic's shock abandonment of the club a week before the season start, the Wanderers board elected to punt the charismatic Spaniard out of a job that he had been given a 3 year contract for. Gombau's tenure was dogged by pundits both in print & television hounding every move he made, with every substitution met with cries of player feuds and his best unbeaten run of games of 4 games between January 1st and January 13 was not enough to keep the wolves at bay. Gombau had to take charge of an ill-disciplined, unfit and woefully under-performing playing squad and his attempt to rebuild the team in his Catalan image was met with indifference, apathy or hostility from many in the the playing group. Hayden Foxe managing a 5 game unbeaten start to season papered over the cracks as he and Popovic before his exit saw a clear reliance on marquee Oriol Riera to save the team from embarrassment against Wellington & Blacktown City in the FFA Cup, while in the A-League the team were incapable of closing out matches strongly to hold onto wins, even against the Central Coast Mariners or teams playing a man down. If the earliest results were less than inspiring, the 5-0 annihilation in the second Sydney Derby of the season drove home that the Gombau era would not be smooth sailing to begin with, or even that he would "get the best" out of an attack as penetrative as a tennis ball thrown against a brick wall, and a defence that had more holes in it than swiss cheese. A 4-0 loss not long after to Newcastle saw urgent meetings take place amongst the club officials & staff, and a desire to transition more slowly to Gombau's intended tactics appeared to pay dividends, as the team picked up wins against Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar. That was unfortunately the peak of the Wanderers season, with back to back losses against Melbourne Victory & Perth Glory putting the side in danger of missing the finals series. A 3-0 win against Brisbane in the penultimate game of the regular season saw everything to play for against Gombau's former club Adelaide United, and yet they capitulated in a dismal 3-2 defeat, as Riera missed a penalty to bring the game level, and Keanu Baccus was sent off to kill his team's chances of playing in the finals. Rumours of squad infighting that rose to multiple fights between team-mates, poor off-field behaviour that saw Chris Herd banished from the side, the exits of Hayden Foxe & Robbie Cornthwaite after a training ground argument along with the whisper campaign in the media all resulted in Gombau losing full control over his team, and despite sections of the Wanderers supporter base wanting the club to see through the Gombau project, those who wanted a fresh direction have seen their hopes realised. The Wanderers board lost their patience with the "project manager", and Gombau was punted on Thursday morning. What direction the board go in remains to be seen. Original target Ante Milicic may be looking for a job after Graham Arnold takes over the Australian national team post-world cup, while German manager Dirk Schuster may be available in the next few weeks should his side Darmstadt 98 be relegated from Bundesliga 2. Ultimately, this season was a complete waste of time & money, and the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of John Tsatsimas and the ownership group fronted by Paul Lederer. Why on earth would any management team elect to bring in Gombau, a man who it was absolutely crystal clear would need time to implement his own style and bring in players that suited it, and then turn around and sack him 5 months later is inexplicable to me. If they really wanted to keep playing the same plodding, non-attacking style that Popovic had perfected before his exit, they should have told Popovic that it was too late to release him, or then let Foxe takeover until the end of this year. Instead, the Board effectively stole the time & money of every single season ticket holder, to watch a club held together on the pitch by Riera & Janjetovic while those in between failed to provide the remotest sense of application and skill unless they were facing the very worst teams in the competition. And for what? The new manager is going to come into a club in crisis, another dozen squad positions to fill, and the sense that having sacked their last manager within 6 months that it could happen again before Christmas. Good luck to whoever that is. You're going to need it.
  5. 1 point
    A late red card to Keanu Baccus, a missed penalty from Oriol Riera and some lackadaisical defence combined to see the Wanderers lose 2-3 to Adelaide United. Requiring a win to finish 6th and play in the final series, instead the Wanderers finished 7th and saw their season end at fulltime. The quest for 6th started so well in the 15th minute, Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo got in a right tangle as he spilled a long-range shot into the path of Riera, then scrambled into the path of the striker and cut him down. Riera stepped up and slotted it into the bottom corner past the desperate dive of Izzo. That lead lasted bare minutes. Clisby & Hamill were caught square & far up the park, standing on half way when a long bomb from the Adelaide backline flew over Clisby's foot and into the path of Baba Diawara. He had Hamill beaten for pace and finished smartly with the outside of his right foot past Vedran Janjetovic. The topsy-turvey game continued with Adelaide taking a 2-1 lead in the 38th minute. Nathan Konstandopoulos weaved into the penalty area and had a shot blocked by the defence, only to roll into the path of midfielder Daniel Adlung, he ran onto the ball with a sweet left foot strike that curled into the top corner. Just like the Wanderers lead earlier, Adelaide's lead was erased in quick time. Raul Llorente strode onto a ball down the left flank and delivered a first time cross into the center, it passed over Riera but Marcelo Carrusca rose into the air and nodded the ball home. Only 3 minutes later the Wanderers were going to the penalty spot again. The referee missed a blatant penalty on Chris Ikonomidis, but the VAR intervened after a short delay. Once again Riera stepped up to face Izzo from 12 yards, Riera went the other way and Izzo had guessed correctly, turning the ball around the post for a corner. On the hour mark the Wanderers hopes of playing in the finals drastically went down. Keanu Baccus & Johann Absalonsen tangled together while fighting for the ball, as they both fell to the turf and got up, Absalonsen stood up then went down like he was shot. After a break in play the VAR intervened, with Baccus called out and red carded for a kick out action. Josep Gombau threw players forward looking for an unlikely winner, turning to a 3 man defensive line with Santalab & Riera up front, but the low hopes were extinguished 10 minutes from full time as Adelaide went on the counter. Sweeping down the right flank through Nikola Mileusnic, his cross evaded both Llorente and Hamill, and Josh Risdon at the back post was completely beaten for pace by Ryan Kitto and he slammed the ball past the despairing dive for Janjetovic. Finishing 7th is an abysmal result for the Wanderers. It is absolutely not good enough. There is no singular person who is at fault for the result tonight nor the season as a whole. It is a collective failure, a cascade of heartless players, ill disciplined players both on and off the field, inept players who have been paid for too much for what they delivered this season and a coaching structure that imploded early in the season, Gombau's desire to setup his possession first philosophy with defense as an afterthought and poor recruitment from Tony Popovic before his exit at the start of the season. The men who own this club have some searing questions to answer to fix the major problems that plague the Wanderers this year both on field and off the field. The RBB situation is a farce and must be fixed before the start of the new season. The club staff had their big "We're in charge" banning the RBB moment, now it is time to swallow your pride and start talking with the people to resolve the situation. Spotless Stadium and it's ridiculous security apparatus that poisons the goodwill atmosphere by threats of arrests & bans against paying customers and as seen recently, club staff should not be tolerated by John Tsatsimas and the rest of the executive office at the Wanderers. Next season is the last before our new stadium. It would be a horrible shame if we go into our new stadium without the vibrant supporter culture that involved all membership groups at the club and another year of failure on the pitch to go along with it.
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