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  • One of the worst performances by the Western Sydney Wanderers has seen them obliterated by finals bound Melbourne City 3-0 tonight in Melbourne.

    The story of the game was heartless, inept football in both attack and defence, that gifted the game to Melbourne City with the Wanderers not managing a single shot on target in the 90 minutes. It was an abysmal display, one that should be utterly embarrassing for the players and the staff and raises extreme questions about the ongoing employment at the club from the CEO to the coaching staff and the players.

    No team wearing the Red & Black of the Wanderers should ever play like that, with numerous players clearly looking disinterested. Our season is over with or without a finals match we'd lose to one of the Melbourne teams or Adelaide.

    The only chance of the game for the Wanderers was Oriol Riera, one of the few who cared, hitting the bar from a corner that was played out for a corner by a City defender in the 40th minute.

    From that corner Melbourne City took the lead with a counter-attack. After clearing the corner, it fell for Atkinson, he evaded Chris Ikonomidis, and Michael Thwaite failed to cut him down for a foul & a yellow card. Spraying the ball wide to Daniel Arzani, before Raul Llorente could close him down the young winger fired a cross into the 6 yard box. Thwaite once again failed to deal with the danger, the ball rolled into the path of Bruno Fornaroli who couldn't miss from 6 yards out.

    The early stages of the second half came and went until Alvaro Cejudo completely failed his team by refusing to mark his designated player. To top off an abysmal performance as the Wanderers attacking pivot, Cejudo let Michael Jakobsen have the freedom of the penalty area to meet a cross from a short corner and blast it unerringly past Janjetovic again from 6 yards out.

    Stefan Mauk completed the rout in the 66th minute with another penetrating attack from City. Hamill, Bonevacia & Lustica did their best impression of traffic cones as Mauk & Fornaroli played a one two, Fornaroli with a backheel that Mauk ran on and fired a first time shot into the bottom corner.

    It was as much as City deserved and far less than the Wanderers did. I've seen a lot of bad performances in the past few years but this one ranks well up there. You could count with a few fingers the players who were playing for the shirt and most of them looked disinterested even before City hit the front. Combined with schoolboy errors in defence, a midfield trio who found the sideline or a city player more than they found their own team-mates, and a squad who couldn't even manage a single shot on target. Marc Tokich may look back on his A-League debut fondly, but it will not be because of the result of the game. That was one of the only high spots of the match and in the end it was little more than a 10 minute cameo.

    Barring the miracle of miracles this team will either make the finals and lose in week one or finish 7th or 8th. The players, the coaching staff and the higher up club management need to take a good long hard look at how they've let the Champions of Asia fall from grace this far. It might not be the disaster zone that exists for the Mariners or Wellington Phoenix, but this club should be a top four club every season without fail, not a collection of awkward, bumbling, incompetents completely detached from the fans who pay good money to watch this garbage, running around with no pride in their performance.

    Next week away to the Victory looks like being a turkey shoot for Melbourne and one I'm not looking forward to. Gombau needs to give the players a kick in the arse and send them on some old school treatment to remind them to earn their money off and on the pitch. Start with 200 laps of the training pitch at lunchtime tomorrow and go from there.



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    • Higher up the park? When we already have 5 wingers?
    • When Popa signed Llorente he had only played a handful of games in that position previously and was not specifically brought in as a LB.  https://www.wswanderersfc.com.au/news/popovic-hails-squad-depth-after-llorente-signing It would have been interesting to see if Popa used Raul differently to Gonebau.  Personally I'm hoping Babbel plays him higher up the park as Raul is a good crosser of the ball and can better utilize the strengths of Riera.  We should be building our team around our imports. unfortunately, East Sydney has shown us how to do it to great effect. In my opinion, we played 3 imports out of position and underutilized the strengths of Riera who terrorised defenders in the air when given the service.   Gonebau played Raul in a secondary position.  Cejudo, a marquee I might add, came to us as a winger but hardly played there. Roly was most effective for Wellington playing higher up the park as an ACM rather than a DCM. Gonebau had him receiving a short pass from our CD's in our own half and then he passed sideways.  We were our own worst enemy. 
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