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    Glückliche Reise To Mark Bridge & Olympic Park


    mack

    The Western Sydney Wanderers have said goodbye to retiring star Mark Bridge, their erstwhile home at the Sydney Olympic Precinct and a host of departing players with a 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory in the final game of their A-League season.

    With 8th place on the A-League ladder a certainty and Melbourne Victory safely in 3rd there was little to play for except pride and to finish the season with a measure of hope. Unfortunately for the Wanderers they began clearly as second best in the contest, with Melbourne Victory taking full control. The visiting side opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Thomas Deng in acres of space on the right flank launched a deep cross into the top of the penalty area and he found the attacking run of striker Ola Toivenen, his bullet header blasting past Jack Greenwood in the Wanderers goal.

    The Wanderers had precious little attack going forward, their best chances snuffed out by a steady Melbourne defence with only a single shot on target, off the boot of Alexander Baumjohann in the first 45.

    Post half-time the Wanderers were much better, rectifying their lack of possession and bring the fight to Victory. Bruce Kamau & Roly Bonevacia both had early shots, followed not long after by Alexander Baumjohann skying an effort on goal. With an hour gone Mark Bridge made his way onto an A-League pitch for the last time, replacing youngster Tate Russell and receiving the Captain's armband.

    In the 67th minute Melbourne should have doubled their lead. As the Wanderers attacked from a corner, they made a mess of regaining possession from a clearance, leading Kosta Barbarouses with the ball and no-one but Greenwood ahead of him. With Elvis Kamsoba as his wingman, it looked like you could bet the house on the Victory #9 slotting it past the young goalie, only to poorly mis-control the ball as he dribbled into the penalty area. The ball tangled up in his feet, he spun backwards and attempted a back heel that fell gratefully in the arms of Greenwood. It was the last major chance of the night. The Wanderers suffered their usual failure in attack, inept passing and a lack of end product.

    It was revealed during the television broadcast that in addition to Bridge retiring, it would also be the end of the time at the Wanderers for numerous players. Giancarlo Gallifuoco has reportedly rejected a contract extension, Markus Babbel confirmed Baumjohann would be leaving, potentially to join new side Western United in Geelong alongside confirmed signing Josh Risdon. Abraham Majok and Nick Fitzgerald have both been linked to the Central Coast Mariners in addition to a host of NPL/Youth players. Marquee striker Oriol Riera is departing as is his compatriot, fullback Raul Llorente. The Wanderers careers of Danijel Nizic and Vedran Janjetovic are up in the air with Babbel looking to force them out of the club and it is almost certain that Roly Bonevacia will leave, and the retention of numerous off-contract players such as Brendan Hamill, Marc Tokich, Jaushua Sotiro and Rashid Mahazi are all in doubt.

    The clean out could be one that makes the roster shedding of Tony Popovic pale in comparison. It would be far from undeserved. The the last 2 seasons have been abysmal on the field, having gone from 6th place in Popovic's last full year, to 7th place under the short lived tenure of Josep Gombau and now a collapse to 8th place in the first season of Markus Babbel's leadership. For anyone paying attention to Babbel during interviews, it is clear that he does not tolerate the level of failure that has taken place, and he will not sit idly by while it happens again.

    A new season at the new Western Sydney Stadium at Parramatta demands a deep investment in the playing squad from the ownership consortium fronted by Paul Lederer. The supporters who languished through the three season exodus deserve a return to a playing roster that understands the commitment and work rate expected of those who pull on the Red & Black. A top 4 finish is the absolutely minimum expectation for next year.

    The Wanderers open the Western Sydney Stadium for football against English side Leeds United on Saturday the 20th of July.

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    Great effort during this season mack....:good:

    I couldn't write our games up during the season as you have done......it would be too heavily redacted to protect the guilty.....lol.....and every second word would of been a swear one....lol

    Edited by sonar

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    51 minutes ago, pseudonym said:

    I survived the ANZ/Spotless years and all I got was this lousy (JD) away shirt

    :P

    Trust me when I say, you're not alone.

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    On souvenirs, I thought about getting one of the zipper jackets for $50 or $55, but ultimately I decided not to buy one. True story; be sure to tell your kids!

    On the game, I spent more time on my phone that I usually do when watching games at home, but what I did see (particularly in the second half) wasn’t terrible. It was a shame to see Russell leave the field, but I guess someone had to make way for abridge at some point. Hopefully the coach gets the players he wants for the spine of the team, because not every team is going to throw away a sure goal like the Victory did tonight.

    Finally, I was happy to hear the announcer make a point about it being Valeri’s last game against the Wanderers/in a regular season A-League. He has been a good player throughout his career, and was quite severely knocked about by his illness, so he deserved a decent sendoff by the almost 8k who turned up to the game.

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    This will be a season we'll want to forget. In the second half I was hoping would get a draw as it would be been a nice send off for King Bridge.

    It seems that the Babbel and the club are ready to do a massive clean out. Going to be interesting next season.
     

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    Tate and Tass back and we looked a hell of a lot better 

    hopefully with nearly 6 months of Babbel in guiding them they are pushing for starting spots in a much better squad 

    baum continued the number 10 enigma we have had with Saba and niko 

    a player very talented but ultimately not able to influence where needed most, in the win column 

    i look forward to Babbel bringing in the next Ono and the best striker we have seen in Wanderers colours 

    farewell SOP you won’t be missed 

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    11 hours ago, mack said:

    For anyone paying attention to Babbel during interviews, it is clear that he does not tolerate the level of failure that has taken place, and he will not sit idly by while it happens again.

    This is a watershed moment for the club, and MB will not accept any further sub standard crap on his watch. That he can speak the way he does in press conferences is a clear indication that he is in charge.

    "We conceded definitely too many goals, you have to do something there. I think that is clear. [...] The problem here is: it's not the biggest problem to get the foreigners, the problem is to get the good Australians. The good ones, most of them play in Europe. Here, most of them, if they are good, they play for the big clubs."

    MB summarized the three issues that crept in after the ACL win, and have being lingering. It has become very visible just how far we've gone backwards.

    • WSW considers itself a big club, yet it was not able to
    • sign good foreigners, or hold on to them (Takahagi, Alberto, Andreu, even Tanaka)
    • and bind good domestic players to the club (to think that we had Spiranovic, La Rocca, NTS, Jamo, Ikonomidis, Antonis...)

    This was glossed over by Popa in S5, and was obscured by Popa's untimely departure and Gombau's handling of the squad in S6: we've invited mediocrity into the club (Neville, Pepper, Lustica, Clisby, Melling, Griffiths, Fitzgerald, Tongynk, Nizic), softened up a stellar defense that won us the ACL (cut Covic without having secured a sufficient replacement etc), failed to replace leaders adequately, and saw work ethics walk out of the door in the process.

    Bridgey's post match comments could not have been clearer. So more BS. We've suffered enough.

     

     

     

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    1 hour ago, Erebus said:

    Good to see our amazing record against MV remains intact.

    Disgraceful isn’t it? club go on about about being a big club yet we haven’t beat victory in 15 games 

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    51 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

    I am tired of reviewing performances from this season, maybe we should just sum up the season in 2 words....

    Uninspiring clodhopping...

     

    Ive had 'clodhopping' memories too!

    Lol!

    This has truly been a season to forget...but THAT report headline will be one of the better memories. :lol::lol:

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    If any WSW fan ever has a bad day or a tough time, just remember that you survived 3 years of playing at Homebush and lived to tell the tale...

    Sad day to see Bridgey retire. One of the best not just for WSW but the A-League. I don’t think it’ll be until next season that we realise what a hole his retirement will leave.

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    It's the end of an Aleague era with the likes of Bridge, Brosque, Santalab, McKay, Henrique and to a lesser extent Valeri retiring all at once. These guys are all stalwarts at their teams.

    Reddy is almost the last one standing that played in the NSL and the Aleague.

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    Did anyone catch the Deng tackle for his yellow?

    I haven't seen a reply but at the ground it looks like the Key Rowles tackle last round.

     

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    It was very similar. I think he might have been less forceful at the point of contact. Also the ref actually saw it, and we know A-League refs are loathe to hand out straight reds these days.

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    15 minutes ago, mack said:

    It was very similar. I think he might have been less forceful at the point of contact. Also the ref actually saw it, and we know A-League refs are loathe to hand out straight reds these days.

    Especially when the player is one of Muscats:xmad:

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    1 hour ago, Erebus said:

    It's the end of an Aleague era with the likes of Bridge, Brosque, Santalab, McKay, Henrique and to a lesser extent Valeri retiring all at once. These guys are all stalwarts at their teams.

    Reddy is almost the last one standing that played in the NSL and the Aleague.

    Broxham and Matt Simon leading the old guard

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    12 hours ago, wendybr said:

    Ive had 'clodhopping' memories too!

    Lol!

    This has truly been a season to forget...but THAT report headline will be one of the better memories. :lol::lol:

    That was last season!

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    Oh...OK

    The last 3 seasons have all merged together in my mind. :pardon:

    So..........this season, we didn't even have the fun of a "clodhopping" headline. No wonder it felt so dismal. ;)

     

     

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    5 hours ago, theguyyouwishyouwere said:

    giphy.gif?cid=790b76115cc6718b6a66664136

    You don't think we had a dismal season? :P

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    We survived the Olympic park years. Well 7000 of us did anyway. Hopefully next season we press on. Fresh start, the fans come back and we gain a top 4 finish. Unfortunately, we’ve always concentrated on defence. As the quality of finishing is so poor in this league it’s possible to win it with a **** defence but great attacking play. After all, you only have to score more goals than the opposition. Therefore, for the fans sake I’d concentrate on that aspect of our game. We missed far to many easy chances in the last 3 years. 

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    Every team that has won the comp has had a rock solid defence. Defence wins titles. Glory conceded 50 goals last year (finished 9th), and 23 this year (1st).

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    negative. Defence wins championships. Just look at Perth this year, SFC last year, WSW in 2012/13. Almost every team that wins the PP does so off the back of a stingy defence.

    We leaked so many soft goals it wasn't funny. You stop leaking goals and you gain all those points we lost due to our terrible defence. We've conceded the most goals this year than we have in our history - 54 goals! That's 2 every game guaranteed to concede. That is terrible. its the 3rd worst in the league, behind Brisbane and CCM below us on the table.

    Other teams in the past (ie City/Heart) have had great attacks and scored for fun. Still didn't win anything because they conceded too many.

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    2 hours ago, Erebus said:

    negative. Defence wins championships. Just look at Perth this year, SFC last year, WSW in 2012/13. Almost every team that wins the PP does so off the back of a stingy defence.

    We leaked so many soft goals it wasn't funny. You stop leaking goals and you gain all those points we lost due to our terrible defence. We've conceded the most goals this year than we have in our history - 54 goals! That's 2 every game guaranteed to concede. That is terrible. its the 3rd worst in the league, behind Brisbane and CCM below us on the table.

    Other teams in the past (ie City/Heart) have had great attacks and scored for fun. Still didn't win anything because they conceded too many.

    Approximately 65% of all football games are 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0, 0-2, 2-1, 1-2, 2-2. Also, only 15% of games are likely to end with a side scoring 3 or more.

    A team who cops 2 per game while only scoring 1.5 per game is going to have major troubles.

    Up top of the table, Perth scored just over 2 per game while only conceding 0.85 per game.

    Only one team has ever won the League while conceding more than 30 goals in a season, Melbourne Victory in 2014/15. In 16/17 Sydney FC only conceded 12! 

    It's almost irrelevant how many goals you score. If you won every game 1-0 you'd "only" score 27 goals but you'd win the league by ~25 points.

    Scoring 40 and conceding less than 20 in the A-League will almost certainly put you in the top 2. 30/15 would probably get there too.

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    16 minutes ago, mack said:

    Approximately 65% of all football games are 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0, 0-2, 2-1, 1-2, 2-2. Also, only 15% of games are likely to end with a side scoring 3 or more.

    A team who cops 2 per game while only scoring 1.5 per game is going to have major troubles.

    Up top of the table, Perth scored just over 2 per game while only conceding 0.85 per game.

    Only one team has ever won the League while conceding more than 30 goals in a season, Melbourne Victory in 2014/15. In 16/17 Sydney FC only conceded 12! 

    It's almost irrelevant how many goals you score. If you won every game 1-0 you'd "only" score 27 goals but you'd win the league by ~25 points.

    Scoring 40 and conceding less than 20 in the A-League will almost certainly put you in the top 2. 30/15 would probably get there too.

    Yep Agree

    I'm not trying to pile hate on the manager when I say the only real negative about Babbel I have is /was our defence this season.  I really like the style of play at times but.......all the soft goals we conceded.

    Now......I know we were weak on quality and had injuries...........our GK let us down and we had NT and junior NT selections etc and so on....but we conceded some really soft goals. My way of thinking would of been to bolster the defence first then work on attack. Then again the quality of some of the defensive work meant we could of had 8 at the back and still conceded.

    How we let the Roar draw after being ahead 2-0 and losing the plot in injury time still rankles.

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