The Newcastle Jets have put on a clinic to demolish a demoralised Western Sydney Wanderers 4-0 in Newcastle tonight.
Coming into the game having never lost in Newcastle, the Wanderers were behind the pace of the game from the opening kick off and were completely outplayed by the rampant Jets, with the visiting side having their internal issues exposed in a post-game interview with Mark Bridge.
The Wanderers had their warning just 5 minutes into the game when Andrew Nabbout had what appeared to be the first goal. Petratos cut back onto his right to cross into the middle that found Nabbout between the Wanderers central defence, he finished well to the near post however the celebrations were cut short by a correct offside call. Not less than 5 minutes later the Jets broke the deadlock. With Mark Bridge not bothering to track his fullback, Koutroumbis took the ball to the edge of the Wanderers penalty area and fired past Vedran Janjetovic at the far post.
Newcastle were unlucky not to have been even further in front before half-time but the break saw that luck end, as they turned int a second half that stunned the abject visitors. Jason Hoffman, having been pushed further up the field as a result of the Newcastle injury crisis picked up the second of the game after more inept Wanderers defence. Aspro lunged into a tackle on Joey Champness and failed to clear, the ball wrigged into the path of Hoffman who had the freedom of the pitch, Thwaite was nowhere to be seen and Keanu Baccus couldn't stop Hoffman placing the ball past Janjetovic into the side netting.
Ben Kantarovski picked up the 3rd from a Jets corner kick. The ball was curled into the 6 yard box, Janjetovic, who had a complete nightmare of a game came & completely missed getting a touch, Kantarovski couldn't miss from point blank range
The fourth was icing on the cake for Newcastle as they tore apart the weak defence once again. Petratos was out wide & heading out over the byline, his backheel found open space in the penalty box, Ugarkovic strode onto the ball, Jonathan Aspro resembled a traffic cone instead of a central defender and let Ugarkovic waltz through on goal to finish strongly with his right foot.
Mark Bridge had a post-match interview that made it clear there are players at the club who don't want to follow our new coach and would rather do their own thing. It is time for the club & the coach to stomp out the rebellion and send the offenders packing. The PFA will have a cry but the time for forgiveness is over. I hope Gombau forces them to do sprints & laps of the Blacktown training facility tomorrow morning and afternoon, and every day until they show some pride in the shirt or they ask for a release.
Oriol Riera came on and spent most of the half stamping around like a petulant child and looks like he'd rather leave in January than follow through on the two year contract Popovic gave him. Raul Llorente used his time mostly to bitch at the ref when not getting fouls go his way. Brendan Hamill isn't an NPL level defender let alone the A-League and the moment he is cut from the club our defensive stocks will rise even if we don't replace him. Mark Bridge stood around watching Keanu Baccus try to defend multiple players for the entire second half. Jumpei was the exact same useless waste of a foreign spot he's always been. Steven Lustica came on but you wouldn't have known it since he was invisible and neither touched the ball effectively or put in any crunching tackles.
Janjetovic spilled the ball more than he caught it. Roly is getting hacked to bits every week and the rest of the team don't seem to be interested in putting in a few hard challenges of their own to protect him or warn the opposition to stop. Thwaite & Aspro were softer than a chocolate bar left out on the road in 40 degree heat, and they looked completely clueless on the ball. Cejudo isn't a winger and so far hasn't shown he's worth his foreign spot and finally, Keanu Baccus, a young player in his first real shot at pro football is being let down by much older, much more experienced players.
This was a pathetic, heartless, inept display by a band of players many of whom look like they'd rather be sitting at home than getting paid to be professional footballers. Playing badly is one thing. Not making even a token effort is another. Those who don't want to put in that effort don't deserve to wear the shirt. Too often in modern football it's the coach who gets hung out to dry by the media, and we can already see many high profile journalists taking shots at Gombau and wondering "how long until Gombau is sacked".
Gombau right now isn't the problem.