The False 9: Round 11 - Sydney FC boring or just down on their luck?

Are Sydney FC plain boring or just a bit out of sorts while they wait for players to start turning chances into goals more often?

A-League Rd 11 - Wellington v Sydney

Source: Getty Images

It has developed into one of the biggest debates in the game heading into Christmas as rival fans enjoy sticking it to the Sky Blues on social media for what they clearly regard as a distinct lack of enterprising football.

Fourth-placed Sydney has only scored 11 goals in 11 games. That is one less than Perth Glory, the same as Central Coast Mariners, one more than Adelaide United and only two more than Newcastle Jets, who define the word conservative with their style of play.


But Sydney has only conceded nine goals, the lowest total in the competition, and it is their defence that is keeping them in touch with the leaders.

False 9's view is that Sydney, with their style of play, can't expect to be the most exciting team even if they get their act together, but that they aren't trying to be negative.

It's true, they're not great to watch at the moment, but they're having problems trying to establish fluency in attack and their new front-third players still haven't properly gelled yet.

But whether they do establish fluency and their front-third players become the collective force Sydney want them to be remains to be seen. They can't wait forever.

What do you think out there, particularly you Sydney FC fans who obviously watch them more closely than anyone?

Berisha off the (Boss)chaarts!

Besart Berisha has moved on from the old days of inviting opposition players to settle things out back of the grandstand after the game to sticking it to rival fans during the game, as he did when his Melbourne Victory side lost 2-1 to Melbourne City.

It is coming up to four years since Berisha, then with Brisbane Roar and with his shirt off and sporting a frightful mohawk, grabbed then-Sydney FC defender Pascal Bosschaart at the end of a game, leading to wild scenes at Suncorp Stadium.

Bosschaart later revealed the Albanian was angry because he thought the Sydney player had made derogatory remarks about Berisha's family the previous time the two teams played, a suggestion Bosschaart vehemently denied.

Anyway, it's time to let bygones be bygones and indulge in Christmas cheer, so this one is for you, Bes.

Man of the hour (and a half)

Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen showed all of his ability and experience to keep numerous Melbourne Victory shots out in City's win.

"That’s when you earn your money, when you’re under pressure," Sorensen said. "Sometimes you need players to step up and a lot of players stepped up and made a difference and that’s what we needed. It was tough, I was really tired at the end, it was a hot day and we rode our luck.

"I made a couple of good saves and we had some blocks on the line. They would be disappointed for missing their chances, but we fought hard and we got over the line. It’s always nice to come good in a derby."

Memories of Ante Covic

The highlight of Sorensen's work was his one-handed save of a Kosta Barbarouses header in the 48th minute.

"Most of the time you get a hand to it but you can’t quite get it round the post," Sorensen said. "Afterwards I had a look at the screen and I was pretty surprised. It’s always good to make a save and as it happens in the game you just instinctively react.

"It was important because it was right after half-time and had they scored it would’ve been really difficult for us."

The stop brought back memories of another great one-handed reflex save by an A-League goalkeeper, this time by Ante Covic for Western Sydney Wanderers in the second leg of the Asian Champions League final against Al Hilal in November of last year.

Kenny Lowe-isms, part 7224

The Perth Glory coach referred to the perfectly-executed, top-corner strike by Western Sydney Wanderers and former Glory midfielder Mitch Nichols for the last goal of the match in what was a 2-2 draw.

"I was chatting to Mitch at the end of the game," Lowe said. "We had shooting practice at Mcgillvray Oval and he used to put them in the trees."

Lowe is entitled to talk about glorious strikes. Here's the proof:

How did that feel?

it was a cracking late winner Dimitri Petratos scored after coming off the bench for Brisbane Roar against Central Coast Mariners, pushing the ball on to his left foot and then swinging it around helpless goalkeeper Paul Izzo.

"You’ve got to prove something every game you play," Petratos said. "The coach makes his choices with the team and I’ve just got to accept it and do my job when I get on the field.

"After I came on I just tried to go out there and do my job and help the boys, and ended up getting the goal. It was a good feeling, the boys worked hard throughout the whole game. It was a good build-up play. We worked hard to get the ball back and we ended up scoring."

Tweet, tweet #1

Unfortunately, Kaka has left the country without signing for a guest stint with an A-League club.

Instead, after enjoying an end-of-season holiday Down Under during which the Brazilian great swam with our sea turtles and planted gum trees for our koala bears, he has moved on to discussing more mundane matters, like his marital status.

Tweet, tweet #2

Cross-code bromance alert as two greats schedule a clash on FIFA.

Can't wait for . . .

Melbourne Victory to go for five in a row against Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Well, they won't actually be "going" for it, since we're talking about five losses in a row, but as Victory's losing streak continues - they haven't won since November 28 - it becomes more and more fascinating to watch the defending champions try to break out of it. 

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6 min read
Published 22 December 2015 at 2:17pm
By Greg Prichard