The False 9: Round 21 - Calling Sydney FC fans, this is it

Memo: Sydney FC fans. Regardless of whether you disagree with the way the Sky Blues play under coach Graham Arnold, your team needs your support more than ever in Wednesday night's massive AFC Asian Champions League game against Guangzhou Evergrande at Allianz Stadium.

Sydney FC

Source: Getty Images

Who knows how many thousands of members of the local Chinese community will accept free tickets to the game from the visiting Asian powerhouse?

It will be embarrassing for the Sydney club if there are nearly as many fans cheering on Guangzhou as there are supporting the home team.

Sydney simply can't afford to still be on zero points after two of their six group-stage games.


The challenge to finish in the top two of the four-team group and advance to the knockout stage of the tournament would likely become too difficult from there.

It can be done, Guangzhou can be beaten.

Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory have both beaten them at home in the ACL during the past two years.

But it's going to be tough for an injury-hit Sydney FC outfit, and that's why they need their fans to get behind them in big numbers.

Eager Ninja

In the wake of Western Sydney striker Brendon Santalab declaring he had employed a "Ninja kick" to score the winning goal against Perth Glory, False 9 has uncovered exclusive video of the self-styled "super-sub" in secret training for the match.


Sepp Blatter band-aid award

Not one, but two of Sepp Blatter's massively oversized band-aids go to the fourth official, who drew possibly the shortest straw in football and had Victory coach Kevin Muscat in one ear and Sydney coach Graham Arnold in the other during the "Big Blue".

False 9 went to Dr Google to study up on perforated eardrums and found that one of the causes of such a problem can be "a sudden loud noise, for example from a nearby explosion". It sounds like "Musky" and "Arnie" all over.

The fourth official presumably has two of them. Perforated eardrums, that is.


Tweet, tweet #1

As long as they don't ask Alessandro Del Piero to perform a tackle, he'll probably win it!

Tweet, tweet #2

Come on, cashed-up Melbourne City, where's the Dom Perignon champagne and Beluga caviar? Only joking.

When you've broken your leg, torn your ankle ligaments and dislocated your shoulder, you haven't got much to celebrate, in which case a nice fruit basket makes much more sense.

Tweet, tweet #3

False 9 always enjoys the work of Mr Kenneth Lowe.

How did that feel?

Romeo Castelen's cracking goal for Western Sydney against Glory did wonders for his average.

Before the game he was averaging 47 shots per goal, and now he's down to a goal every 25.5 shots.

After breaking his goal-scoring drought, the Dutchman took the opportunity to make the point that scoring goals is just one of many parts to his game, and that if he wasn't scoring it didn't mean he wasn't still making a major contribution.

"When you do not score it is hard, but my game is different to that of an out-and-out striker," Castelen said.

"A real number nine is there to score goals, but I bring other things. I hold the ball up, I dribble, I create scoring chances and I make space for my teammates.

"When I'm not scoring it's not the end of the world, because it is not the biggest part of my game.

"If I score it is always great, of course, because I'm getting into those positions, so that is an extra part of my game that I can work on.

"It is always nice to score a goal but in every game I work hard and create a lot of chances."

Miracle at Hunter Stadium?

Could it happen? Could Newcastle Jets actually make the A-League finals for the first time since the 2008-2009 season?

Stranger things have happened. George W. Bush not only got a first term as United States president, he was voted in for a second as well.

Newcastle's recent revival means they are now only four points outside of the top six with six rounds to go and if Sydney lose to City on Saturday and the Jets beat Glory on Monday, that gap will be reduced to just one point.

Coach Scott Miller's team has done it tough at times this season, but as another member of the world-wide Miller clan - Steve - once sang, "you know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven".

Can't wait for . . .

Brisbane Roar at home to Western Sydney on Friday night.

Roar are taking on water at the moment. They were out-played, and, as such, John Aloisi was out-coached by Guillermo Amor, in the 3-0 loss to Adelaide United last weekend. The week before that they were belted 6-3 by Perth Glory.

Brisbane had most of the ball against Adelaide, but they did very little that was meaningful with it.

There wasn't nearly enough genuine thrust and the Reds comfortably soaked up what Roar produced and came up with goals of their own.

Western Sydney haven't been in great form recently, but they've still played well enough to pick up four points from their past two games and push two points clear at the top of the table.

Adelaide have overtaken Brisbane for second place. The heat is on Roar.

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5 min read
Published 1 March 2016 at 6:29pm
By Greg Prichard