Hyundai A-League talking points

What did we learn from Timmy Cahill’s return to his hometown Sydney? That and more in this week’s talking points.

Does John van ‘t Schip need to push Cahill higher up the pitch?

City boss JVS said last week that Cahill has lived up to his expectations so far this season. But could City get more out of the veteran Caltex Socceroo?

Cahill has been deployed in a deeper midfield role over his first five games in the Hyundai A-League.

While he has done an adequate job – who will ever forget that wonder goal in the Derby – the 36-year-old could have an even greater influence on the side.

Cahill was hardly in the match against the Wanderers on Friday night until he had a rare chance to get into the box early in the second half.

That’s when Timmy did what Timmy does, getting on the end of an inviting cross to give City the lead.

For a player of his scoring nous and goal-poaching ability, City must find a way of getting Cahill further forward and in the box more often to get even more reward from their marquee man.

It makes sense.

Theo still a master shot-stopper

It’s hard to believe there were a few calls for Michael Theo to be dropped during the week after an apparent error in the draw with Adelaide United in Round 6.

While the 35-year-old may no longer be assured of the no.1 jersey from Jamie Young, Theo is still a top-quality keeper.

Let’s not forget he has five Hyundai A-League titles to his name.

With the pressure on him, Theo responded in the best possible way on Saturday night, making a string of fine saves as Roar halted the Sky Blues juggernaut with a 1-1 draw at Suncorp Stadium.

He not only almost single-handedly kept his side in the game in the first half, but may have also silenced a few critics as well.

Are the Reds showing signs of imploding?

It was never going to be easy defending their title but things certainly aren’t going to plan for Adelaide United.

Seven games, no wins, key players injured and propping up the rest of the Hyundai A-League at the foot of the ladder.

Sure, they are in a similar position to this time last season but are the crevices starting to appear becoming full-blown holes?

It’s hard not to think that after a frustrating night in the west against Perth Glory that saw them throw away another lead and lose 3-1.

The Adelaide players – and coach Gui Amor – were unable to remain composed after Glory’s contentious second goal.

A red card to Jordan O’Doherty, an apparent elbow by Iacopo La Rocca and Amor’s uncharacteristic show of emotion that saw him sent to the stands indicates the Reds may just be buckling under pressure right now.

Has Spotless softened the intimidatory atmosphere of a trip Wanderers?

Over the last few seasons, there’s been no harder road trip in the Hyundai A-League than a visit to Pirtek Stadium against the Wanderers.

With the huge backing of the incredible RBB, the fans so close to the action they can almost touch the players and a wall of noise behind the home side for 90 minutes, it proved a fortress for Tony Popovic’s side.

But the rebuild of Pirtek means Spotless Stadium is Western Sydney’s new “Wanderland” and – as of yet – it hasn’t proved a happy hunting ground for the Red and Black.

The 1-1 draw with Melbourne City on Friday night means it’s three straight draws at the venue this season, a venue where the fans are certainly a lot further away from the pitch than at Pirtek.

Where are Adelaide’s goals going to come from?

When it rains, it pours. That certainly seems the case for Adelaide United.

Already struggling for results and without injured attackers Sergio Cirio and Henrique, the last thing they needed was to see leading scorer Sergi Guardiola limp out of Friday night’s loss to Perth with a knee injury.

While the Spaniard’s ailment might not be too serious, it does beg the question how will Adelaide find the back of the net if he does need to spend an extended amount of time on the sidelines?

Guardiola has not only scored three of their seven goals so far this season but is also proving to be an excellent creator of opportunities for those around him.

Amor’s side will need to discover goals from other avenues if they are to get out of the mire they are currently in.

#F3Derby membership initiative pays off

Hats off to both the Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners for their clever collaboration to get members of both clubs to Sunday’s F3 Derby.

Under the agreement between the two clubs, full-season ticketed members of both clubs are able to attend the away derby matches free of charge for the next two seasons.

As a result a huge contingent of Mariners fans made the trek up the F3 to see their side’s gritty 1-1 draw with the Jets, with a healthy crowd of 11,283 in attendance at McDonald Jones Stadium.

And they got a cracker of a clash, too.

 

Football Federation Australia

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