Because I’m going to be on school camp next week, I’ll have to write next week’s A-League post by Tuesday.
I also need to get a backlog up for the unique sports advent calendar…
As well as this, the details for the postponed Victory-Phoenix game have been confirmed. It’s a Tuesday night in January, and because I’m not writing a post about it, I’ll just tweet my prediction when I get to it.
*sigh* Deadline fever…
Game of the Week – Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Come on, this one’s a gimme. Two teams who had a rivalry starting in shirt colours and lingering colonial hostility are now big rivals, at the top of the A-League tree, having just come off a Cup final, with City inflicting the first defeat on the Sky Blues since May 30. This game couldn’t be any bigger. The winner will be my tip for the title.
Mini-Article – The Resignation of Ernie Merrick
The manager of the Wellington Phoenix, Ernie Merrick, resigned on Sunday after Wellington lost to the previously bottom Adelaide United.
The WeNix have scored just six goals in their eight matches, and look in dire straits, with two assistant coaches taking charge for tomorrow’s game against Central Coast.
“I take full responsibility for position the team is currently in,” [Merrick] said.
“I feel that I have not performed well enough as head coach, as we have a very strong squad that should be higher up the table.
“It’s therefore the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else to take over. We have a run of home games coming up and I think this will give my successor the best opportunity to take the team forward.”
(quoted from the ABC article)
In Merrick’s first season in charge of Wellington, he took the team to a ninth-placed finish, above only Melbourne Heart. This was a reversal of the previous season, when they finished last (Merrick’s predecessor, Ricki Herbert, was sacked during this year).
2014-15 bought a fourth-placed finish, and the hope of brighter skies ahead for the only New Zealand team in the A-League. However, it was not to be. They finished ninth again in 2015-16, ahead of a lacklustre Central Coast, and are currently tenth. A sad finish to Merrick’s time across the Tasman.
Chart X – Tight Defences
We’re nine weeks into the A-League season, and Sydney have only conceded three goals. I started wondering if this was the best in A-League history.
Prior to this season, the fewest goals conceded after nine games was five, set by the Central Coast Mariners in their 2007-08 title win, and equalled in 2009-10.
The 2007-08 Mariners and Sydney FC both had just three goals after seven games. While the Mariners conceded a goal in round 8, Sydney didn’t, and are now two goals clear.
I’ve gotten 19/44 so far, a figure of 43.18%. That would be 11.65 out of 27 possible points, putting me sixth in the A-League.