The A League is BACK!
No doubt, we've been blessed with an abundance of football during the off season. But let's face it, the Olympics, UEFA Euro Championships and the Copa America Centenario don't get me to scream at the tv like a psycho like my beloved Melbourne Victory.
These weekly reviews will be short, and will feature player, game and goal of the round, as well as my own segment the Good, the Bad and the Arnie. The good and bad are pretty straight forward, the Arnie section I'll be using to have a whinge on something for the week.
GAME OF THE WEEK
For me, it has to be the 3-3 draw between Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners. I was keeping track of the score and wrote off the Mariners once I saw the half time score. But I've always said, no matter which way you slice it, a 3-3 draw is usually an incredible game. Perth will be kicking themselves for throwing away a big 3-0 lead, it could've easily been more if they'd been able to convert their chances. Despite the score, Mariners goalkeeper Ivan Necevski made some key saves to keep his side in it. Mariners might have felt aggrieved over having a clear penalty claim denied, but to still get a point out of this game was a great effort.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
As much as it pained me to watch as a Victory supporter, I can't deny the effort from Luke De Vere. Falling backwards amidst a scramble inside the box, De Vere somehow managed to chip it beautifully into the top left corner and left Lawrence Thomas stranded.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
This week I won't decide on one player, because frankly I haven't watched all of the games to make a decision. But I have to mention 2 young players that caught my attention, Adelaide's Jesse Makarounas and Sydney's Brandon O'Neill.
Makarounas had a bit of a hard time trying to crack into Victory's starting XI last season, but has gotten off to a good start to his time at United. He had the highest passing rate of any player in round one and capped it off with Adelaide's equaliser against the Newcastle Jets from outside the box.
O'Neill stunned me with his performance in the emotionally charged Sydney Derby. Pulling the strings in midfield, he capped off the perfect start for Sydney with a fantastic set piece from outside the box.
The record attendance for an A League game set by the Sydney Derby. No matter who you support, the record attendance is a big step for Australian football. It proves that we, the fans, are out there and it's possible to make football a juggernaut in this country littered with sport everywhere you turn.
Matt McKay's 200th game. Not that 200 games for a club is a bad thing at all, but the way it ended was bad. A red card is never a way you want to cap off any milestone game, whether or not it's two yellows or a straight red, you definitely want to play the whole game and get a decent applause from the crowd or whatever they choose to do.
Speaking of which, the amount of red cards in round 1. Damn man, 3 reds to open the season. Certainly makes round 2 interesting for some clubs.
Here's my little whinge for the week. I'm a Victory fan, and by no means do I support Sydney FC in any way, shape or form. But to the Western Sydney fans, quit saying that Sydney is red and black. It's been over 1000 days since you won a derby, and you were spanked 4-0 on the first day of the season. I don't care whose home game it was, you lost. Win a derby and we might talk. Until then, Sydney is sky blue. I don't mind saying that, because there's fact behind it.