Wow. We've only had two weeks' worth of A League, but they sure have been action packed! So much drama, a number of talking points, but there's no denying that the A League is full of surprises. Enough chit chat, let's get straight into it.
GAME OF THE WEEK
This was almost a toss up between two games. While I'm giving it to one, I've gotta give them both a shout out I think.
The Grand Final rematch had to be a fiery encounter, Western Sydney would have been keen to make amends for their 3rd Grand Final loss in their short history.
In any case, to come from behind and pull out a last minute winner is a hell of a way to have your fans on the edge of your seat. Even as a neutral I can say that I was keenly watching even though I would've preferred a draw, what a finish. Super sub Santalab cleverly put away his first goal with a cheeky backheel inside the 6 yard box, and completed the comeback with a cool finish at the 91st minute to ensure an undefeated start to the Wanderer's season.
The other game that gets a special mention would be the Melbourne Derby. I'm not gonna pontificate on it here, I'll talk enough about it soon enough.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
*sigh* Soon enough just arrived.
Once again, I have to begrudgingly give it to a strike that came against my beloved team, and will no doubt be a major highlight for the entire season. Come to think of it, I feel like the A League is going to milk this goal for years to come.
As the old saying goes, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Tim Cahill, one of Australia's greatest players, needed no introduction to the Australian public when he made his A League debut. However, he still felt the need to mark the occasion in spectacular style with that strike in the very first Melbourne Derby of the season.
Special mention goes out to Marco Rojas, who scored a goal of individual brilliance of his own on the other end. Unfortunately for Victory, it was far too little far too late.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: THE UNHERALDED HERO
Changing up this section slightly, as I feel any player of the week will have the headlines and spotlight every week enough as it is. I'm using this section to highlight players whose performances and contributions may have gone unnoticed but deserve their name in the headlines as much as anyone else.
The first of my two Unheralded Heroes is Newcastle Jets' Andrew Nabbout.
Nabbout had a torrid time in his last season with the Melbourne Victory, but after a stint in Malaysia he seems to have done well enough for himself over in Newcastle. His presence has changed dramatically up front, despite not scoring in the 4-0 romp of Brisbane Roar. If he keeps this up, the 23 year old has nowhere to go but up.
My other unheralded hero comes in the form of Melbourne City's newest Argentinian recruit Fernando Brandán. He may have gotten himself on the scoresheet towards the end of the game, but his overall attacking prowess and aggressive runs coupled with a shocking defensive performance from Victory's Jason Geria made Brandán look like a superstar. In any case, I feel that he'll be a dangerous one to watch for the season. Fullbacks beware!
The goals just keep on coming!— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) October 16, 2016
Fernando Brandan is fast becoming a fan favourite at the Club and this is why! pic.twitter.com/sK9chNd4sD
The drawbacks to such a positive round were few, but regardless, they get a nod.
Adelaide United will be without Sergio Cirio for an indefinite period of time due to a medial ligament injury. The sour part of this injury was the fact that it came within the first minute of play against the Wanderers. From barely having started a match to a sudden no return date, I know I'd be rather miffed if it was me. Wish him a speedy recovery, he's a quality player to watch.
Another bad highlight was Paul Okon's assessment of his side's 4-0 loss to Sydney FC. He suggested that the Mariners were the better side. Let me tell you my friend, 65% possession and 500 passes count for absolute squat when you have only 2 shots on target, and not to mention, 4 goals conceded. Y'know, the little things.
Once again, The Arnie is my little rant section for the week.
Flares. Enough is enough. How many times do fans need to be told that flares are not acceptable? Don't give me that "no pyro no party" line, if you are the reason that the team is docked competition points, you should see yourself out. Nobody wants you around if you're just going to cause issues for the club, regardless of which club it is.
I commend the North Terrace fans for pointing out the culprit during the Melbourne Derby, he deserves what's coming to him. In a country dominated by AFL fanatics, there is media and an excessive number of police lurking around every corner to make another hooligan related headline in the news. They only need an inch, one incident. And quite frankly I'm tired of the countless headlines, articles and opinions that tarnish the beautiful game.
We're better than this. Make them admire football, not condemn it.