The Crossbar: Derby days are over

It’s hard to believe the A-League used to exist without any derby matches. After going years without a genuine derby fixture, we have been absolutely spoiled in the last two weeks with the Melbourne and Sydney derbies.

Not only has there been huge crowds in attendance but also exciting games to keep the fans happy. I hope you all enjoyed them because it’s gonna be a while until the next batch of derby games. Get comfortable, this will take a while.

Our big observation
How fitting that in the 10th year of the competition, it’s the teams who dominated back in the early days look like being the pacesetters this year. Victory, Adelaide and Sydney have jumped out of the blocks early and look like the ones to beat. Just like it used to be.

These snuck under The Crossbar (likes)
– Sydney’s freak goals on Friday night. Two goals of the highest order from Janko and Dimitrijevic.
– Melbourne Derby. Can’t we have a derby match every round?
– Sergio Cirio is absolutely lighting up the league right now. Long may it continue.
– 14,068 people rocked up to the Melbourne Derby to watch Melbourne play Canberra in the W-League. Awesome!
– Nathan Burns not only being back in the league but killing it at the Phoenix.

What went over The Crossbar (dislikes)
– David Villa leaving after only four games. Was it something we said?
– Streaker at the Wanderers game. Great, now Saudi Arabian fans will think that’s how we all act all the time at the football.
– Newcastle’s lacklustre performance away to Wellington. Spoon favourites.
– The Sydney-Adelaide FFA Cup match taking place at Allianz Stadium. Should have been played elsewhere.

Ref watch
Keeping the bastards honest with our weekly rating of the brave men and women of the referring fraternity. This week, a B.

Questionable penalty call in the Melbourne Derby but apart from that, no real shockers. Except for Ben Williams’ stinker in the FFA Cup midweek, of course. If he is the best we got, then we are seriously screwed, friends.

Good form/bad form
Good form
Michael Thwaite not losing his proverbial at the mascot who gave him the business in the tunnel pregame. A better man than I.

Bad form
The mascot who gave the business to Michael Thwaite in the tunnel pregame. Show some respect.

These players have played for both teams
Kristian Sarkies in City v United
Best known for: bringing the ‘next big thing’ in Australian football. We are still waiting by the way.

Ruben Zadkovich in Perth v Jets
Best known for: miss-firing long range shots. Loved by all.

Liam Reddy in Sydney FC v Mariners
Best known for: mid-air froffs during those long trips to Wellington.

Carlos Hernandez in Victory v Phoenix
Best known for: long-range shots that hit the target. The total opposite of Zadkovich.
Last week’s predictions
The “Our derby is heaps sick, your derby is heaps shit” debate will rage on between those in Sydney and Melbourne for another week. That debate is continuing right now.
Besart Berisha to do something insanely insane. For some reason, a derby will bring out the crazies in him. He was in crazy good form. I’ll pay that one.
Brisbane to end its winless start to the year. They can’t lose three in a row, can they? Turns out yes, yes they can.
Western Sydney to keep its proud history in Grand Finals intact and lose the ACL Final first leg. Got that wrong. Still can lose the final though.
Andy Keogh to continue his goalscoring run. Banging them in for fun. Wrong. Really, really wrong.

This week’s predictions
– City v United on Friday will be an absolute goal fest.
– Arnie v Central Coast will kick off big time.
– Wanderers to go down bravely in the ACL Final second leg.

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