Wellington Phoenix’s recent form slump has seen the side pick up just one point from a possible nine in their last three matches.

Losses in crucial matches against the Roar, last night’s heavy defeat against Wanderers and a draw against cellar dwellers Adelaide have left the Phoenix with a lot of work to do, and will have many doubting if they can go the distance. It’s this inconsistency that is currently their downfall.

Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre taking over the reins from Ernie Merrick brought about a period of form that looked sure to carry the team safely into the Finals Series.

But with the end to that honeymoon period coming as swiftly as it came, the Nix might look to spend another year watching the finals from their couch.

It was almost instantly clear last night that the side looked to lack the composure of the one that dismantled the Victory just weeks ago.

Gone was the pace, gone was the high energy, and gone was the incision of a side that has at times looked deadly.

Kosta Barbarouses is the personification of the issues currently facing this Phoenix side.

The player’s one directional approach last night reflected a Barbarouses we have seen many times this season, taking on defenders, and more often than not being dispossessed.

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His stats will tell you that he completes more dribbles than any other Phoenix player but that doesn’t tell the full story.

Barbarouses is caught time and time again trying to do it all for his side, the fundamental individualism that results in such an inconsistent Phoenix side.

At his best, his turn of pace and creativity is enough to trouble any A-League defender. But at his worst? In the past few weeks Barbarouses has been infuriating.

The “do it on your own” attitude has hampered the side on too many occasions yet he isn’t the only culprit.

Both Gui Finkler and Roly Bonevacia have been guilty of taking things into their own hands when the going gets tough, a reaction that has certainly brought the worst out of the two of them.

Both have had indifferent seasons to date, and it’s no coincidence that their best performances have coincided with a Phoenix victory.

The side that Wellington can field look devastating on paper, though with the individualism plaguing the side, on paper is where it will remain.

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