It’s the time of the year when clubs look towards the second half of the season and The Football Sack critiques each club’s progress so far.

Do you agree with our assessments made in the return of our mid-season report cards?

Semester Summary: It’s dire straits in Brisbane who are so often accustomed to being one of the A-League’s heavyweight clubs. The Roar sit second from the bottom with a dismal record of 13 points from 16 games which is unfortunately on track to fall short of the current all-time worst Roar season of 30 points in the 09/10 A-League season. Of the nine home matches this season the Roar have picked up just five points from a possible 27, a horrid home record for a club that once viewed Suncorp Stadium as a fortress. Extensive injury issues have plagued John Aloisi with selection headaches for months with a total of 13 first-team players enduring lengthy stints on the sideline. Disciplinary issues are also a cause for concern for Brisbane who have been on the receiving end of a league-high 42 yellow cards along with multiple game suspensions to captain Matt McKay and former Greek international Avraam Papadopoulos for straight red cards.

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Areas of Excellence: Bright moments have been few and far between for the Roar but the opportunities handed to youth players is perhaps the only silver lining to be found in their ailing season performance. Brisbane’s young brigade have all received plenty of minutes this season with players such as Rahmat Akbari, Daniel Leck and Connor O’Toole debuting and featuring regularly in match-day squads.

Areas in need of improvement: It’s plain and simple, everything. Brisbane have not carved out a tactical identity thus far and their general play has been disjointed and in most cases tactically inept. Aloisi showed he can set the side up to grind out results when they defeated Adelaide United 2-1 away from home in round 13 but that same defence first approach has been sparingly utilised. Only eight players have scored this season and of that select group, only Maccarone and Papadopolous have hit the back of the net more than once. Brisbane will need a host of attacking players to step up quite quickly if any slim hope of a season revival is to occur.

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Top students: Massimo Maccarone. The Italian entered the season with question marks surrounding his age and whether or not he was to be a bona fide asset to Brisbane or a washed up Serie A veteran. 16 games in and Maccarone has well and truly been one of the few players providing an ounce of spark for the Roar with seven goals and one assist to his credit. In recent rounds Maccarone has dropped deeper in Aloisi’s 4-4-3 formation effectively playing as a false nine or a No.10. The tactical change has seen the Roar’s marquee man receiving far more time on the ball than previously and is now causing trouble by running at defenders rather than posting up and shielding for link-up play.

Class clown: In a side full of under performing players it may be cruel to single out a scapegoat. However Petros (Peter) Skapetis has been massively underwhelming this season. After banging in goals left, right and centre during the pre-season the former Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers player has struggled in his first few months in Brisbane and as it stands has not a single goal or assist to his name. Skapetis at times has seemed at times to be on a completely different wavelength to his teammates with his attacking runs which is hampering his ability to get on the ball in dangerous positions.

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Whilst flashes of brilliance are fleeting it’s clear Skapetis is a talented yet out of form footballer that hasn’t been able to translate his natural ability to match-day performances. It’s black and white, he needs to be and should be scoring goals.

Grade: D

Outlook: Finals football is still technically within reach if the Roar string an unexpected run of form together, but I wouldn’t be betting anything on such a drastic turnaround this season. The impending AFC Champions League qualification playoffs provide an opportunity for some hope for the club and Aloisi himself has optimistically labelled the fixtures as a ‘welcome distraction’ from the A-League season. Time is running out for Brisbane to revive a semblance of positivity from the season and perhaps fans should start looking towards the 18/19 campaign should ACL qualification fall by the wayside in the coming weeks.

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Josh is a student journalist at the University of Queensland currently covering Brisbane Roar's 17/18 season.