The Football Sack takes a long hard look at the ‘greatest A-League team of all time’ to see how they stacked up this season.

This Season

A-League: 1st (Premiers)

FFA Cup: Champions

AFC Champions League: Group stage

Season Summary

Sydney FC came close to securing the almighty treble as they added the 2017 FFA Cup and A-League Premiership to their trophy cabinet however they missed out on securing the A-League Championship and coveted toilet seat that accompanies it.

Despite bowing out of the finals series earlier than expected, the Sky Blues will be remembered as the first A-League side to win consecutive premierships.

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Not since Melbourne Knights’ back-to-back National Soccer League (NSL) Premierships in the 1994 and 1995 seasons has an Australian side managed to secure consecutive premierships.

Their spectacular form in front of goal saw them score a record breaking 66 goals throughout the campaign, surpassing the previous achievements of Brisbane Roar’s 2010/11 side which racked up 64 goals throughout the season.

Brazilian striker Bobo was integral to his side’s impressive form in front goal as he registered 27 goals in 28 appearances, earning him the mantle of the best marksman in A-League history.

Marquee signing Adrian Mierzejewski proved to be a gem for the Sky Blues and Australian football with his standout performances resulting in the coveted Johnny Warren Medal for the 2017/18 campaign.

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Areas of excellence

Their fluid movement in the attacking third made them a joy to watch. Sydney were unstoppable when Bobo, Mierzejewski and Ninkovic turned it on.

The trio bamboozled the opposition with their stylish forward-thinking play with Mierzejewski and Ninkovic the architects behind Bobo’s record breaking season in front of goal.

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Arnold had the luxury of choosing a stable starting eleven throughout the campaign which meant that his side’s chemistry was near perfect.

With Alex Wilkinson and Jordy Buijs in defence and Josh Brillante partnering Brandon O’Neill in the heart of midfield, Sydney had one of the strongest spines in the league.

Areas in need of improvement

Despite having one of the best assembled squads in the competition, Arnold’s men found it difficult to combine their A-League exploits with their ACL duties.

Their poor performances on the continental stage crept into their domestic displays with injury and fatigue placing a strain on Sydney’s well tested starting eleven.

This meant that Arnold had to turn to various squad members, many of which had limited A-League experience under their belts and had only played a handful of minutes in the league.

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These players were thrown into the deep end at a crucial time in Sydney’s season and were unprepared for what they faced due to Arnold’s reluctance to settle them into the side earlier in the campaign.

Top Student

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Mierzejewski and Bobo – we have a split decision, ladies and gentlemen! Between them, the pair set the A-League alight with their dazzling displays.

Together they contributed an astounding 40 goals to the Sky Blues overall total of 66 goals. Whether it be Adrian’s jaw dropping free kicks or Bobo’s cool head in front of goal, the duo were an unstoppable force which made for easy viewing.

Grade: A

Outlook

Arnold’s recent appointment as the Socceroos coach will mean that the Sky Blues will farewell the most successful coach in their history.

With plenty of players rumoured to be leaving the club in an expected off-season clear-out, we can expect an entirely different Sydney outfit next term.

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Keeping hold of their star trio will be crucial for next season while sorting out Jordy Buijs’ immediate future will be high on the agenda with the Dutchman pivotal to the Sky Blues’ domestic exploits since he arrived in 2017.

With fan expectations growing by the year, Sydney will need to make sure that their next appointment is a successful one.

Feature Image Credit: Jaime Castaneda (@jamcas50)

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Studying Journalism at UTS. Obsessed with football and a die hard supporter of Sydney FC and Liverpool FC in the EPL