Central Coast Mariners Mid Season Report Card

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The Football Sack team have put together a report card assessing each club’s season to date. Do you agree with the grade we’ve given to our version six students?

Semester Summary
After what could be called a shocker of a season in both results and style of play, Central Coast dumped inaugural coach Lawrie McKinna for former Socceroo manager Graham Arnold who brought in over ten new players, a different mindset and dare I say it, a new style of play! As of Round 16 the Mariners find themselves firmly established in the top four, and Brisbane aside have gotten results against every other team in the top six.

Areas of Excellence
Organisation and an actual defensive structure have been two of the Mariners biggest pluses this season. The side is now capable of defending properly rather than simply putting numbers behind the ball. They have also shown tactical versatility during the season, showing numerous times throughout the year they have not only plan B’s if things don’t go to plan but C’s and D’s as well!

Areas in need of improvement
Although tactically Central Coast are quite good, it seems sometimes that there is a lack of a killer instinct. They all too often don’t put games to bed and have even turned near certain wins into losses (most recently against GCU).

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And yes, technically they are much improved from seasons past though still not the most gifted side, but this will change in the coming seasons.

Top Students
Josh Rose has really risen into a bit of a superstar this season; rampaging runs from fullback, top notch defending and some nice finishing. A big positive has been Graham Arnold’s non-hesitance to play youngsters such as Matthew Ryan (who has surprised everyone including himself) and the afro’d ranga Mustafa Amini who has been a breath of fresh air and has also gone a long way to building relationship bridges between redheads and normal society.

Class Clowns
In a solid squad where almost everyone has pulled their weight it’s quite hard to pick a class clown. It could be the fans for only pulling 5858 through the gate in the top of the table clash against Brisbane last weekend, but in fairness crowds have been semi-decent in Gosford compared to some other clubs this season yet still down on their historical average. One could perhaps point a finger at Patricio Perez, who came here with the highest of expectations, and after an explosive start has not been seen since (ironically he will be returning this match).

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Grade
A –

Outlook
Quite good, in the short term Central Coast are looking at a top three finish and if they can start to finish off matches when they are on top should be favourites to finish second. Long term future is also looking solid, with new facilities, an experienced coach and a strong youthful squad.

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Mariners fan’s could and possibly should be feeling quite smug at the moment.

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Christian Layland
Christian is co-founder and Chief of Staff of The Football Sack and has worked in media/marketing for FIFA, AFC, Football Australia, Western Sydney Wanderers, and Melbourne Victory. Also a coach, Christian has been on the Y-League coaching staff for Wanderers, and the A-League coaching staff for Central Coast Mariners.

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