Three the magic number for Perth Glory

-

Gold Coast United boss Miron Bleiberg believes Perth Glory can go all the way this season after his side slumped to a crushing 4-0 defeat at NIB Stadium on Monday night.

Glory bossed the game from start to finish, and could have scored twice as many goals as they did, to cement fourth spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder and also continue their unbeaten start to 2012.

“Sometimes we talk about injustice in football but today there was justice at its best, and there is not any doubt about who is the better team,” said Bleiberg.

“The way they (Glory) played today, they are probably championship material.”

Yet again the key to Glory’s success was the midfield trio of skipper Jacob Burns, Irishman Liam Miller and fan favourite Steven McGarry.

All played a big role in the win with Burns cleaning up everything in front of the back four, Miller bagging a goal and an assist and McGarry nodding home the opener.

The reason for their success is balance; Burns plays deep, Miller floats around midfield looking for the ball at every opportunity, and McGarry makes things happen in behind Shane Smeltz.

Indeed, Smeltz should have had a first half hattrick thanks to McGarry’s creativity, but the Kiwi striker was off colour for a change and drew a blank.

So how has this all come about?

Well in preseason the current 4-5-1/4-3-3 system we see being so effective now was also working, however Ian Ferguson opted to switch to a 4-2-2 to allow Billy Mehmet to partner Smeltz up front.

In a way it made sense as the two had played together before and there was also a danger of Smeltz getting too isolated from the midfield.

As we witnessed, however, the 4-4-2 failed miserably and Fergie finally went back to square one at the turn of the year. He is now reaping the rewards for this important concession.

The influence of McGarry cannot be understated either in the resurgence and the Scot has now bagged three goals in five games after spending the first part of the season on the sidelines.

With contract renewals just around the corner, McGarry is making a strong claim for at least a one year deal for the 2012/13 campaign.

His goal set Glory on their way, with Liam Miller’s sidefooted finish, Travis Dodd’s header and an own goal by Adam Traore ensuring that the 7,861 who took in some Monday Night Football went home happy.

“It was a great performance, a professional performance,” said Ferguson afterwards.

“In the first half I thought we could be easily two or three up and even. Really pleased going in at half time and I told them (the team) that they had to keep up the pressure, try play in their half and squeeze them and we did, the boys did a great job tonight.”

Ferguson is another who is out of contract at the end of the season and he made it very clear that he wants to be part of Perth Glory’s future.

“I want this club, and if I can get a new contract I want a two to three year deal where we can try take this club forward where this club’s going to be a top six regular,” he said.

“We’ve got to get a base and put the blocks in place so that we can try and get Perth Glory to be a top six club every year rather than one year and then missing out for the next two, three years.

“So there’s a plan in place and if we can get it sorted then that’s my aim for this club; to make sure that they’re, hopefully, getting into finals.”

Ferguson also said that he has made owner Tony Sage aware of his thoughts and plans, putting the ball very much in the court of the man at the top.

How that will sit with Glory supporters remains to be seen given that many of them still want Fergie out, but ultimately, as we heard often enough when Glory were struggling before Christmas, it’s a results based business.

If the impressive midfield three continue to dictate games right through to the finals, don’t be surprised to see Fergie put pen to paper.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

mm
Neil Sherwin
Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required