Worry Not Wanderers Fans, Woeful Starts Are Nothing New

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Never in their history have the Western Sydney Wanderers won either of their opening two A-League games.

After last Saturday night’s 4-0 demolition in the Sydney Derby to open the new season, it’s a trend that looks set to continue.

A Grand Final rematch away from home awaits the red and black on Friday night with history and form suggesting a win is unlikely.

But despite looking like facing another sour to start a season, the Wanderers, much like Usain Bolt in a trademark 100m race, are a team that seemingly like to start slowly. Often giving their opposition a lead they pride themselves on mowing down.

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Western Sydney’s woeful starts began unsurprisingly in their very first season when it took them three games to not only win a game, but also score their maiden A-League goal. As a new club looking to find their feet, such a start was of little surprise and they went on to defy the odds and their slow start to make the Grand Final.

After losing the final, the Wanderers failed to completely bounce back the following season, starting their campaign with a pair of 1-1 draws. But the red and black soon got their campaign going wining the next four on the trot and eventually made consecutive Grand Finals.

Again falling short at the final hurdle the previous season, the Wanderers, distracted by what would be a successful Asian Champions League campaign, started their third season in the worst possible fashion. Losing their first four games, the Wanderers weren’t able to pick up their first win until Round 16.

Eager for redemption last season after finishing second from bottom, the Wanderers again started slowly losing 3-1 to Brisbane Roar, drawing 1-1 with Adelaide United and losing 1-0 to Sydney FC. In typical Western Sydney fashion they turned their 2015/16 campaign around to win seven in a row and go ten games unbeaten to feature in another unsuccessful Grand Final.

Which brings us to the current season where the trend continued as the Wanderers fell to a 4-0 derby loss to Sydney FC in last weekend’s opening round. Goalless at half-time, the Wanderers well and truly stalled in the second 45 minutes to hand the game to their rivals.

While there were some positives to take from the match, a red card to new centre back Aritz Borda and an attack that lacked positive innovation suggests a win away to Adelaide looks unlikely.

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Though United haven’t started all that brightly themselves, drawing 1-1 with the Newcastle Jets, in front of a home crowd and with their Grand Final triumph still fresh in mind it’s hard seeing them losing to the Wanderers.

But even if the result is an unfavourable one for Western Sydney supporters, slow starts are nothing new for a side that has made three Grand Finals in four seasons in spite of how poorly they managed to start each one.

So worry not Wanderers faithful, as Usain Bolt once said, “Don’t think about the start of the race, think about the ending”.

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Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas
A football fanatic and journalism student who won't leave you wondering about any Wanderers news this season as I cover all things Red and Black for The Football Sack.

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