Reds’ woes a gift to Sydney

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On paper Sydney FC has been given the nicest Christmas gift of all; a boxing day clash with hapless Adelaide United.

United – the league’s reigning champions – have won just a solitary game in this A-League campaign. Having been destroyed in a 4-0 drubbing against Brisbane Roar and a heartbreaking last-minute loss against Newcastle Jets in its last two outings, it’s a club with about as much confidence as a pig in an abattoir.

Meanwhile, Sydney FC is approaching Round 12 without a loss on the books and the Skye Blues sit atop the table seven points clear of nearest rival Melbourne Victory, although the Victorians do have a game in hand.

So Christmas is coming a day late for Graham Arnold and his merry men.

Can the woeful Reds do something about it though? Let’s be honest, probably not, but if they are to get out of the top vs bottom of the table clash with a shred of dignity, perhaps even a point, or for the optimists in South Australia three points, Gui Amor needs to change a few things.

First of all, the defensive lines need to be tightened. The four goals conceded to Brisbane Roar are indicative of this and while improvements were made against Newcastle last week, the two goals that were conceded occurred when the defenders were spectacularly out of position.

Some will argue that the 90th minute winner should have been flagged as offside, but that’s totally irrelevant. Time after time this season Adelaide United has gifted goals to its opposition through loose defending that has left players unmarked.

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Eugene Galekovic must be thoroughly tired of coming face-to-face with grinning strikes.

The other issue for Amor is a lack of strike power.

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Henrique’s only outstanding game, in which he bagged two barnstorming goals against Wellington Phoenix, is the only time this season that Adelaide United had scored more than once in a game.

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With the rebuild of Adelaide’s front half proving to be entirely inadequate, it’s hard to see how anyone but Amor can be held responsible for this. It’s also hard to see how it’s going to change this season. The midfield no longer feeds a potent forward-line. In essence, he didn’t rebuild his club after it was decimated following unbridled success.

The result of this is a wooden-spoon bound season for Adelaide United and a spectacular fall from grace.

Merry Christmas Sydney FC.

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