Red cards are an issue for Wanderers

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Picking up their fourth red card of the season against Melbourne City, Western Sydney Wanderers have had double the number of dismissals than any other side.

The only team yet to keep a clean sheet this season, these dismissals and subsequent suspensions certainly haven’t helped with centre back Aritz Borda shown two of those four red cards.

At 31 years of age, Borda has so far proved that experience doesn’t equal success at the back.

While two rather unnecessary red cards are bad enough, the Spanish veteran’s 17 fouls and not all that inspiring 77.3 percent tackle accuracy across his 13 games have left the Wanderers particularly fragile at the back.

His youthful centre back partner Jonathan Aspropotamitis has had to deal with Borda’s mistakes and at the tender age of 20 has handled it with aplomb.

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In his eleven starts this season, Aspro has maintained an impressive 81.8 percent tackle accuracy along with making 50 clearances, 24 interceptions and nine blocks.

Passing has also become a strong part of his game with the defender passing accurately 82.2 percent of the time which is better than Borda’s 79.

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1 percent and any other defender in the squad.

The rookie defender has done so well in fact that he was December’s nomination for Young Player of the Year; a personal success made all the more remarkable because it comes in the face of his own sides failures at the back.

With another young defender in Keanu Baccus recently debutising off the bench for Western Sydney, it seems like the club may be realising that they need to build a strong defence on talent rather than sheer experience.

Robert Cornthwaite will likely return to the starting squad due to Borda’s three game suspension for his most recent red card for an elbow on Bruno Fornaroli, and though a solid defender in his day, much like Borda, signs suggest he could well be past it.

Depending on exactly how he goes, the Wanderers could be in the market for another defender before January is up and if so I hope they they are steered by promise rather than a player’s past.

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Aspro being a perfect example that a lack of experience is no barrier to being an excellent defender in the A-league.

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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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