A-League mid-season report card: Sydney FC

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We are at the halfway mark of the 2019/20 A-League season, so it’s about time The Football Sack takes a look at the performance of Sydney FC.

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Semester summary: The season has brought goals and a ruthless attitude from the defending champions. They are averaging 2.33 goals a game whilst matching records made by Graham Arnold’s all-conquering squads.

Their only defeat was at the hands of their cross-town rivals Western Sydney but they were unlucky not to get at least a point.

The campaign has been hampered by injuries to key personnel, such as Brandon O’Neill, Milos Ninkovic and Michael Zullo. Youth and fringe players have performed in their absence.

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Areas of excellence: Obvious areas of excellence is the goal tally. Adam Le Fondre’s 13 goals have almost amassed his tally from last season.

Sydney’s passing game has been incredible. Luke Brattan has been key to this with 744 passes this season.

There have only been two clean sheets this season but Sydney have the best figures in the league in terms of conceding, with a rate of only a goal a game. This is down to the experience of Ryan McGowan and Alex Wilkinson in keeping opposition strikers out.

Steve Corica has needed to call on youth this season in Joel King and Harry Van Der Sagg due to injuries. These players have passed their tests as the new blood of Sydney comes through.

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Areas in need of improvement: Defending against set-pieces has been questionable. They have conceded four goals from free-kicks and one penalty.

Tighter marking and cutting out unnecessary fouls would make the side more formidable.

Top student: Alexander Baumjohann.

After a rocky start, the 32-year-old has quickly become the go-to-man with four assists.

Baumjohann has adjusted to a positional change where he is deployed as a wide playmaker.

With Ninkovic missing some matches due to injury, the former Schalke man has been key.

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Class clown: Anthony Caceres.

Probably the toughest team to pick a class clown for.

The former Melbourne City midfielder would be starting in any other team in the league but often finds himself on the bench at Sydney.

He has started four games as a result of injuries but should be looking to move.

In saying this he signed a two-year contract with the club in 2019.

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Grade: A

Outlook: On track to beat record points and goal tallies in the competition and no signs of slowing down from Corica’s men.

The most entertaining side by far with the highest shot conversion rate of 24 per cent.

The key for the side is to keep the core fit. Andrew Redmayne, McGowan, Wilkinson, Brattan and Le Fondre have all played 1000 minutes or more.

More of the same and surely there is a fifth title in-waiting.

Feature image credit: Jaime Castaneda

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Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.
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