Why A-League clubs need a stronger backbone

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For the past few seasons, it has been the same clubs that have had the right formula to make it to the end. Some clubs are lacking the backbone to make themselves genuine title contenders and are at risk of falling behind.

As an A-League season progresses, you begin to find out which sides do and do not have the fortitude, those that can push through the rough patch of form and those that can bounce back from a loss.

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Failing to have the right attitude and a strong backbone at a club will prove costly in the future. It will inevitably lead to a poor run of results and not making the finals.

With the announcement of the bottom two teams having to face a play-off to be in the FFA Cup Round of 32, soon they will risk not even playing cup football.

Take Sydney FC for example. After dropping points against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC and losing a second straight Sydney Derby to Western Sydney Wanderers, one would have been forgiven for thinking they would struggle against Melbourne Victory the following match.

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Despite a slow start, the Sky Blues bounced back to demolish the Victory with an impressive display.

What this proved is that Sydney are a champion side. The Big Blue win showed that they can bounce back from a run of poor results and will be a side to be wary of for years to come.

This was an attitude instilled in the side under Graham Arnold. While players have left and Steve Corica has taken over at the helm, the attitude remains. Sydney have been arguably the most consistent side over the last four years, appearing in two of the last three grand finals and two FFA Cup finals.

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Look at a side like Adelaide United. They are filled with the talent to carry them far, and they showed this in the FFA Cup as they made history to win back to back titles. Unfortunately for the Reds, they have been unable to replicate their cup winning form and find themselves out of the top six.

They have a rather unfortunate season record that astonishingly consists of zero draws in 21 games. Having conceded 15 goals in their last four games, it is hard to see the Reds playing finals football anytime soon.

On the flip side of Adelaide, you see Western United who bounced back from a horror run of form to score 11 goals in two games. Five of those were past the Reds in Adelaide.

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The harsh reality facing clubs is that if they are unable to dig themselves out of a hole, then they are looking at potentially disastrous consequences down the line.

Feature Image Credit: Hyundai A-League

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Declan Smith
Current Sports Media student at University of Canberra. Average footballer