A-League mid-season report card: Macarthur FC

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It’s that time of the year where The Football Sack starts handing out report cards for the mid-season, so let us have a look at Macarthur FC’s inaugural A-League season.

Semester summary: The Bulls are doing quite well for their inaugural season in the A-League, but there is room to improve for Ante Milicic’s side. 

The squad has a mix of young talent and experienced players. They have demonstrated multiple times this season the combination of the two can work. 

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However, the Bulls seem to be  inconsistent in their performance and it’s challenging to keep up, especially when the league table is as unpredictable as it has been this season. 

Their away form has been better than their home form, with 15 points collected on the road as opposed to eight points at Campbelltown Stadium.

Milicic has made it clear in numerous press conferences the team needs time and they are all still getting to know each other, which has affected their performance.

Areas of excellence: Macarthur has shown they can attack and create many chances to keep their opponents on their toes. 

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Former La Liga striker Markel Susaeta, Matt Derbyshire, Loic Puyo and Lachlan Rose have created plenty of chances and scored some quality goals.

Denis Genreau and another former La Liga player Benat Etxebarria in the midfield have played a significant part in helping the frontline with a handful of opportunities and scoring goals of their own. 

The Bulls seem to have a playstyle where as soon as they receive the ball, they want to push forward and look hungry and determined while in the motion. 

If they continue to show this type of football, they will become more feared by others as the season continues. 

Areas of improvement: It’s difficult to criticise a team with their first appearance in the league but it’s hard not to notice their performance inconsistency. 

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Macarthur can look as if they can win the league in one game but then seem to be your average mid-table club in another. 

Their chemistry is still in a building phase and it is shown in their performance when making many unforced errors. 

There have been defensive errors and at times, a lack of communication and failing to convert several chances in front of goal. 

If they want to have a more consistent season, they should work harder in these areas in training and it will help improve their performance.  

Top student: One player stands out when he is on the pitch, and it is 21-year-old Lachlan Rose. 

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He has played 13 out of the 14 matches for the Bulls this season and even though he has only started five matches and scored no goals, he brings an electrifying presence along with flare and determination.

The Bulls’ fans hope to see him start more games for their team because he will be rolling in the goals sooner or later. 

He might spend most of his time on the bench in the meantime, but there is no doubt Rose is Milicic’s super-sub. 

Class clown: While Rose is playing exciting football and getting game time, the same cannot be said about his teammate Moudi Najjar. 

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He only played seven games in two seasons in total for his previous club Melbourne City; Najjar has only managed to play seven and made four starts for the Bulls.

City’s loan player has struggled to find his rhythm and is missing the opportunity to improve as a player before going back to Melbourne. 

Grade: B- 

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Outlook: There is no denying that Milicic has built a strong team and has recruited some remarkable players such as the Spaniards who had their stint in La Liga and former Socceroo Mark Milligan who participated in four World Cups. 

This team has the potential to go far and to improve further for the remainder of the season. They have substantial experienced players alongside young players, who are bursting with talent. 

The Bulls are still struggling to find a winning form at home, but they have an excellent opportunity to turn it around in April as they have four home games.

However, despite the home form and the inconsistency on the pitch, they are doing well for their first season. They have proven many critics wrong and are always jumping to second place on the ladder. 

It’s looking like a promising future for Macarthur if they continue their form with improvements. Still, we all must remember one thing: it’s going to take time.  

Featured image credit: Macarthur FC

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Daniel Gualterio
Bachelor of Sports Media student from Charles Sturt University covering Macarthur FC. Passionate for the world game.
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