End of season report card: Western Sydney Wanderers

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We are officially finished for the 2020/21 A-League season.

Here at The Football Sack we like to evaluate every squad’s performance throughout the season so let’s see how the boys from Western Sydney Wanderers faired this season.

Season summary

It was a disappointing season for Western Sydney, who ended another A-League season in the bottom half of the ladder. The Wanderers have now missed the finals for a fourth consecutive year.

An excellent pre-season recruitment drive saw the side land the signings of James Troisi, Berni Ibini and Ziggy Gordon. While boasting an improved squad, they only managed to finish the season with two more points than last year.

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Carl Robinson’s side rose as high as second place in late March but poor performances against bottom table sides, like the devastating 5-4 loss to Melbourne Victory, was a big reason why the Wanderers missed out on a finals spot.

Areas of excellence

The Wanderers were an attacking powerhouse all season, amassing 45 goals in 26 matches which was the second most in the A-League.

This fluent attacking football delivered them big victories like a 5-0 win against Western United and a stunning 4-3 win against Wellington Phoenix back in March.

New signing Troisi was influential going forward, delivering seven assists which was the fourth best of any player in the A-League.

Areas in need of improvement

Defensively the Wanderers were extremely frail, they conceded a whopping 43 goals in 26 matches.

All season long, Western Sydney’s defence was letting them down with Dylan McGowan and Patrick Ziegler both failing to anchor the team’s backline.

While they scored goals easily enough, the Wanderers struggled to stop them at the other end, with their failings from set-pieces highlighting how the basics were abandoned in their desperate search for finals football.

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Top student

Bruce Kamau was a force to be reckoned with during the 2020/21 season, after scoring nine goals and contributing two assists.

The winger was a beacon of consistency in Wanderers roller-coaster season, taking home the Rod Allen Media Player of the Year, Members’ Player of the Year and Golden Boot Awards.

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Class clown

Expectations were high for Nicolai Muller ahead of his first full A-League campaign.

Unfortunately, the German midfielder did not have much of an impact. In 18 appearances, Muller scored only two goals.

Despite the Wanderers large attacking arsenal, Muller was still unable to take advantage of the chances that have come his way.

Grade: D

Outlook

Western Sydney will be hoping Robinson’s first season in charge is not a sign of things to come.

Though their finals drought is a point of serious concern, the bones are there for Robinson to build from next season with talented youngsters like Tate Russell, Mark Natta and Daniel Wilmering all showing their promise over the past year.

While there are some positives, the Wanderers need to return to basics and sign an experienced centre-back if they are any hope of claiming a coveted A-League title.

Featured Image Credit: Steve Christo

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Angus Brien
Covering Brisbane Roar A-League and W-League matches during the 2020/2021 season. Currently studying Journalism at Queensland University of Technology. Big sports fan and lover of football.
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