Constructing the perfect A-League Men’s player right now

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Ever wondered which players shooting or dribbling would be included if the football gods were somehow able to create the perfect A-League Men’s player?

I scouted the whole league and figured out (although there may be some controversial calls) whose shooting, finishing, dribbling, passing, defending and leadership would be necessary if this creation were possible. Let’s see what I came up with!

Shooting – Tomer Hemed

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I’m going to start this off with some possible controversy and say that our ultimate A-League Men’s player will have Tomer Hemed’s shooting ability. I’m sure if you watched the highlights of Western Sydney Wanderers vs Newcastle Jets on Sunday night you may understand why I have gone with the Israeli international. His goal in the 49th minute showed off both Hemed’s power and accuracy when it comes to shooting.

This shooting ability is how Hemed has always made his money during his career and is why the Wanderers pursued the striker during the off-season.

Playing for the Phoenix during last year’s campaign, Hemed scored 11 goals in just 16 games and as you can see he has already found the back of the net for his new side with an impressive strike. When it comes to out-and-out shooting from both close range and afar, Hemed’s power and accuracy are what we want for our perfect player.

 

Finishing – Jamie Maclaren

Now before people get mad about Mr Goal Scorer not being picked for best shooting, I just want to say that three-time golden boot winner, Jamie Maclaren is still an incredible shooter! But what really makes the Melbourne City star so special is his finishing ability – he’s simply the best in the league.

His timed runs along with his sublime positioning in and around the box mean that he is always in the right place to put the ball in the back of the net. Whether it’s a tap in, header, or volley the man simply does not miss. You have to be doing something right if you’ve scored 105 goals in just 151 ALM games (129 starts).

Maclaren also has an uncanny ability to hold his nerve and put goals away. Even if his first attempt is saved or blocked by a defender, the 28-year-old will often find the ball back at his feet, and like all great finishers, he rarely misses twice. Our perfect player would also obtain Maclaren’s skill from the spot. The striker is deadly when it comes to taking penalties and he can also make you suffer from free-kicks.

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Dribbling – Ulises Dávila

You wouldn’t want anyone else on the ball other than the Mexican mystro, Ulises Dávila. The man is just hard to tackle!

When Davila has the ball at his feet he pretty much seems untouchable, and more often than not the only way defenders can stop the newly appointed Macarthur captain is by fouling him – and the numbers show it. Despite only playing 23 matches last season he was the joint-most fouled player in the competition, being taken down illegally 62 times.

Dávila’s balance and body positioning are what makes him such a skilled dribbler, seemingly being able to continue up the pitch with the ball while being harassed by multiple defenders. With seven goals and seven assists last season, he is also able to create for both himself and his teammates off the dribble, a skill that can often take years to master. It only makes sense that we add Dávlia’s dribbling to our creation.

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Passing – Alessandro Diamanti

Even at age 38, the Italian midfielder is still the best passer in the A-League Men’s competition. Diamanti has the most assists over the last two seasons with 16 and his vision combined with the ability to place a pass just where we wants has led him to one Johnny Warren Medal win and a second nomination. While playing for Western United, Diamanti has completed many breathtaking passes and crosses and he is the type of player you build an entire game plan around.

Even if Diamanti doesn’t get the assist, he often has something to do with the build-up that leads to a goal. Whether it’s a timely pass or putting a long ball over the top for his forwards the Italian can do it and has done it for a number of years. Nine assists and only one goal last season show that the former West Ham United midfielder would rather create for others than himself and this unselfishness along with his vision and passing ability are all necessary attributes for our perfect player.

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Defending – Curtis Good

There are a lot of people who believe Melbourne City centre-back Curtis Good is the best defender in the competition – and I’m one of them.

Let’s not forget I’m talking pure defence here, not a defender who is also the best on attack, just pure defensive ability. Good was a rock at the back last season for City, as the club went on to win their first-ever title. The 28-year-old was actually so good during the 2020/21 season that he even went on to win Melbourne City’s A-League Men player of the year award over prolific goal scorer Jamie Maclaren.

Good has always been very strong when making tackles but what has taken his game to the next level is his impressive ability to read the game, which allows him to make key defensive plays. With Good’s defence added in, our ultimate player is just getting better and better.

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Leadership – Scott Jamieson

Finally let’s add one of the most important qualities to our perfect player – leadership.

I know Melbourne City is getting a lot of love right now but there is a reason why they lifted the toilet seat last season and are favourites to do so again. A big part of that reason is their captain and leader Scott Jamieson. Now some fans may think of Jamison as a dirty player but in terms of leadership, few are better in Australia’s top league. Most importantly Jamieson is willing to do anything for his team and he always leads from the front, putting in consistently great performances every game.

Jamieson is never one to turn down a defensive challenge as he is always happy to take on the opposing teams best offensive player. He is also known for creating a positive culture in his team’s locker room and this shows when we see how well Melbourne City work as a team on the pitch.

Finally, you also want your captain to always put his team and players first and no matter the situation and as a good leader should, Jamieson always stands up for his teammates. Stir in Jamieson’s leadership and our creation is almost ready.

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Haircut – Joshua Rawlins

Was there ever any other choice for possibly the most important part of this perfect player ready to take over the A-League Men? Perth Glory’s mullet king, Joshua Rwalins tops of what would be an unstoppable force if the player were ever to be created in a lab – to bad I suck at science! As far as names go lets just roll with ‘Tomer Maclaren Dávila Diamanti Good Jamieson Rawlins’ – perfect.

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Feature image credit – Melbourne City FC
Statistics – Ultimate A-League

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Harry Bartle
Harry is a young Journalist based in Wellington. He will be covering the Wellington Phoenix during the 2021/22 season for the Football Sack and has a love hate relationship with Ulises Davila

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