A-League Men’s 2021/22 mid-season report card: Adelaide United

-

Despite games being played here, there and everywhere, Adelaide United is now halfway through their season and it’s time to see if they are where they should be. 

Semester summary:

It has been a season that has left plenty to be desired, but it has also been a season that has shown glimpses of brilliance as the Reds currently sit in fourth place, and stare down another finals berth. 

With so many teams on different amounts of games played, it has been tough to gauge any side. The Reds, however, currently sit with three losses to their name from 12 games played, which is the third lowest losing percentage in the league (25 per cent losing percentage). 

On the other hand, the Reds have a worse winning percentage than the last placed Brisbane Roar, with only three wins from their 12 games (25 per cent winning percentage). 

Embed from Getty Images

Areas of excellence: 

The comeback kings.

There is one thing that every A-League Men’s fan can agree on, and that’s the Reds never being out of a game. 

There is also another thing that every United fan can agree on, and that’s high blood pressure. 

The Reds have come back from behind to equalise, or win the game, in the final six minutes five times: 

  • 92nd minute equaliser vs Wellington Phoenix 
  • 88th minute equaliser and 90th minute winner vs Newcastle Jets 
  • 84th minute equaliser vs Melbourne City 
  • 91st minute equaliser vs Melbourne Victory 
  • 90th minute equaliser vs Melbourne City 

No lead is safe when playing against the Reds. 

Embed from Getty Images

Areas in need of improvement:

No more sleep ins.

Adelaide needs to wake up from the get-go and find themselves in a winning position straight away, rather than continuously chasing leads. 

Nine times this season the Reds have found themselves trailing, and as the season gets tougher as we approach finals, these comeback wins will become fewer and further between.  

Top student: 

There is no surprise that Socceroos star Craig Goodwin is the top student of this Adelaide class. 

Adelaide’s top scorer from last campaign is back to his best, currently sitting in third place on the goal scoring chart with five goals to his name.

Goodwin has continued to show his quality all season, whether it’s in red for Adelaide or green and gold for his country.  

Embed from Getty Images

Yet goal scoring is not the only weapon in his arsenal either.  

Whilst he has only been credited with one assist to his name this campaign, Goodwin’s class in the buildup to Adelaide’s attack is pivotal to the Reds success thus far.  

Needs improvement: 

Defensive midfielders.

The Reds boast a handy attacking midfield with Isaías, Stefan Mauk and Juande Lopez just to name a few.

Once the game flips, however, it’s this midfield that continues to get caught out. 

Embed from Getty Images

Mauk has taken on a transition from a central/defensive midfielder into a genuine number eight who pushes up the ground, which has worked relatively well. 

The veterans in Isaías and Juande, however, have been lacking in their defensive transitions which continues to leave holes in Adelaide’s defence. 

It will then continue to get trickier for the Reds with Mauk departing the club any minute, leaving head coach Carl Veart with a midfield headache that will need to be resolved soon.  

Grade: B+ 

Outlook: This is a team that won a finals game last year so we knew they would be competitive, and that’s exactly what they have been. 

The Reds, however, have struggled to take that next leap, having spent the majority of this season clawing back one point results, opposed to three point performances. 

It then does not get much easier for Adelaide as they currently sit tied on 15 points with three other sides in fourth place, despite playing at least two more games than anyone below them. 

Embed from Getty Images

A lot will be said of this Reds side in the next 14 days after they travel and take on last year’s champions in City, the impressive Macarthur and then the fresh Central Coast Mariners. 

Featured image credit: Jordan Trombetta

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Cameron Ottenhoff
Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required