A-League Men’s 2021/22 mid-season report card: Perth Glory FC

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As the A-League Men’s 2021/22 season clocks over the halfway point, the time has come to review Perth Glory’s season thus far.

Semester summary:

Glory welcomed the new season with open arms, ready for new beginnings and less COVID-19 interferences. Unfortunately, this season has hardly been smooth sailing, with the pandemic still causing a significant disturbance to their season.

Although placed dead last, Glory have played a total of eight games with six of their fixtures postponed. Unable to collect game day points naturally would put any side at a disadvantage.

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Glory’s losses have not been huge either, with only one goal separating them and their opponents on game days so far.

On the other hand, Glory have collected two wins, one being their biggest of the season which was 3-0 over Melbourne Victory, and the other 2-1 win against Sydney FC.

Areas of excellence:

We are yet to see one particular strength stand out for this side, however, Glory’s resilience after being posted to the eastern states since December has been evident.

The quarantining, postponed fixtures and the controversial almost two week hotel isolation over the Christmas period, has still seen this side manage to produce two wins away from all the comforting things that come with being at home.

Glory coach Richard Garcia has directed the team with grace, they continue to receive support from owner Tony Sage, and chief executive Tony Pignata, who relentlessly make efforts to bring Glory back to Perth.

Glory have gathered as a collective unit, spending their closely confined time together as an opportunity to get to know each other better, due to the fact they were not able to do anything else.

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A sense of camaraderie has been their 12th player on the pitch, proving the eagerness to play within the squad has carried on regardless of the result.

Areas in need of improvement:

Glory have managed to score six goals in seven games, so their attacking skills are there, and given the losses are marginally small, there has been evidence the defence has ability too.

Therefore the main focus of improvement for this side points to the midfield area. Glory, on multiple occasions, have lacked a clear style of play. Running the ball up the line and hoping for the best after a cross, or simply sending the ball long and hoping someone will move into the space, has not worked in their favour.

Or on the other end of the spectrum, constantly playing out wide and giving the opposition every opportunity to read and intercept play.

The disruption to the squad regarding availability, however, could play a role in this. The resolution? New signings. Perth have signed two newbies, Darko Stanojević and Nick Fitzgerald who have been bought in to tie things together while Glory look to find their rhythm.

Top student:

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Bruno Fornaroli stole the spotlight on the night of Daniel Sturridge’s debut and rightfully so. El Tuna leads the contest as Glory’s leading goal scorer for the 2021/22 season, something he also held rights to last season.

A reliable, experienced and energetic performer whose goals have carried Glory to victory, with his best this season coming from their season opener against Adelaide United, that one time Glory had a home game, where Fornaroli scored a screamer.

He has also known as ‘Bruno do-it-myself Fornaroli’ coming from his ability to back himself when taking a shot at goal, instead of looking for safe options to pass off on, and when he pulls it out of the hat – it’s simply magical.

Needs improvement:

The name who has become the most hyped in the ALM, Sturridge’s debut was the result of a sold out HBF stadium back in November.

We are yet, however, to see him perform. Although the blame can not be put directly on Sturridge, who has spent more time in hotel isolation than actually playing.

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Studge has expressed eagerness to get some minutes in but we are yet to see him reach his peak. For Glory to make moves from last place, they will need Sturridge’s availability and form to assist.

Grade: D

Outlook:

What started out to be a promising season for Glory, marquee signing and whatnot, they have been taken for a ride following COVID border restrictions and different state government requirements around isolation.

With 12 regular games left to play, along with six postponed games, Glory are going to be booked and busy in the coming months.

Glory have been posted in the eastern states since New Year’s Eve and have dreams of returning to Perth to finally get their share of home games, which has been something fans have been longing for.

Upon the eventual return of home games, Glory should capitalise on the home advantage as momentum to advance up the table.

Feature Image Credit: Fotoenzo

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Ash Ramos
Ash Ramos
Journalism student at Curtin University covering Perth Glory for the 2021/22 A-leagues season. Siuuu

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