No Mauk, no problem says D’Arrigo 

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There is a gigantic sized hole in Adelaide United’s midfield struggling to gel all season, but Louis D’Arrigo disagrees and says they have the squad depth to fill it.  

“We have the new signing Zac Clough, George Blackwood has shown ability to play that attacking midfielder role, Lachie Brooks and even Bernardo Oliveira can play there,” D’Arrigo said. 

“But Stef [Stephen Mauk] is our captain, he is our leader, so he is going to be a big loss for the club.” 

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The departure of Stephen Mauk adds insult to injury to a Reds midfield that has been consistently scrutinised all season. In particular, the pairing of Isaías Sánchez and Juande struggling to gel.  

Both players are technically brilliant, however, they both play a very similar role which has created holes, offensively and defensively, when fielded together. 

Yet D’Arrigo insists that there have been no issues there. 

“I feel like any attacking midfielder can play as a defensive midfielder and vice versa,” he said.

“We have a good connection as a team and whoever gets put in any midfield roll, they all will do their job.” 

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Another player that can fill a midfield role is the 20-year-old himself, who has had to adjust to a new life off the bench for the majority of this season. 

“It’s been difficult as I haven’t experienced as much time on the pitch this year, but I’m continuously working hard and I’m ready for anything, whether that’s starting or off the bench,” D’Arrigo said.

But, regardless of any midfield issues, the Reds sleepy starts have been their achilles heel all season. They have conceded first 10 games out of their fourteen fixtures, something that needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. 

The youngster said they knew this and would address it.

“The first 15 to 20 minutes is what we have been working on,” D’Arrigo said. 

“We want to try and press as hard and as quick as we can to get them in their back half so that we can start playing our football from there.” 

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Despite falling behind, Adelaide have been able to claw back points week-after-week to leave them in fourth position on the ladder.

And it was something that D’Arrigo said showed their quality.

“We believe that the game’s not over until the 90 minutes, and even if we’re down 1-0 in the 88th minute like we were against Newcastle Jets, we believe we can get two goals back and hit the lead,” he said.

Fans will be hoping United can remain in finals contention for the second half of the season, and look toward the next test against the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.

Featured image credit: Jordan Trombetta

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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.

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