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A-LEAGUE PRESS REWIND - ROUND 11: Failing VAR dominates discussion; Melb City injury crisis; Sydney star Mierzejewski's cracker;

Just in case you missed it, here is everything of importance from the A-League Round 11 in Tribalfootball's Press Rewind.



The Good

VAR issues aside, the governing body has come under heavy scrutiny this season for several reasons, inciting a near FIFA take over. However this week A-League boss Greg O'Rourke has said the VAR should be better and is not a good advertisement for the league.

Finally. Finally. FINALLY. We have word from our superiors, showing our cries don't fall on deaf ears. Finally they realise that the Australian game is currently being run to the ground, and is not a product which anyone should be proud of.

Imagine the VAR strikes in the English Premier League, farcical incidents would be scrutinised and officials would have the book thrown at them by proper, hardcore fanatics. And I'm sure the million pound players wouldn't care for goals being rubbed out or being sent off due to inconsistent rulings.

Granted, it was the boss just saying that it should be better, and the VAR system is brand new in global football. So far, we have had no indication of trying to alter the system or make any changes, but conceding that it's not up to scratch is more than what we've had in the last few years.

The trick now will be the follow up. After all the FFA has been through, you'd imagine that they'll start taking the right steps soon.

Chris Sermeno



The Bad

Brisbane Roar isn't the only team suffering from injuries woes this season. Melbourne City's attackers are also enduring an injury crisis.

During City's 2-1 loss to Sydney FC, Ross McCormack, City's top striker this season and strong contender for the Golden Boot, was taken off in the 30th minute due to serious injury.

City will seek a second opinion this week as they hope to avoid sending McCormack to knee surgery, and losing him for at least three months.

McCormack came to the club, on loan from Aston Villa, as an injury replacement for Bruno Fornaroli. Fornaroli is expected to be out for another 5-6 weeks with his ankle injury.

With main strikers, McCormack and Fornaroli, definitely out for the next few weeks, the question becomes who does City have left to fill their spots.

After parting ways with experienced striker, Tim Cahill, just a fortnight ago and releasing injured forward, Fernando Brandan, back to his club in Argentina this weekend, City's forward stocks are looking well and truly depleted.

The only positive for City is that Bruce Kamau, who has been out injured with knee problems for the last three games, is looking likely to be available for the Christmas derby this weekend. While Kamau has only scored 7 goals in 57 games in the A- League, he is the one of the only options City has left.

Mikaela Pratt



The Ugly

Enough is enough, things have gone too var this time.

Another weekend, another set of games marred by VAR controversy.

In a time where the game is struggling for exposure in Australia, the last thing anyone wants to see is their social media feeds flooded with further complaints about the video referee experiment.

Hardly a good look for the game, is it?

The A-League is currently acting as a crash test dummy for FIFA's video referee experiment, and it feels now that we as fans are suffering every side effect of being that crash test dummy.

With each agonising, time consuming decision decided by video referee, it feels as if we are being slammed into a wall at high speed. Over and over again.

What we need is some sort of strict structure. VAR should only be used under specific circumstances. Goal line tracking and checking to see if the pass leading to the goal was not offside should suffice.

In using technology to examine every tiny aspect of the game leading to a goal or a booking, all you are doing is taking authority away from the on field referee, and delaying the game unnecessarily.

Time to shape up or ship up, FFA. Your statement saying 'We know it's rubbish but don't worry about it' isn't good enough. Fix it, or get rid of it. The less VAR complaining on our twitter feeds, the better.

Brodie Cowburn



Who's Hot

Surprisingly, it's the youngsters making a name for themselves that are reaping the benefits of this underwhelming A League season. Perhaps the lack of high profile signings gives the young boys a better chance of trying to push their case for a first team spot.

In particular, Jacob Italiano. He's 16 years old and setting the scene alight for Perth Glory since making his debut in round 7. So much so he's attracted interest from Germany, and is set for a dream European move once he turns 18.

Now if you ask me, there's nothing better than honing one's skills in the A League properly before setting off to Europe, much like Aaron Mooy has done en route to the Premier League.

While Italiano is a budding youngster, we need to be aware he's still a developing player and give him what he needs. The more he plays A League, the more I believe he'll make a name for himself.

The next generation of Australian footballers is largely uncovered, but the more opportunities they receive like this the more we will start to unearth the hidden gems this country has to offer.

Chris Sermeno



Who's Not

Not all too long ago, Wellington spectacularly rose from the ashes to claim their survival and ensure they had a future as an A-League club. If only there was some saying that symbolised something rising from ashes, if there were I'd use it here.

Hope was high and there was optimism aplenty, but fast forward to present day and the smiles are harder to find on the faces of Wellington Phoenix supporters.

Another loss saw them stay rooted to the bottom of the table, having failed to secure a win since their lone victory of the season over a month ago. For any fan, that gets a little tiresome.

Things have been worsened by the potential blow of losing star off season signing Dario Vidosic for a spell, after he received a knock to his leg and was forced off early in their game against Perth.

Their next match is up against reigning champions Sydney, and they'll need a miracle to get anything from it. They are a club that has seen miracles in the past however.

Brodie Cowburn





Goal of the Week

After two goals in last weekend's Sydney derby, including a marvellous free kick, Adrian Mierzejewski has done it again.

The Polish international produced another stunning free kick this weekend against Melbourne City to level the scores 1-1, in the 44th minute.

Mierzejewski took the free kick from the outside the box, and curled the ball perfectly over the wall and placed it in the corner of the net. City keeper, Dean Bouzanis, didn't even attempt to stop the ball as it flew past him as he was left without a chance.

Mierzejewski is now up to 5 goals in 8 appearances for Sydney FC this season, and currently sits 6th in the Golden Boot race, two goals off the leaders.

This Polish international is making his name as a free kick specialist, and if he continues to score ones like this, the title will be his for the keeping.

Watch the goal below, courtesy of Football Score:

Mikaela Pratt

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

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