Tribal Football - Football News, Soccer News, Transfers & Rumours Latest Articles for Newcastle Jets https://www.tribalfootball.com/clubs/newcastle-jets Fri, 15 Nov 2019 17:13:47 +1100 http://www.tribalfootball.com/images/tribal-logo-rss.png Tribal Football http://www.tribalfootball.com <![CDATA[‚ÄčEx-Aston Villa, Norwich midfielder Hoolahan close to Newcastle Jets switch]]> <p>Former Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan is set for a move to the Australian A-League.<br></p><p>Hoolahan, who also played for Aston Villa during his long career in England, is joining Newcastle Jets.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/ex-aston-villa-norwich-midfielder-hoolahan-close-to-newcastle-jets-switch-4291163?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Former Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan is set for a move to the Australian A-League.

Hoolahan, who also played for Aston Villa during his long career in England, is joining Newcastle Jets.

The 37-year-old had been on the hunt for a new team after being let go by West Bromwich Albion.

Per the Irish Sun, he has agreed a deal that will see him sign permanently with the Jets and their boss Ernie Merrick.

It is the first time that Hoolahan will play outside the UK or Ireland.

He only played six games for West Brom last term.

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/ex-aston-villa-norwich-midfielder-hoolahan-close-to-newcastle-jets-switch-4291163?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/ex-aston-villa-norwich-midfielder-hoolahan-close-to-newcastle-jets-switch-4291163?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Thu, 01 Aug 2019 14:41:00 +1000 Ansser Sadiq
<![CDATA[Exclusive: Clem Morfuni using Swindon board role to fix 'pathetic' Australian pathway]]> <p>Clem Morfuni wants to use his platform as Swindon Town non-executive vice-chairman to fix what he describes as a "pathetic" pathway for Australian kids to play professional football.</p><p>The Sydney native is the founder of Axis Group, a multi-national building services contractor that was involved in the construction of new Wembley and the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-clem-morfuni-using-swindon-board-role-to-fix-pathetic-australian-pathway-4252836?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Clem Morfuni wants to use his platform as Swindon Town non-executive vice-chairman to fix what he describes as a "pathetic" pathway for Australian kids to play professional football.

The Sydney native is the founder of Axis Group, a multi-national building services contractor that was involved in the construction of new Wembley and the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Morfuni has sponsored the League Two club since 2015 and was handed a position on the board by owner Lee Power in July last year.

Australian businesses have begun to make their mark in English football recently, with a consortium reportedly favourites to purchase League One club Charlton Athletic.

Speaking to Tribal Football, Morfuni says he plans to use his own standing at Swindon to provide new opportunities for aspiring footballers in Australia.

"We've employed a talent scout who is coming out to Australia in November," revealed Morfuni.

"So we're looking for kids and we want to develop a pathway for kids in Australia to go to English and European football and the best way to have it is to have someone in that level that can pull a proper pathway for kids because I think the pathway in Australia is pathetic.

"And now that people know that I'm Swindon vice-chairman. And there's a couple of other things that I'm trying to do that I can't really announce yet. But we're trying to get that pathway where we're generating really good kids from Australia who can go and play football."

Morfuni does not state whether the idea would evolve in the form of an academy or direct trials at Swindon, but his argument that Australia needs a different platform for their young footballers is a strong one.

The A-League, which commenced in 2005, is one of the few professional domestic leagues in world football that does not have a relegation system.

The National Premier League (NPL), competitions that are based in each Australian state, and the subsequent state leagues, essentially serve as the equivalent to the English football pyramid for Australian football, with the A-League at its apex.

Over the past two seasons, however, only seven players have been recruited from NPL competitions who were under 23, Australian and had no previous A-League experience.

Despite the league expanding to twelve franchises in 2019/2020, Morfuni argues that A-League clubs have no interest in developing youth.

"No disrespect to the A-League, I've been involved in the A-League. But there is no pathway. They just want to win their competition," Morfuni continued.

"They've got a lot of older players in that league and there is probably 10,000 Australian kids that want to play football and the A-League has 10 teams and none of these young kids have an opportunity to get in.

"Hopefully this works so there might be an opportunity for our national league to get even better.

"It's good for Australia because it gives us an opportunity and I'm over there enough to be heavily involved in it."

Morfuni's plans for young Australian footballers makes up a small fraction of his work at Swindon.

Due to his vast experience in the construction industry, Morfuni has become an instrumental figure in negotiations over a proposed purchase of the club's 122-year-old stadium, the County Ground.

Swindon hopes they can buy the 15,728 capacity stadium off the local council and split the ownership 50-50 with two supporter groups, Trust STFC and STFC Supporters Club.

The stadium purchase has long been a topic of debate in Swindon, but Morfuni believes it will pay off in the long-term as Town aims to climb the rungs of the Football League.

"The football club started in 1879 so there's a lot of passion there. We've been in the Premier League before in 1993/94. We were up there for one season but we've been hovering around League One and League Two in the Football League.

"There's absolutely a lot of passion. It doesn't matter what club you support in English football, there's always passion over there. We're in League Two at the moment and we're trying to get promotion.

"We think we should be a Championship club. There's a big enough catchment, I think if we develop the ground it will be a lot better we'll get better income outside the pitch so we can put more money inside the pitch so that's what we're trying to do.

"Lee Power and I have been talking about it making it and that's our goal. To get them in the Championship minimum."

It wouldn't be the first time Swindon find themselves in the upper echelon of British football. The town might be famous for its railway history, but many nostalgic football fans will remember their ill-fated and solitary Premier League season in 1993/94.

Player-manager Glenn Hoddle departed for Chelsea before the season and the Robins would eventually finish bottom with five wins from 42 games.

Significant investment would be needed for a top-flight return, but given the emergence of other smaller clubs in recent years, such as Bournemouth, Brighton and Huddersfield, Morfuni hasn't given up hope.

"I always say we'd love to be in the top-flight but to be in the top-flight you need a couple of hundred million quid.

"If we can get in the Championship it'll be an accomplishment especially if we can purchase the ground with the supporters groups, it will be a good feat.

"You never know, you might get one freak season where you'll get in the Premier League. You got to think eight years ago, Brighton were in our division. But it's going to take time."

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-clem-morfuni-using-swindon-board-role-to-fix-pathetic-australian-pathway-4252836?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-clem-morfuni-using-swindon-board-role-to-fix-pathetic-australian-pathway-4252836?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Tue, 16 Oct 2018 21:18:44 +1100 Andrew Maclean
<![CDATA[Video Assistant Referee: How technology could decide the 2018 World Cup]]> <p>The World Cup is almost upon us, yet the landscape of modern football has never looked more different. The next two World Cup finals will take us into uncharted territory, in both participation numbers and officiating. </p><p>The officiating in question is the Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) at the World Cup finals in Russia this year, after much debate and deliberation. The much maligned and controversial system has been trialled around the world and seen at major tournaments such as the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/video-assistant-referee-how-technology-could-decide-the-2018-world-cup-4233593?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> The World Cup is almost upon us, yet the landscape of modern football has never looked more different. The next two World Cup finals will take us into uncharted territory, in both participation numbers and officiating.

The officiating in question is the Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) at the World Cup finals in Russia this year, after much debate and deliberation. The much maligned and controversial system has been trialled around the world and seen at major tournaments such as the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

While other sporting codes have opted for their own methods of video review systems over many years, football has fallen behind in our rapidly progressing technological world. The introduction of video reviews in football has long been a hotly debated topic, to what extent they would be used and how.

Goal line technology is much less complex, as it offers an irrefutable conclusion to if the ball has crossed the line. The players and coaches can't argue against it, and it allows the officials to focus on the play at hand rather than determine if the ball has gone in.

On the other hand, video reviews have proven to be highly contentious as some decisions can be inconsistent and, despite reassurances from our reliable governing body, can inevitably and horrifically delay the flow of the game.

For those who may not know, the reviewable instances of the VAR are as follows:

GoalsPenalty/no penalty decisionsDirect red cards (not a 2nd yellow)Mistaken identity

The concept may seem relatively straight forward in certain areas, however the implementation and execution has only been met with confusion and criticism.

For one, the use of the VAR is not universal. Take the United States' MLS and Australia's A-League for example. In similar fashion to other American sports, the MLS has a sideline monitor for the head referee to review incidents on the recommendation of the VAR. The on-field referee makes the final call after viewing the replays for themselves.

On the other hand, contentious decisions in the A-League are reviewed by another official and advice is given to the head referee on which course of action to take. The on-field referee does not make the final call, instead relying on the discretions of the VAR. This in turn undermines the authority of the head referee while players, coaches and fans are left in the dark as the on-field official consults his video assistant.

Some commentators say, "that might've been a different colour card on another day", or "I've seen worse punishment for less". The same applies here to the VAR, especially if it's operated by another official. Here's couple of incidents highlight the controversial uses of the VAR and the inconsistent rulings on play that affect the game, and could ultimately affect the World Cup.



2018 A-League Grand Final VAR malfunction, communication error

For the first time in A-League history, Melbourne Victory and Newcastle Jets played it out for the A-League Championship. Melbourne seemed to pull ahead early on, however, doubts were cast over the assist with suggestions of offside from the commentary team.

On review, there are 3 Melbourne players sitting in an offside position prior to the goal, which goes unseen by the linesman. The error here lies with the VAR, as a technical malfunction right before the goal meant that the VAR could not check the correct angle for offside players, and subsequently gave the all clear.

What the VAR should have done was communicated the malfunction to the referee and held up play until a conclusive decision could be made. Despite broadcast replays clearly showing the infringement to everyone watching at home, the game carried on.

The match finished 1-0, and the concession of the malfunction by Football Federation Australia left a bitter taste in the mouths of Newcastle fans and neutrals alike.





2018 Coup de France Kylian Mbappe's disallowed goal

The French superstar thought he had put his side ahead in the final of the Coup de France. As per the reviewable instances, VAR was obliged to review the goal while Les Herbiers clamoured for a handball in the lead up.

Sure enough, the ball struck the arm of Mbappe's teammate Marquinhos in the lead up to the goalmouth scramble, which was sufficient for the referee to disallow the goal.

However, the question mark over this one was the lead up to the handball. Marquinhos arm was being held by Joachim Eickmayer, and when he broke free his arm struck the ball before Mbappe pounced.

This disallowed goal is the perfect instance of referee's interpretation, which will always be subject to human error. Some referees will identify the handball, while others may have seen the holding infringement and awarded a penalty, or in some cases allowed an advantage on the play.

This did little to stop PSG from claiming a 2-0 and the French Cup.




2018 Primeira Liga Boavista fans flag intrusion

And who said the fans couldn't get in on the fun?

In Portugal's Primeira Liga, a match between Boavista and Aves was called into question when a goal scored by Aves was considered offside by both Boavista players and fans.

The linesman nor the referee called the infringement so it was once again left to the VAR to come to the rescue. As per the rules, the VAR checked the sideline footage for an offside, only to find the view of the VAR camera hampered by a huge Boavista flag.

The very same supporters who claimed an offside didn't help their own cause, and the goal stood.

Aves went on to comfortably win the match 3-0.




Conclusion

While many may be in agreeance that video reviews are necessary, I am not one of those.

The VAR still needs serious work and fine tuning before being used at the most prestigious of footballing tournaments.

The trial and error of the VAR is no longer a viable option, as the technology has been around for almost 3 years yet the usage of such is still a 50-50 in some cases. We may as well continue on without the video assistants and put another referee on the field.

So what will we see at this year's FIFA World Cup in Russia? Much like a rose is a rose is a rose, controversy knows no other name. I have no doubts we'll see some very interesting scenarios with or without the VAR at this year's football spectacle, but you'll bet there will be plenty of it.

Good luck to the officials taking on a huge responsibility at these World Cup finals.

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/video-assistant-referee-how-technology-could-decide-the-2018-world-cup-4233593?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/video-assistant-referee-how-technology-could-decide-the-2018-world-cup-4233593?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Thu, 10 Jan 2019 17:34:03 +1100 Chris Sermeno
<![CDATA[The Arnie Effect: How the Socceroos have already been influenced by their new manager]]> <p>COMMENT: Just a little over a month ago Australian football supporters were desperately clamouring for the announcement of a new Socceroos head coach, hoping for some sort of relief after the stresses of Australia's marathon qualification campaign and Ange Postecoglou's subsequent resignation. Fast forward to today and we've seen not just one Socceroos coaching announcements, but two.<br></p><p>It's a case of what's old is new again, as Graham Arnold was confirmed as the man who will lead the Socceroos following the conclusion of the upcoming World Cup in Russia. He will continue to coach his hugely successful Sydney FC side until the end of the current A-League campaign, after which he will take over from Bert Van Marwijk and assume control of the top job in Australian football for a second time in his career.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/the-arnie-effect-how-the-socceroos-have-already-been-influenced-by-their-new-manager-4224417?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> COMMENT: Just a little over a month ago Australian football supporters were desperately clamouring for the announcement of a new Socceroos head coach, hoping for some sort of relief after the stresses of Australia's marathon qualification campaign and Ange Postecoglou's subsequent resignation. Fast forward to today and we've seen not just one Socceroos coaching announcements, but two.

It's a case of what's old is new again, as Graham Arnold was confirmed as the man who will lead the Socceroos following the conclusion of the upcoming World Cup in Russia. He will continue to coach his hugely successful Sydney FC side until the end of the current A-League campaign, after which he will take over from Bert Van Marwijk and assume control of the top job in Australian football for a second time in his career.

The announcement saw a wide range of varying reactions from football fans, with comments on Facebook and Twitter criticising the appointment, citing Arnold's past failures as Australian coach and his Sydney side's recent poor performances in Asia.

It is true that Sydney FC's Asian Champions League performances over the last month have been sub-standard, but it is not the last month that Arnold should be judged on when deciding whether he is cut out for the Socceroos job.

This is an appointment that has been earned not throughout the last few weeks, but throughout the last ten years of hard work, sacrifice, and positive influence on the game in Australia.

Arnold's influence on domestic football in the last decade cannot be understated, and his influence on the national side in that last decade has been immense and wholly positive. The Socceroos have been benefitting off Arnold's work in football for years now, so why not give him a chance to reap some of what he has sowed.

In 2007, over a decade ago, an inexperienced Arnold saw his underwhelming one year run as manager of the Australian national team come to an end.

The decision came following an incredibly disappointing Asian Cup performance, in which Australia could only manage one win in four games, and were eliminated by Japan in their first knockout game.

After a few more years working as an assistant for the national side, Arnold once again tried his hand at managing a senior team, as he was appointed as manager of the Central Coast Mariners in early 2010.

The Central Coast Mariners of the time were a largely uninspired side, having finished in 8th position in their previous season, only one point clear of bottom place. Graham Arnold stepped in and their rise up the table was swift and sudden.

In just his first season at the Mariners, Arnold had raised the club up to 2nd place on the table, and took the club to the Grand Final of that year. While they were cruelly denied their first A-League Championship by two late Brisbane Roar goals and a penalty shootout loss, it wouldn't be long before the club, and Arnold, got their own back. After another devastating penalty shootout loss in the Preliminary Final of the following season, the Mariners finally went on to win their first Grand Final in the 2012/2013 season, cementing their spot as a top side in Australia, and cementing Graham Arnold's reputation as one of the most formidable coaches the domestic league had ever seen.

While his early domestic success was apparent to the eye, what was a little less obvious was the quiet work he was doing in building the next generation of Socceroos. The ones that would lead us to World Cup qualification nearly a decade on. No matter where you look on a Socceroos pitch these days, you are almost guaranteed to find a player who got their start, or had their career immensely helped by Arnold.

One of these players is Tom Rogic. Rogic was full of potential and had raw ability. Anyone watching him play during his early Mariners days could see he was destined for a career abroad, and it is down to Arnold that he was given a platform to shine.

Rogic only played 24 games for Central Coast. That was all it took until Europe came knocking. Celtic ended up winning his signature, and Rogic has plied his trade for the Scottish powerhouse ever since.

The 24 games he played are testament to how quickly and effectively Arnold was able to integrate youth into his team. He made his debut for the national team while with Central Coast, and has now played more games for Australia than he did for the Mariners. Had Arnold not signed him and given him an opportunity to showcase his raw talent to the world, he may not be in the position he is today . Rogic is one of Australia's most important creative players, and will be immensely important to Australia's World Cup aspirations.

Another of these young players the new Socceroos gaffer uncovered was Trent Sainsbury, who at the time of Arnold's appointment was a teenager trying to get his foot in the door. It took a while for Sainsbury to break into the side, but by the time the Mariners' Grand Final triumph came around, the still extraordinarily young 21-year-old centre-back had solidified his spot in the team.

Along with Dutch veteran Patrick Zwaanswijk, he formed one of the most impressive defensive duos the league has ever seen. From there his career has gone from strength to strength, his debut for the national side coming not too long afterwards.

His first major tournament in the green and gold was in the 2015 Asian Cup. This was when Sainsbury truly came into his own, being named in the team of the tournament, taking home the Man of the Match award in the final, and of course receiving a winner's medal.

He has since played in the Netherlands and Switzerland, and has even featured once for Inter Milan during a short stint in Italy. The 18-year-old doing his best to impress Arnold at the Mariners has certainly grown a lot in recent years, but that comes as no surprise to anyone who saw his growth under Arnold and his performances at such a young age for his club.

The tremendously talented defender will now put the talent he showed so early on in his career on display on the world stage, as he is a certain pick for the squad for the 2018 World Cup.

It must also be remembered that in his championship season at Central Coast, the club conceded less than a goal a game. While this is thanks in part to Sainsbury's hard work, the work of another young Australian in goals certainly helped.

That future Socceroo between the sticks for the Mariners was Mat Ryan, who is perhaps the most important of all of the players Arnold handed opportunities to.

Ryan was 18 years of age when given his chance to play by Arnold, and it was certainly not a safe choice by the Central Coast gaffer to persist with him. Being so young, Ryan had his fair share of bad mistakes and errors in his starting days at the club. Any young goalkeeper thrust into the starting position of a top A-League club would make these errors of course, but to Arnold's credit he persisted with Ryan, and was not tempted to look elsewhere for a more experienced campaigner.

Each game Ryan played, his confidence grew, and before long he was undoubtedly first choice. Ryan played three seasons with the Mariners under Arnold, leaving after the Grand Final win in 2013. He was a revelation for the Mariners, and in playing him so often not only was Arnold benefitting his own Central Coast team, but he was also giving vital experience to the man who would go on to wear the gloves for the national team.

Ryan went on to star in Belgium, and after a frustrating stint with Valencia in Spain, he finally settled at newly promoted Brighton & Hove Albion in England.

It's fair to say that the now 25-year-old would not be undoubtedly first choice at a Premier League club and the number one goalkeeper in two consecutive World Cup campaigns for his country had his former coach not persisted with him when he was just getting his start.

Even only recently, Ryan spoke out about how even today he still is helped by Graham Arnold, who got in touch with him to help settle his nerves after his move to the Premier League. The Arnold influence on the two-time Belgian Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year award winner is apparent even today, and Australian football is better off for it.

If these three players didn't get their first opportunity in football, the Socceroos would likely be watching the World Cup from home. It is Graham Arnold that is to be thanked for that.

In addition to the huge role he played in getting the careers of those three crucial Socceroos up and running, he also further influenced the national squad in his time at the Mariners by giving opportunities to Mustafa Amini and Bernie Ibini while they were both young and extremely raw talents, as well as supporting the careers of Alex Wilkinson and Oliver Bozanic. All of these players have spent the last few years around Socceroos squads.

Aspects of Arnold's later stint as manager of Sydney FC have some questioning whether he has the skills to be the national team manager, and there are some valid criticisms that can be made.

No players from Sydney FC went to the Under 23 championships at the beginning of the year, which goes to show that there has been much less emphasis on youth for Arnold compared to his tenure at Central Coast Mariners.

One change he has made over time is putting more focus on getting his choices on overseas players exactly right, which he has certainly achieved with the success of Ninkovic, Bobo, and Mierzejewski at Sydney FC.

While his lack of focus on youth may leave some wanting more, it can't be ignored that despite his methods, Arnold has built the most fearsome and formidable side in Australian football history. Despite what might be perceived as a lack of focus on young Australian players, there is still a handy picking of players who have lined up for Sydney FC in the last few years that have improved tenfold under Arnold, and now find themselves potentially ready for Russia.

He has played a huge hand in the career resurgences in Joshua Brillante and Danny Vukovic, the latter especially looking like a completely reborn player under Arnold compared to his previous season at Melbourne Victory.

Both will be very much in contention for a spot in Russia. More notably, Alex Gersbach and Matthew Jurman both earned moves overseas after impressing under Arnold, and both will be pushing for a spot in the starting 11 during the World Cup.

Even when perceived as not focusing on Australian talent to the same extent as he had previously, he has still shown he is able to help nurture the ability of multiple gifted players, and get them ready for national duty. Although some of his Sydney FC projects may not have stuck around for long, the fact that they are all so close to a spot in the final 23 man squad for the World Cup goes to show that Arnold has got a great eye for talent. That's an outstanding trait for a national team manager to have.

There are of course also question marks flying around about his form in the Asian Champions League. In response, it's important to remember that this job has been earned by Arnold over ten years, not three games.

While Sydney FC's ACL campaign this season has started off badly, it is worth remembering that in 2016 he finished top of a group with incredibly difficult opponents from Japan, South Korea, and China.

Those opponents were Urawa Red Diamonds, Pohang Steelers, and current Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande respectively. While they were then knocked out in the Round of 16, it was only due to a last minute away goal. This campaign alone is more than enough to suggest that Arnold is capable of holding his own against tougher opposition.

To those who look at his last stint as Australia manager as an indicator of his ability, know that Arnold is not the same man he was after leaving the Socceroos job a decade ago. He has spent that time winning trophies, growing the domestic league, and uncovering some of the greatest talents this country have ever seen. He's an Australian coach with an already established in-depth knowledge of local players. FFA's preference for a long term Australian manager was always clear, and there is no more qualified Australian for this job.

To those worried about the effect Arnold will have on the Australian team, try to stress less. The 54-year-old has been having an effect on this team for years, and it has been absolutely positive.

While some may argue he's not the right man to take over the Socceroos after their World Cup campaign is over, it is clear that without Graham Arnold, there would not be an Socceroos World Cup campaign to begin with. This is an opportunity he has earned.

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/the-arnie-effect-how-the-socceroos-have-already-been-influenced-by-their-new-manager-4224417?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/the-arnie-effect-how-the-socceroos-have-already-been-influenced-by-their-new-manager-4224417?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Tue, 20 Mar 2018 23:49:00 +1100 Brodie Cowburn
<![CDATA[‚ÄčAustralia appoint Graham Arnold as post-World Cup manager]]> <p>Graham Arnold will become manager of the Australian national team after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.<br></p><p>This will mark the Sydney FC manager's second spell in charge of the Socceroos after he held the role for a year after Guus Hiddink stepped down after the 2006 World Cup in Germany. </p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/australia-appoint-graham-arnold-as-post-world-cup-manager-4222901?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Graham Arnold will become manager of the Australian national team after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

This will mark the Sydney FC manager's second spell in charge of the Socceroos after he held the role for a year after Guus Hiddink stepped down after the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Former Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk, who famously guided the Oranje to the final of the 2010 World Cup, takes charge of Australia for the 2018 World Cup on a short-term contract after former manager Ange Postecoglu shockingly resigned after guiding the nation to 2018 World Cup qualification.

"It is a very great honour to coach your national team," said Arnold, who scored 19 goals in 56 as a player for Australia in the 1980s and 90s.

"It's a job I have always been interested in doing and I believe the timing is perfect for me.

"After today I won't be saying any more about the Socceroos until after the World Cup out of respect for Sydney FC and out of respect for Bert van Marwijk.

"I said at the time that I thought he was a great appointment to lead the Socceroos in Russia and everything he has done since has reinforced that view.

"I won't be getting under his feet but I will be cheering him and the team on from the stands."

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/australia-appoint-graham-arnold-as-post-world-cup-manager-4222901?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/australia-appoint-graham-arnold-as-post-world-cup-manager-4222901?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Thu, 08 Mar 2018 22:40:58 +1100 Eshlin Vedan
<![CDATA[EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Melb Victory star Archie Thompson talks Neymar's 5-a-side tournament]]> <p>The 2018 'Neymar Jr's Five' tournament is a unique competition offering footballers all across Australia, and the world, a chance at one of the most lucrative prizes in sport today. Players across the globe will battle it out for a chance to meet Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. in his own home town.<br></p><p>Former Melbourne Victory Striker and Socceroo Archie Thompson is the ambassador for the event, and says that the opportunity to meet the Brazilian superstar is too good to turn down.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-melb-victory-star-archie-thompson-talks-neymar-s-5-a-side-tournament-4219642?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> The 2018 'Neymar Jr's Five' tournament is a unique competition offering footballers all across Australia, and the world, a chance at one of the most lucrative prizes in sport today. Players across the globe will battle it out for a chance to meet Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. in his own home town.

Former Melbourne Victory Striker and Socceroo Archie Thompson is the ambassador for the event, and says that the opportunity to meet the Brazilian superstar is too good to turn down.

"The Neymar 5s tournament is a great opportunity to get your mates together and do your best to progress through qualification, and maybe you'll get a chance to go to Brazil and meet the great man himself," said Thompson.

"It's great because it gives kids and adults a taste of what it was like for him growing up, lots of Brazilian and South American players would have had to start their careers playing football on the streets, so this concept comes from that. It's so exciting and unique."

In addition to his duties as an ambassador, a role he also held last year, Thompson will be taking things a step further this year and will also be pulling on the boots. He will be entering his own side into the competition for a chance to win the grand prize.

"Last year I was told what it was about, what the format was, and what the opportunity was at the end of it. It's full of opportunity and I had to get involved, it can open so many doors and that's why I liked it," Thompson said.

"I'll be putting a team in this year as well. It's great to talk about it and watch it like I did last year, but I really wanted to put a team together this year and I can't wait to be a part of it. I'd love to get another chance to meet the man too, last time we met they beat us so I want to go back and make things right."

Thompson and Neymar faced off in during an international friendly in 2013, when Neymar's Brazil outclassed Australia 6-0. Neymar, then 21 years old and fresh off a move to Barcelona, scored one and assisted one goal during that game.

The first round of local games in the Neymar Jr's Five tournament will take place at several locations around Australia across Victoria, NSW, WA, SA, ACT, Queensland, and Tasmania. Each state will also be hosting a Women's tournament, a first for the competition this year. As these teams advance from the early rounds they'll face off against other quality opponents from interstate, and then abroad, for a chance at the grand prize.

The tournament is offered to men and women between 16 and 25 years of age, with each team allowed two overage players in their side. The competition is designed so that anyone can sign up and have a go, regardless of experience or skill level.

"This is for anyone who loves their football and wants to try something unique with their mates. It's so much fun, and it's a great chance to play other people, other countries, and also who doesn't want to meet Neymar? It'll be a tough road to get there, but if you're up for the challenge and up to compete, this is a tournament for everyone," Thompson said.

The games are played under special 5 a side rules where each time a team scores, the opposition loses a player. Games are played to a 10-minute time limit, or until the opposition team has been entirely eliminated.

Qualifiers in Australia begin in Sydney on the 18th of February, and will take place until the 29th of March.

More information on dates, locations, and how to get involved can be found at www.neymarjrsfive.com/en/AU

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-melb-victory-star-archie-thompson-talks-neymar-s-5-a-side-tournament-4219642?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-melb-victory-star-archie-thompson-talks-neymar-s-5-a-side-tournament-4219642?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:44:57 +1100 Brodie Cowburn
<![CDATA[EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Socceroos striker Thompson says Van Marwijk appointment will 'reinvigorate the squad']]> <p>With the impact of new Socceroos manager Bert Van Marwijk's appointment still yet to be seen, former international striker Archie Thompson has weighed in on the potential positives of the selection.<br></p><p>Thompson told Tribal Football that the appointment may keep players on their toes, and prevent them from getting complacent.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-socceroo-striker-thompson-says-van-marwijk-appointment-will-reinvigorate-the-squad-4219641?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> With the impact of new Socceroos manager Bert Van Marwijk's appointment still yet to be seen, former international striker Archie Thompson has weighed in on the potential positives of the selection.

Thompson told Tribal Football that the appointment may keep players on their toes, and prevent them from getting complacent.

"There's going to be a lot of disappointed players, but that's just how it goes. When Holger Osieck was around I had been part of the whole qualification process, then Ange came in and cut 5 or 6 players, and that's really hard. It's disappointing, but that's what happens," Thompson said of his own experience after a Socceroos coaching change.

"These guys have to perform every week now, hope the starts align, and hope they're on the plane to the World Cup. If anything, it's going to reinvigorate the squad. That's what it did for us in 2006, and that's what I think it'll do again."

Thompson recalled the feeling of anticipation and the nerves that he felt in the lead up to his selection in Guus Hiddink's 2006 World Cup squad, and shared some wisdom on how players on the verge of selection can impress their new gaffer.

"You're on the verge of going to the most watched events in the world, and for me it was the pinnacle of my career to represent my country at a World Cup. For the players now, there's going to be a lot of nerves and uncertainty, especially because there's a new coach," said Thompson.

"A lot of those players that have been part of this qualification he might not like, they might not play the way he wants to, and they might get cut. When Hiddink came in there were players who were certain starters under Frank Farina, but Hiddink brought a clean slate and the dynamic changed entirely.

"You have to really jump on it, and a lot of players who were part of that generation did jump on board. That's what the players have to do now, embrace it."

Although Thompson was not brought off the bench during the Socceroos successful 2006 campaign, he still looks back on the event with a sense of typical Archie Thompson positivity. He said that there are a lifetimes worth of positive experiences and memories that the players that make it to Russia will have to look forward to.

"It's not an opportunity that gets given out to every player. I was fortunate enough to be a part of one of the great Socceroos teams ever, and the experience of travelling and competing together is so unique and special.

"We were put in a village up in Germany, and we had no idea about the sort of reception we were getting back in Melbourne and Sydney, where places were full of supporters.

"As players we're away from it all in our little cocoon, so we got to share special moments together. We could talk about things in our off-pitch lives, we really were like a family, and it's an experience to cherish. The players were willing to die for each other, and if this team has that attitude I think they'll succeed too. It's like going camping with your mates, that's what it feels like."

In addition to the positives that any managerial change can bring by giving players a renewed sense of purpose and opportunity, Thompson said that Van Marwijk was the right man to turn to ahead of Australia's 2018 World Cup campaign.

"We needed someone new, there's been so much negativity in our sport in the last year or so, but now we've got someone who is capable, who knows how to win. He got Saudi Arabia to the World Cup, he got Netherlands to the final, his CV speaks for himself," he said.

"He came here with the right intentions to win at all costs, and that's what we want and need. The quicker everyone jumps on board, the better off we'll be. These could be really exciting times."

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-socceroo-striker-thompson-says-van-marwijk-appointment-will-reinvigorate-the-squad-4219641?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/exclusive-ex-socceroo-striker-thompson-says-van-marwijk-appointment-will-reinvigorate-the-squad-4219641?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Tue, 13 Feb 2018 10:57:54 +1100 Brodie Cowburn
<![CDATA[A-LEAGUE PRESS REWIND - ROUND 17: Vidosic cracker for City; Glory struggling defence; Adelaide embarrassed;]]> <p>The Good</p><p>Wellington Phoenix are in the middle of a mid-season resurgence. They have earned seven points in their last three matches, and are undefeated in three games. Phoenix have managed to reduce the gap to sixth place on the table to five points.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/a-league-press-rewind-round-17-vidosic-cracker-for-city-glory-struggling-defence-adelaide-embarrassed-4217178?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> The Good

Wellington Phoenix are in the middle of a mid-season resurgence. They have earned seven points in their last three matches, and are undefeated in three games. Phoenix have managed to reduce the gap to sixth place on the table to five points.

The Phoenix have had recent win's over second-place Newcastle Jets and fourth-placed Melbourne Victory, who are in dominant form at the moment.

This resurgence has come after signing two key players at the start of the January transfer window, Nathan Burns and Matija Ljujic, who have contributed five goals in three matches for the Phoenix. Ljujic was awarded goal of the week in round 16.

Other Phoenix players who are standing up for their team are: Roy Krishna, who has the fourth most assists in the league; Andrija Kaluderovic, who has scored the third most goals in the league; Matthew Ridenton, the young midfielder is having a breakout season; Daniel Mullen, who scored and assisted a goal against Newcastle- not bad for a defender; and Lewis Italiano, with the shot-stopper in fine form, he earnt himself man of the match against Newcastle.

There are plenty of Phoenix players standing up and leading by example that have led to this mid-season resurgence. The question remains if this resurgence will last. The Phoenix take on Adelaide United next, on Saturday 27th January, at home and will be hoping to continue their undefeated run.

Mikaela Pratt



The Bad

We've picked on the VAR enough this season (though I don't think we're done yet either) so something different that was bad.

An injury is always a concern, especially if you can relate to it personally. After seeing Melbourne City's Nathaniel Atkinson go down clutching his ankle, I know I cringed from the all too familiar pain.

It was unclear what had happened, however replays showed he landed awkwardly and rolled his ankle after attempting a header inside the penalty area.

An injury common in lots of sports, particularly on the catwalk, I can assume that a lot of onlookers grimaced at the pain, as evident by Atkinson punching the ground.

The 18 year old was cleared of any major damage but you can bet he'll be sitting on the sidelines for some time.

All the best in your recovery Nathaniel. We hope to see you back out there soon.

Chris Sermeno



The Ugly

No supporters know the highs and lows of football like Perth Glory fans.

They've watched their team play free flowing, attacking football with their superstars firing in goals with ease. They've also watched their team offer no threat going forward while leaking countless goals in crucial clashes. It's a thankless job supporting the Perth Glory.

Their current run of form has been particularly hard to watch, with the side having slipped to 9th place on the table, a mere couple of points above an up and about Wellington Phoenix.

The worst thing about their miserable period is their defensive efforts, as they've watched a whopping 17 goals go past them in their last 5 games. An average of more than 3 goals a match.

Kenny Lowe is as under the pump as any coach in A-League history, and if he's to be any hope of sitting in his coaches seat securely, he must look to reinforce his crumbling defensive wall. The signing of Dino Djulbic in recent days shows that he has made this a priority, but maybe the damage has already been done.

Brodie Cowburn



Who's Hot

Given the enormous impact he's had on his side, and on the league itself, the signing of Ross McCormack happened with fairly little coverage or fanfare.

Brought on as in injury replacement for skipper Bruno Fornaroli, the former Scottish international was looking for a new start after what had been a torrid run at his parent club Aston Villa.

While his signing was something of a gamble for Melbourne City given him form and fitness issues, he has repaid the faith they have shown in him in spades.

With 14 goals from 16 appearances, he has had one of the best starts to an A-League career by any player ever. He's displayed a new lease on life at his new Melbourne home, scoring one of the great A-League goals this weekend in his side's 5-0 trouncing of Adelaide United.

McCormack is only a loan player at Melbourne City, who will now be doing all they can to keep hold of their revelation. For the sake of the league, all fans should be crossing their fingers that they succeed, for the quality of football is undoubtedly higher with players like Ross McCormack sticking around.

Mikaela Pratt


Who's Not

Adelaide United has suffered their heaviest defeat of the season this weekend, as Melbourne City annihilated them 5-0.

Adelaide coach, Marco Kurz, called it their "worst performance of the season". Even with the addition of their three key players back from Australian U23 duty (Blackwood, Izzo and Garuccio), who all started on the bench, a five-goal thrashing is inexcusable.

This loss extends Adelaide's winless streak to three games, and has seen Adelaide drop to fifth on the table, only 3 points ahead of Western Sydney Wanderers in sixth place.

Adelaide United have the worst conversion rate in the league at 10%, even though they have taken the most shots in the league. They will be hoping to end their winless streak away to Wellington Phoenix, on Saturday 27th January.

Brodie Cowburn



Goal of the Week

Melbourne City monopolised the Goal of the Week contenders in a single game as Adelaide fell 5-0 to the big spenders.

Ross McCormack has been banging in the goals for City in Fornaroli's absence, but new signing Dario Vidosic wasted no time in making himself popular with the City faithful (what faithful?)

Out of the two superstars, who both stamped their names in the top goals of the year category with emphasis, City's new #10 Vidosic takes the goal of the week.

Before you butcher me for the selection, take into consideration the difficulty of the angle. Vidosic had his back to goal when taking control, and taking it on the turn he beautifully fired it past a helpless Daniel Margush from the side of the box. (see Peter Crouch v Liverpool)

On a personal note, I was more impressed with Vidosic's goal. Argue what you will.

Chris Sermeno

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/a-league-press-rewind-round-17-vidosic-cracker-for-city-glory-struggling-defence-adelaide-embarrassed-4217178?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/a-league-press-rewind-round-17-vidosic-cracker-for-city-glory-struggling-defence-adelaide-embarrassed-4217178?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Thu, 25 Jan 2018 11:34:51 +1100
<![CDATA[A-LEAGUE PRESS REWIND - ROUND 16: Another Jets star man injured; Melb Victory fans losing patience with Muscat; Adelaide show fight;]]> <p>Just in case you missed it, here is everything of importance from the A-League Round 16 in Tribalfootball's Press Rewind. <br></p><p><br></p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/a-league-press-rewind-round-16-another-jets-star-man-injured-melb-victory-fans-losing-patience-with-muscat-adelaide-show-fight-4216104?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Just in case you missed it, here is everything of importance from the A-League Round 16 in Tribalfootball's Press Rewind.



The Good

It's amazing what good the league can bring every now and again. Sometimes it's like the little engine that could, other times it's just simply unbelievable. This week, credit simply has to go to Adelaide United for their effort against runaway leaders Sydney FC.

United, who are in the middle of a depleted squad crisis, held off the champions for a 0-0 draw despite missing 10 first team players to injuries and international duty. It's enough to have coaches fuming, but Marco Kurz knew what lay ahead of them and braced the squad accordingly, which paid off in moral and getting a point out of what seemed the impossible.

In the same week that Liverpool scuppered Manchester City's aim of an undefeated season, have Adelaide discovered the blueprint to knocking the champions off their perch? And with a couple of teenagers and untried players, it's easily an impressive feat.

The rest of the competition will be eyeing up their next encounter with Sydney, hopeful of being able to keep the star-studded squad at bay themselves.

Chris Sermeno



The Bad

It's no secret that Newcastle Jets are the surprise packet team of this year's A-League competition.

Under new gaffer Ernie Merrick, the Jets have shown to be an attacking powerhouse. They've scored their way past almost every team that's stepped up to the plate to challenge them, and they now sit comfortably in second place behind Sydney FC.

It's Newcastle's best campaign for a long time, and the most remarkable thing is they've done it with bad luck working against them.

First, their star off season signing Ronald Vargas suffers one of the ugliest injuries of the season, and is put out for an extended stint on the sidelines recuperating from his injury.

Now, they worry again about the fitness of their star replacement, Patricio Rodriguez.

In only his second match for the club, Rodriguez was the victim of a bad two footed challenge from Roar's Jacob Pepper. Although he finished the game, there are now concerns that their new signing will have to spend some time on the injury table as well.

Having scored in his debut, the loss of Rodriguez would be one that the Jets could not afford. Despite these troubles however, they still won against Brisbane on the weekend, and they continue to perform in spite of their apparent lack of good fortune.

Brodie Cowburn



Who's Hot

There is no player hotter in the A-League at the moment than Melbourne Victory's Leroy George.

George, who is a Dutch native, signed a one-year deal at the start of the season, and has proved to be one of the best signings of the season for any team.

On Saturday night against Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory won 3-2. George provided all three assists to help the Victory to the three points, and was the key man in the match. George was able to create 5 chances, take 4 shots, win 11 duels, provide 13 crosses and 36 passes from 82 touches. He was everywhere, and without him the Victory could not have won.

These statistics above are anticipated considering George's track record this season. George is number one in the league for number of crosses (156), second in the league for chances created (48), equal eight for shots on goal (25), and first for number of assists (11).

Leroy George earned player of the round this week, and with his performance its unsurprising. George is a hot commodity, and the only question now is: Will Victory be able to resign him?

Mikaela Pratt




Who's Not

Melbourne Victory currently sit 4th, 3 points behind rivals Melbourne City. However, at the first sign of a lacklustre performance or questionable tactics, the fans seem ready to throw Kevin Muscat out the window.

Despite coming off a hard-fought win over Perth, Muscat is hardly making himself a popular figure with his supporters. The nature of unattractive football and squad selections leave fans baffled almost every matchday. It seems any result of the season will be enough for the Victory faithful to be calling for his head, even at the early stages of this campaign.

With Champions League football on the horizon, and a squad that barely gets rotated, Muscat will have plenty to think about as his hands get full with more commitments on the way and whether his formula is one for success as we draw closer to the race for finals places.

They say football is a fickle game. I tend to agree and disagree in a sense, but the saying rings true for the fans in this case.

Chris Sermeno




Goal of the Week

Off the back of a stunning upset home win against traditional powerhouses Melbourne Victory, Wellington would have entered their match against the Wanderers with a spring in their step.

Wellington capitalised on a 10 man Victory side with a dominant display of attacking prowess, as they exploited the giant Rhys Williams sized gap in the Victory defence.

Once again playing at home, the Phoenix would have been hoping to continue on their winning ways, with a win against the Wanderers potentially moving them off the bottom of the table.

While the Wanderers took an early lead through veteran Brendon Santalab, Wellington were able to strike back and steal a point through an absolute screamer from Matija Ljujic.

His first A-League goal was a beauty, check it out.

Brodie Cowburn

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/a-league-press-rewind-round-16-another-jets-star-man-injured-melb-victory-fans-losing-patience-with-muscat-adelaide-show-fight-4216104?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/a-league-press-rewind-round-16-another-jets-star-man-injured-melb-victory-fans-losing-patience-with-muscat-adelaide-show-fight-4216104?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:32:35 +1100
<![CDATA[TRIBAL TALKING POINTS - A-League Round 12: Melbourne derby heats up; Newcastle host WSW; One or the other in Adelaide;]]> <p>Ernie and Newcastle trying to stay near the top<br></p><p>As we head into the turn of the Christmas and New Year festivities, the Newcastle Jets will be aiming to finish the year on a high by keeping pace with league leaders Sydney FC.<br> Despite the injury turmoil at the Jets, particularly the long-term injuries to their star players, the Jets haven't had any issues in readjusting and continuing their exciting brand of football.</p><a href='https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/tribal-talking-points-a-league-round-12-melbourne-derby-heats-up-newcastle-host-wsw-one-or-the-other-in-adelaide-4212812?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets'>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Ernie and Newcastle trying to stay near the top

As we head into the turn of the Christmas and New Year festivities, the Newcastle Jets will be aiming to finish the year on a high by keeping pace with league leaders Sydney FC.
Despite the injury turmoil at the Jets, particularly the long-term injuries to their star players, the Jets haven't had any issues in readjusting and continuing their exciting brand of football.

However, Ernie Merrick is looking to sign an injury replacement player to help cover the losses of Roy O'Donovan and Ronnie Vargas.

We have to ask ourselves if they need to resort to such measures? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. With no pressure of FFA Cup duties or Asian Champions League travel, the Jets aren't in such a predicament that they need a short-term replacement. Should they sign him, it may pose selection headaches if O'Donovan does make a comeback before season's end.

On the flip side of the coin the Wanderers might be headed for a repeat performance of last season, an unprecedented 12 drawn matches saw them just finish 6th last campaign. The Wanderers are currently 8th, 2 points off finals. Interestingly, they currently hold a 7 match unbeaten streak against the high flying Jets, making for a tasty clash of surprise packets vs the historical favourites.

Gombau remained coy on how long the process would take. While the Wanderers faithful might seem disgruntled, there's still plenty of time in the season for the Spaniard to influence his magic. The in-form Jets will be a stern task for a recovering Western Sydney outfit.

Chris Sermeno



Will home ground advantage help top versus bottom?

It's top versus bottom, as Sydney FC visit Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

These two teams couldn't be more polar opposites this season than they are. Phoenix have conceded the most goals in the competition (21), Sydney have conceded the least (9). Sydney have had the most-clean sheets (5), Phoenix have had the least (1). Currently, Sydney have nearly five times the points of the Phoenix this season.

The Phoenix are having a rough time at the moment, and this isn't helped by the fact the club keeps losing players and personnel. Two weeks ago, marquee midfielder, Gui Finkler was released from his contract. This week, assistant coach, Rado Vidosic, and key midfielder, Dario Vidosic, walked away from the club. Will the Phoenix be able to defy the odds, and produce a strong performance, amid the turmoil at the club this week?

The fact that this match is in Wellington will actually benefit the Sky Blues, surprisingly, who have remained undefeated at Westpac Stadium in the last three seasons. Sydney midfielder, Brandon O'Neill even commented on this point earlier this week, "A trip over to Wellington is always a good thing for Sydney FC, we love travelling there, we love playing there and more importantly we love winning there, so we're looking forward to the weekend."

Sydney goes into this match on a five-game winning streak, while Phoenix go into this match on a four-match winless streak. Will Sydney continue their strong form this season, or will the Phoenix surprise everyone and take down the league leaders?

Mikaela Pratt



Who will take home the Melbourne derby?

The Melbourne derby, one of the A-League's most anticipated fixtures.

This game could not come at a better time for the two Melbourne sides, who both could take a truck load of confidence from a big win against one of their fiercest rivals.

With both sides having struggled for consistency and form at times this campaign, a convincing win against a cross town enemy could be enough to see either of their seasons given a kick in the rear end.

One interesting situation to come from the lead up to the game is the inclusion of Ross McCormack in the Melbourne City squad for the match. After picking up a knock last round that had City fans fearing an ACL rupture, the striker will now sensationally line up for his side to spearhead their attack, or so Melbourne City might have you believe.

The McCormack inclusion may be a case of mind games, with Cahill and Fornaroli also gone they may just be trying to keep Victory defenders from getting complacent ahead of their big clash.

One to watch for the Victory is Dutch import Leroy George. He now leads the league in assists in his very first A-League season, and looks to be an inspired singing for the Victory.

Brodie Cowburn



Interesting clash in Adelaide - which way will it go?

Adelaide United seem to be in a fairly healthy position for the time being this season. Sitting right in the middle of the table, the Reds need to continue their form if they're to make finals for this season. The squad will take a hit when some key players are called up to the under-23 Asian Championships, but there have been whispers of a reunion between the club and an old face.

Dario Vidosic recently walked out on the Wellington Phoenix, and the Reds could make a play for the A-League veteran to strengthen their roster and inject a little more creativity to the middle.

Similarly, the Mariners are also set to lose a couple of first team players to the same tournament, notably that of Daniel De Silva. Still feeling hard done by last round's dubious VAR red card debacle, the Mariners will also have to deal with the suspensions of Wout Brama and Jake McGing.

Now, Dario Vidosic won't be available until the January transfer window opens, but the loss of Wout Brama isn't going to do the Mariners any favours without one of their key midfielders. This match has the makings of a team hungry for finals contention, but both sides may also play cautiously due to the misdemeanours of the VAR to both teams last round.

A supercharged high scoring encounter, or a quiet possession based snore fest? (Unfortunately, I'm not referring to the cricket). Both are completely possible here. Boxing Day awaits!

Chris Sermeno

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https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/tribal-talking-points-a-league-round-12-melbourne-derby-heats-up-newcastle-host-wsw-one-or-the-other-in-adelaide-4212812?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets https://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/tribal-talking-points-a-league-round-12-melbourne-derby-heats-up-newcastle-host-wsw-one-or-the-other-in-adelaide-4212812?utm_source%3Dmediafed%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed-Latest%2BArticles%2Bfor%2BNewcastle%2BJets Fri, 22 Dec 2017 11:02:26 +1100