Wanderers look the team to beat at halfway mark of season
WITH the halfway point of the A-League season fast approaching as we head into the New Year, I thought it was time to take a look at how all the teams were faring.
Let's start with the competition leaders, Western Sydney Wanderers.
Coach Tony Popovic will be delighted with where his team sits after 12 games, particularly after a shaky start.
The Wanderers have not lost since the 1-0 defeat in the Sydney derby in October, and look the team to beat.
Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi will also be more than satisfied with his team's first 12 games.
Jamie Maclaren has been good up front for Aloisi, but it will interesting to see how the Brisbane team fares when the former Perth Glory frontman joins teammates Brandon Borello and James Donachie at the Olympic qualifying tournament with the Olyroos later this month in Qatar.
Thomas Broich will have to add goals to his game if the Roar is to continue to impress in the second half of the season.
Melbourne City has no problems scoring goals, with 30 flying in from its 12 games.
However, while Bruno Fornaroli and Aaron Mooy have caught the eye going forward, so too has Thomas Sorensen in goals, which suggests City is struggling defensively. That will have to change if City is to challenge for the title.
A lack of goals has been Sydney FC's problem so far.
Graham Arnold will not be happy with five draws, and will be looking for improvement.
If that comes then the Sky Blues can be a contender.
So too Melbourne Victory, if it can get out of a poor run of results.
Kevin Muscat's men have not won in six games, and lost five in a row before drawing with Perth on Sunday.
Victory will need goals from sources other than Besart Berisha to turn its season around.
Wellington Phoenix could be playing its last season in the A-League and Ernie Merrick's men have done nothing to excite me or their fans so far.
A win overnight against Central Coast would move the Kiwi club to fifth at least for a day. Whether the club can sustain that position is another question.
Adelaide looks to have turned the corner, going four games unbeaten after a terrible start.
Coach Guillermo Amor will have to make sure his team continues that improvement to earn a playoff spot.
After a decent start under coach Scott Miller, Newcastle has gone off the boil.
Goals have been a problem, with only nine in 12 games. If that does not improve the Jets will continue to struggle.
Perth Glory has improved immensely after a slow start and with a bit more luck could have been further up the ladder.
The addition of Andy Keogh in the transfer window will be a huge boost and if the club can find a way of getting him in under the salary cap, then look for the Glory to rise.
Sadly Central Coast looks like the wooden spoon winner already.
Five points from 12 games is a poor return and unless coach Tony Walmsley can improve a defence which has conceded 28 goals, the rest of the season looks bleak.