G'dAy League

News and analysis of the Australian Hyundai A-League


Hyundai A-League

Best of the week – 19 November 2016

CC Image courtesy of Aaron Sholl on Flickr. Their images can be found on

G’day League gives a wrap up of the major (and minor) news for this week in Australian and world football.

A League

Following a disappointing 1-1 draw by the Socceroos in their WCQ against Thailand this week, Fox Sports Australia gives the low down on what the Socceroos need for the remaining qualifying matches (see: they need to win a lot).

The long-awaited A League expansion continues to dominate headlines, however David Gallop seems more interested in imparting wisdom on his other apparent passion, telling media to “fish where fish are”. In the mean time, the A-League have promised to think about thinking about expansion in 2017.

Speaking of expansion, and proving there truly is no fury like a demoted franchise, Townsville-based Northern Fury have signalled intent to return to the the HAL, although have ruled out themselves out of the next round of tribal voting.

Fox Sports Australia with a treasure chest of Round 7 stats for the William Hill/Sportsbet aficionados. Pick of the bunch: Neither team in the Wanderers-Melbourne City fixture has ever registered back-to-back victories (with astute punters recognising that Melbourne City are currently “it” owing to their 4-3 loss away to the Wanderers in January this year).


ESPN FC has just released its Top 100 players in the world by position. Among the winners, in shocking news Lionel Messi took out best forward,  Gerard Pique edged out Jerome Boateng and Diego Godin for best centre back and (perhaps controversially) Pep Guardiola is still considered the best manager in the game.

Speaking of Messi, stalled contract negotiations with Barca have once again fuelled EPL transfer rumours. While giving hope to those that rate Messi’s one true remaining legacy is in fact to do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke (rather than any nonsense about World Cup glory), the author will continue to place this prospect in the “believe-it-when-I-see-it” category. Although given this is the year of President Trump, why shouldn’t we see Messi in a Canaries’ yellow jersey?

Madrid’s Marca has tracked down the current resting spot of a number of football’s most famous jerseys (Spanish only). Among the findings:

  • Maradona’s shirt from the 86 World Cup Quarter Final against England continues to taunt the Poms in its final resting place at the National Football Museum in Manchester (with a nice big plaque reminding patrons that it is called the “Hand of God” for a reason)
  • Pele’s shirt worn during the ’58 Swiss World Cup victory is in the hands of the Museo de Futbol in Montevideo Uruguay
  • Further proving the German spectre will never truly leave Brazil following the Mannschaft’s 7-1 demolition of the hosts in the 2014 semi final, a signed version can be still be found in the museum of the Mineirão stadium.

Perhaps unintentionally lending weight to the argument that footballers are nothing more than high paid dummies, teams including Portugal, Borussia Dortmund, Mexico, and Juventus have taken on the mannequin challenge. Spoiler alert: Ronaldo of course finds a way to pose without a shirt or pants.

Carlos Puyol names his “toughest” starting 11 faced. With names including Buffon, Maldini, Zanetti, Zidane, Seedorf, Pirlo, Robben and Drogba, while unsurprising the list is perhaps a healthy reminder of just how far Italian football has fallen these past two decades.

In their 1-1 draw with Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Edin Džeko has found a new way of embarrassing defenders, performing a stellar rendition of the ol’ schoolyard dacking. While his no-nonense approach should be applauded, the sending off might have been a little harsh given he stopped short of completing a full ‘Hopoate’.

Reddit soccer has provided the best tricks by crap players. Highlights included Kieran Trippier’s dazzling ball skills (matched by his disgust at the nerve of the guy to foul him while such wizardry was on display) , Arsenal’s Johan Djourou’s supreme nutmeg, and the self-administered anklebreaker by Hadjuk’s Ante Aracic (a career ender apparently).

Proving himself a solid (albeit optimistic) judge of football skill and potential, Russell Crowe took to twitter this week to alert his pet team Leeds United of the potential of a little known Bundesliga striker by the name of Robert Lewandowski. Transfer negotiations appear to be ongoing.

Good read: Pablo Escobar and his (other) white line fever. Spoiler: Maradona makes an appearance.

Could we see the (un)perfect season from the Wanderers?

While the Hyundai A-League season may only just have passed the halfway point, making null and void the efficacy of any sort of prediction about the next six months (particularly from armchair critics like myself), is it worth now asking if the Western Sydney Wanderers, Australian football’s ‘Crown Jewel’ just a few months previous after winning the Asian club championship, may now be on track to recording a full domestic season with no wins?  Continue reading “Could we see the (un)perfect season from the Wanderers?”

Alessandro Del Piero is really leaving Sydney FC – You can’t leave without saying goodbye

Having written a blog piece a few weeks ago about the bittersweet relationship Sydney FC was enjoying with its Italian marquee signing, A-League coverage over the past week appears to suggest that my sinister wish for the two to part ways has come true. Indeed I should have heeded the advice, ‘be careful what you wish for’ a little better.

Continue reading “Alessandro Del Piero is really leaving Sydney FC – You can’t leave without saying goodbye”

What is next for the Western Sydney Wanderers?

Last night’s 2-1 loss in extra time of the 2013-14 Hyundai A-League Grand Final will have left Western Sydney Wanderers fans with a desperately hollow feeling, as the club has now suffered losses at this stage of the tournament for the last two seasons.

As an (almost) impartial viewer yesterday, it was hard not to feel bad for them as well. Despite finishing 10 points behind their grand final opponents, the Brisbane Roar in the 2013-14 regular season, there was a real sense of optimism amongst Wanderers supporters, who most likely saw their failure the previous year as the last piece of the puzzle needed in attaining this season’s A-League Championship. The old adage of needing to lose one before you win one.

Continue reading “What is next for the Western Sydney Wanderers?”

Does the A-League need additional assistants? – In Search of the Perfectly Refereed Game

In Sunday’s semi-final encounter between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory, the Victory had a goal line clearance waved on and strong penalty chance denied in the dying embers of second half injury time. The two decisions would ultimately prevent Melbourne from a chance at an equalising goal, and see Brisbane progress to next week’s grand final against the Wanderers in their place.

The legitimacy of both claims have been thoroughly discussed by Mark Bosnich and the Fox Sports football commentary team, seeming to suggest that the referee could well have cost the Melbourne Victory any hopes of victory when he chose not to penalise Matt Smith for his challenge on Mark Milligan. As to be expected, Victory coach Kevin Muscat was infuriated by the call (or lack thereof) and the opinion of fans on various Australian sporting websites have indicated a large majority sympathising with the plight of the Melbourne team.

Continue reading “Does the A-League need additional assistants? – In Search of the Perfectly Refereed Game”

Best Big Blues in the history of the A-League

Melbourne…Sydney…who is better?

It is a rivalry of cities that is so famous it has it’s own wikipedia entry, so vitriolic I have probably already offended someone by listing Melbourne first. The two biggest cities in Australia maintain a healthy competition in a number of sporting codes, and so it is no surprise that the A-League has fostered and strengthened its own version.

Continue reading “Best Big Blues in the history of the A-League”

Best A-League Goals of the 2013-14 season

With the regular competition of the 2013-14 Hyundai A-League now complete, it is time to dust off the ol’ youtube-vision in search of the goal highlights from this campaign. As evidence of the growing capability and skil of the Hyundai A-League, a full 12 goals have made the list, not including the many close contenders that had to be left off.


James Troisi – Melbourne Victory vs Brisbane Roar (Rd 3)

Continue reading “Best A-League Goals of the 2013-14 season”

2013-14 A-League Semi-Finals Predictions – By the numbers

This weekend will see the semi-finals of the Hyundai A-League played to determine which two teams will contest for the title of A-League Champions on 4 May.

Of note is the fact that these teams are the same four that played out last year’s semi-finals, with the Wanderers vanquishing the Roar 2-0 to progress to the final, and Central Coast defeating the Victory 1-nil. The Mariners would go on to be crowned the A-League Champions for the 2012-13 season with a 2-0 victory.

Given the bi-annual symmetry, the meaningful statistics of the last two years of competition have been dug out, to bring you the telling facts and figures that will predict with 100 per cent certainty, the semi-final winners and grand-final competitors for the 2013-14 season. You’re welcome!

Continue reading “2013-14 A-League Semi-Finals Predictions – By the numbers”

Does the A-League need more teams?

Leading into the final round of competition for the 2013-14 Hyundai A-League regular season, Adelaide United’s Spanish-born manager Josep Gombau has come out with an interesting argument, suggesting that the Australian domestic league is need of a greater number of teams.

In this, his first season in the A-League, Gombau believes that while the competition’s quality is at or above the level of many European leagues, the low number of teams and high frequency of repetitive fixtures are holding back further advancement in Australian and New Zealand domestic football. He is proposing that the league need expand to 14 teams from its current number of 10.

While consciously trying to avoid the mistake of taking anything and everything a European says about football as gospel, this is still a man that has had significant experience coaching youth squads in Spain, and a head coaching role in Hong Kong, so he certainly has cause to speak on the issue.  Continue reading “Does the A-League need more teams?”

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