Stubborn Stalemates: Wellington Phoenix must unleash Greenacre

19.10.09
Greenacre has been somewhat strangled by A-League defences thus far.

Greenacre has been somewhat strangled by A-League defences thus far.

When Robbie Fowler headed home a late equaliser for North Queensland Fury against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night, he condemned the Phoenix to become the new holders of one of the A-League’s more dubious records; their six consecutive draws is now the longest stretch of stalemates that one club has embarked upon in the competition’s five year history.

The most confusing thing though, is that Wellington have actually been playing quite an attacking brand of football for much of this season, have had more shots on goal than any other side in the league and have been creating lots of chances. If they are to break this frustrating sequence though, they need to find out how to get the most from Chris Greenacre, their English striker who was a prolific poacher for Tranmere Rovers in the English Championship. So how can it be done?

Click through to find out…

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Salient Article: Flight Potential

21.09.09

Salient Article Topper
After last night’s disappointing draw courtesy of a late, late goal by North Queensland Fury, I’m pretty demoralised and disappointed as a Wellington Phoenix fan. However, last week I wrote an article for Salient, the Victoria University student magazine, which argued that despite our disappointing start to the season, there was no need to write us off yet. And reading it back now that it’s published, I stand by that.

After all, we outplayed North Queensland Fury yesterday, a side who are in good form and came to the Ring of Fire off the back of a 1-0 win over high flying Sydney. We can be pleased then, that we are so disappointed with a draw from this match and the performance continues to suggest that we can be a threat this season – we only lack the ability to kill off games, but hopefully that will come. So if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps about our draw too…

…click through and have a read of my article, and let’s hope it cheers you up.


Phoenix 1-1 Adelaide: A-League Amateur Hour

04.09.09

Ifill was similarly bemused when his goal was disallowed.

Ifill was similarly bemused when his goal was disallowed.

I’ve just this minute watched Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United play out a 1-1 draw at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington and I’m fucking pissed off. I hate to sound like a broken record on this blog, and I know I had a good whine about Mike Dean ruining the game between Man United and Arsenal the other day, but given that this match was played in a different league on the other side of the world, I feel entitled to have another moan.

Wellington fully deserved to take three points from this game against Adelaide which wasn’t always the most fluent affair and saw some full-blooded commitment on show from both sides, but it was on the whole an entertaining affair. The Phoenix had plenty of chances to win it too and Tim Brown needs to visit finishing school after missing three absolute sitters, but they were well and truly robbed by possibly the worst offside decision I’ve ever seen.

Click through for my full match reaction…


Newcastle Jets 3-2 Wellington Phoenix: Match Reaction

10.08.09

Triantis and Brown battled for control of the midfield.

Triantis and Brown battled for control of the midfield.

Last night saw the Wellington Phoenix kick off their 3rd season in the Hyundai A-League away at Newcastle, and within twenty-two minutes of the kick off all the pre-season hype about their struggle to replace last season’s Golden Boot winner was looking frankly ridiculous. It was the defence that we wanted to be worrying about as two goals were quite simply gifted to the Jets on a silver platter, Jason Hoffman making no mistake with two simple opportunities.

Indeed, it was reminiscent of the ‘Nix’s performances in their first A-League campaign when their defence regularly capitulated to an almost comical degree, eventually condemning them to a last place finish. But those demons seemed to have been exercised last season when Andrew Durante, Ben Sigmund and Jon McKain joined the club and together established a fairly solid defensive combination. If last night’s performance is anything to go by though, the loss of Karl Dodd and Glen Moss are far bigger problems than the much discussed departure of Smeltz.

Click through for the full match reaction…


Salient Article: A-League Preview

10.08.09

Salient Article Topper
With Season 5 of the Hyundai A-League kicking off over the weekend just gone I worte a short preview of the upcoming season from a Wellington Phoenix point of view for the Victoria University student mag Sailient. Though the Phoenix unfortunately did not entirely justify my confidence in them in their opening game defeat to Newcastle yesterday evening (something I’ll be addressing in an article this evening if time allows) I still feel confident that the NZ side can make a splash in the competition.

Click through to read my A-League Preview…


Microphones: A Refereeing Solution

07.05.09

Referee Ovrebo is surrounded by outraged Chelsea players at the final whistle.

Referee Ovrebo is surrounded by outraged Chelsea players at the final whistle.

Having watched the great Champions League semi-final 2nd leg between Chelsea and Barcelona this morning, I was pleased to see that the standard of attacking play was as high as we had hoped for, and I was gutted for Chelsea, to come so close after playing so well, only to see it all slip away at the very last second, was harsh. Worse though, was the refereeing, and both sides can feel hard done by after another shambolic refereeing performance, following on from yesterday’s game.

It is such a shame that such a good game of football will ultimately be remembered not for two great goals, not for some heroic defending from Chelsea, some persistent attacking from Barca and for the result, which is of course always remembered, but instead for the tragic refereeing that plagued it. It’s becoming an all too familiar trend, and it needs to be addressed. Fear not though, for (as Baldrick would say) I have a cunning plan…

Click through to find out more…


FA Cup Live: The beginning of the rise of NZ Football?

14.04.09
Is this partnership the beginning of big things for NZ Football?

Is this partnership the beginning of big things for NZ Football?

Football fans of New Zealand rejoice: TVNZ is finally taking the beautiful game seriously! They have announced today that they have bought the exclusive rights to the televising of the English FA Cup semi finals and final for New Zealand, and that is great news.

For me as an Evertonian, it means I don’t have to try and wrestle my Internet connection into behaving well enough to stream the semi-final against Man Utd live, but for football fans everywhere, it means that New Zealand in general is beginning to take note of the sport as a serious spectator sport in this country, a sport that is worth investing in.

Click here to find out why this announcement is such good news…