The Big Five Answers | Round 16

Ever had that mate who can't get past a break up? Well, that's Brisbane Roar in the aftermath of their split from Ange Postecoglou.

Ever had that mate who can't get past a break up? Well, that's Brisbane Roar in the aftermath of their split from Ange Postecoglou. Their title defence, as good as dead.

Adelaide United v Perth Glory: is Shane Smeltz back? We said Perth were out of touch, on that count we were right, we just didn't seem to realise how far they had fallen of late.

Shane Smeltz who we said was the danger-man, never really got a chance because Perth's ball movement was sluggish and the service to him was poor, although when he did he won a penalty and started a charge that was ultimately all too late as the Reds switched off.

Liam Miller, so often the catalyst for a Glory attack looked tired and slow to react when he got the ball and he wasn't the only one. Danny Vukovic was partially culpable for Jeronimo Neumann's double, indecisive and slow to react on the two occasions the Argentine scored, despite stopping him one-on-one early on; Vukovic came halfway on both goals.

Admittedly on both occasions Steve Pantelidis was beat for pace in defence and just how much Perth were missing the rested Josh Risdon was plain for all to see.

As for the Reds, well they definitely turned up ready to play, but not for the first time this season switched off late and nearly paid a huge price with Perth scoring twice in the last five minutes, which John Kosmina could not have been happy with.

Their midfield was at its creative best with Dario Vidosic and Iain Ramsay providing plenty of thrust, while in goals Eugene Galekovic overcame a somewhat nervy start to produce a couple of cracking saves throughout the match.

The summation: Adelaide are contenders, Perth are pretenders.

Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners: Can the Mariners concentrate? The Mariners are so concentrated we-re starting to think Graham Arnold keeps his players in shrink-wrapped oxygen tents, distilling their essence every few months to create another set of clones for the Central Coast production line.

Arnie-s men were uncharacteristically chasing the game for much of this fixture, as the movement of Victory-s midfield and attack dragged them apart and created space between the lines. Melbourne-s movement off the ball was a joy to watch sometimes, and it was somewhat surprising they didn-t go in with more than one goal after the first 45.

As it was, Arnie-s clone troopers came back out after the break, reprogrammed, with the first half wiped from their memory banks and concentrating on finding a way to get back into the game. The TV commentators seemed to believe Victory should have got all three points, but we-d say the Mariners were worth the daw. Even when Victory were on top, they never looked flustered. And that-s why they-re on top.

Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar: Are the Roar waking up?

Jeez, it-s hard watching Brisbane Roar these days. It-s like seeing a mate who used to be full of confidence but got dumped and now can-t get his stuff together. We know these players and this team are capable of the highest quality but they-re struggling right now. They just haven-t been the same since Ange packed his half of the DVD collection and headed south to hook up with his hometown sweetheart.

The Roar just looked ordinary against Newcastle, and that-s the hardest thing of all. Gary van Egmond had his side well organised; they were compact in defence and pressured the Roar so much they couldn-t find a way out of their own half, except with the odd long ball. No Emile Heskey looked to be a blow to the Jets but they looked much more agile and flexible without the big Englishman up front. Is it enough to van Egmond to keep trying without his marquee?

Brisbane, however, looked short of ideas and even less confidence to try anything. We don-t like saying it but it-s only because they made our expectations so high. Mike Mulvey-s side hardly troubled Mark Birighitti, Broich was struggling again and Besart Berisha all but anonymous - and how often can you say that? We-re calling it - Brisbane Roar-s championship defence, died 12/01/13.

Wellington Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers: What-s up with Wellington?

Wellington didn-t exactly go chasing after the points in a match that moved as slowly as the opening stages of The Hobbit.

Unfortunately for Wellington they didn-t take an unexpected journey into the winners list falling prey to a Wanderers side who enjoy a 1 or 2-0 victory about as much as a more famous team who don the red and black.

Surely for Ricki Herbert it-s time for a major revamp, his team looked out of their league and out of their depth, before admitting they can-t seem to come to terms with the new playing style; and Ben Sigmund-s goal assist failed to help matters improve at all.

As for the Wanderers they just keep rolling along quietly and are still a chance of climbing higher than fourth on the ladder due to their professionalism, while Wellington have now hit rock bottom.

Sydney FC v Melbourne Heart: Was this Sydney-s last chance?

Has anyone actually ventured to tell the Sky Blues that football is a game based on fluidity of movement?

“Statues” was the cry from those in the press box all too often throughout this one, and the reference was valid in both attack and defence.

Sydney stood still when the ball was in their final third, with the midfield unable to time their runs at anything close to the proper moment and they simply stood and watched as Nick Kalmar and Fred worked the set piece that led to an easy header for Richard Garcia to find the net.

Regardless of that the big stories coming out of this one were the on-pitch blow up between Ali Abbas and Alessandro Del Piero, followed by Sydney-s late revival.

Upon being subbed just 39 minutes into the match Abbas let Del Piero have it and it looked as if it might have been the Italian who gave Frank Farina the instruction to take the Iraqi off the pitch.

Astonishingly the two continued to exchange pleasantries all the way to halftime and looked to get involved again as they walked into the tunnel with Del Piero rushing to get in Abbas-s ear before Zeljko Kalac got in between them.

Despite the drama Sydney dominated the second half, but for the longest time they were unable to find the net until Andrew Redmayne sensationally spilt one into his own net at the near post to allow Brett Emerton redemption for an earlier miss, which was followed up by the latest of injury time winners by Rhyan Grant to keep Sydney-s season alive.

They are now just two points outside the six and are ready for another do or die clash with Wellington.