The Big Five Answers | Round 7

The Phoenix made Newcastle a 'no-fly' zone and defensive sides stood up on more than one occassion. Our editors provide the answers to the questions the weekend provided.

Who would stand up, could Heart keep it together and would Wellington ground the Jets? We provide the answers to all these questions and more below.

1. Is it the players or the coach? If it was the players that were the problem for the Roar, it most certainly wasn-t in round seven and the rocket they all received from Rado Vidosic seems to do the trick.

While they weren-t quite the Roar of old, they were fairly ruthless against a hapless Sydney FC. Thomas Broich actually looked like he cared and they dominated the Sky Blues in midfield.

Sure, they didn-t quite contain Alessandro Del Piero, but that-s a tall order for any team. What was noticeable was that the frustration with his team-s performance - or lack of it - was written all over Del Piero-s face as the match wore on.

Roar played well and took full advantage of a clearly disorganised and demoralised Sydney side but the jury-s out on whether they still possess the ruthless consistency they had under Ange Postecoglou. This weekend-s trip to Gosford should be more illustrative of where the champions stand.

2. Can Heart maintain the rage? Straight up? No.

John Aloisi said as much post-game, accusing his side of throwing in the towel once they went down a goal to the Reds and he was spot-on.

Heart were outplayed for a large portion of the match and were completely unable to make any sort of threat on Adelaide-s goal, giving Eugene Galekovic the quietest of evenings.

The only bright lights were really the form of Patrick Gerhardt and Clint Bolton in goal - but consistency remains Heart-s biggest problem and at this rate will soon kill off any finals hopes they have for this season.

As for Adelaide, John Kosmina-s men continued on their merry way and now sit atop the league, two points clear of any of their rivals with a trip to the continually sliding Sydney on the agenda.

The Reds must be smiling right now - or at least cracking open a Coopers or two.

3. Arnie v Ange, it-s on again, who will win? They split the points but the honours on this result should probably go to Graham Arnold.

His organised team emerged with a point after playing the largest part of the second half with only 10 men on the field, after Patrick Zwaanswijk received his second yellow card for the game.

Victory then laid siege to the Mariners goal, but Arnie-s men were resolute, constantly stopping the Victory raids that were led by Marco Rojas and Marcos Flores.

Those two players are indicative of what Ange Postecoglou is trying to achieve with his Victory team but despite some flashes of brilliance, they-re still some way short of the finished product and some way behind Arnold-s ongoing success on the Central Coast.

4. Will Newcastle become a ‘no fly-zone? Absolutely. This was the Wellington we became used to seeing late last season; they were cagey in the early stages and placed an emphasis on defence, making sure the Jets couldn-t break through their lines and were rewarded just before halftime, when Jeremy Brockie and Paul Ifill combined on the counter-attack to give them the lead.

Jeremy Brockie was inspired for the visitors as he dominated his former side and Paul Ifill looked as if he is beginning to work his way into form.

The afternoon was miserable for the Jets and it got worse in the second half with young keeper Mark Birighitti stretchered off the field after having his facial features rearranged by Brockie in an accidental collision.

We wish Birighitti the best in his recovery and hope it is a speedy one - as will Gary van Egmond when his side take on Melbourne Heart next week.

5. Attack versus defence, what will win?

Overwhelmingly, the defence and the Wanderers, who ended Perth-s home winning streak in a committed and sometimes scrambling style.

They were left little option but to sit deep and repel the Glory as best they could once Youssuf Hersi was shown the red card by Kris Griffiths-Jones in the first half.

If anyone questioned how long Tony Popovic-s side could maintain their good form, this well-drilled and disciplined display, one man down against a powerful and aggressive Perth side should leave them in no doubt that Western Sydney are on an upward trajectory.

Ante Covic helped out with some superb stops as did the woodwork at nib Stadium, which Steven McGarry probably wants replaced as he likely wonders Happy Gilmore style if “those goals are regulation size or what?”

McGarry lashed a lethal strike that hit the upright and had Covic beat with a header that hit the bar as well. Not Perth-s day and a day where defence won out in a big and historic way for the away side.