The Big Five Answers | Round 8

We asked could Sydney pull it together, are Victory closer to the finished product and could Roar stand up for themselves... What do you think we said?

We asked could Sydney pull it together, are Victory closer to the finished product and could Roar stand up for themselves... What do you think we said?

1. Can Sydney pull it together? Sydney couldn-t pull two magnets together right now. That performance was, to be frank, a shambles. Too slow at the back, gaping holes in the middle of the park - Terry McFlynn could now be nicknamed “The Crab”, for all the sideways moves he makes - and not enough support or smarts in the final third.

Sydney FC have been so poor you have to ask where they would be if they didn-t have Del Piero - but they are already bottom of the league. How could it get much worse?

Perhaps most frustrating is that Sydney have a good squad of players; Bosschaart and Griffiths have the potential to form a very solid partnership, Yairo Yau has plenty of speed and energy - he just needs someone to play alongside - and any team than can boast ADP, Emerton and Culina doesn-t deserve to be in last place.

The Sky Blues can-t find themselves a coach soon enough.

2. Can Heart find their consistency? Yes and no. We saw the good and the bad of Melbourne Heart this weekend. Sometimes clever, creative, and with attacking options across the park - but then inconsistent and unable to really take control of a game.

They say 2-0 is the most dangerous score line - but they are crazy people. Any team with title aspirations that find themselves 2-0 should have the game locked up. But perhaps that-s the point: Heart under Aloisi aren-t the finished product and are still growing as their coach learns.

Newcastle should have been out of this game but they deserve plenty of credit for fighting their way back in - would Heart be able to do the same if the roles were reversed?

3. Are Victory any closer to the finished product? Yep, and ominously, they-re getting better every week. Sam Gallagher-s early bath was undoubtedly harsh but it tilted the balance of the game in Victory-s favour.

With an extra man the onus was suddenly on the Wanderers to take control, while Melbourne sat back and attacked on the counter. What we saw was Victory-s best defensive performance of the season, fuelled by the red card, and the flexibility and deadliness of their attacking players.

Rojas and Thompson are working brilliantly together, even without the suspended Marcos Flores, and Gui Finkler sitting just behind the pushing forward and probing the gaps.

We also saw that Wanderers are not the finished product just yet, regardless of the praise they-ve received in recent weeks. Structured, disciplined, defensively sound - all true but they struggled to unlock their opponents when the attacking impetus was with them. Tony Popovic-s side will certainly have to improve that side of their game to really challenge.

4. Will the tyranny of distance finish Phoenix? Distance? What distance? It wasn-t a vintage game but Wellington will certainly be happier with a point than their hosts. The Phoenix know they can-t sit back when they-re on the road, and boosted by that 3-0 win over Newcastle last week, they tried to do the same again and take the game to their hosts.

Ian Ferguson, however, was left ruing another three points missed at home, following the loss to Western Sydney last week.

Perth aren-t quite in danger of wasting their early season good form just yet and if you-re going to have a bit of slump, now-s probably not such a bad time to get it out of the way - but they-re now already eight points behind league leaders Adelaide. Fergie-s much-fancied side will have to improve.

5. Can Brisbane stand up for themselves? Another frustrating display from Brisbane. Again, they passed the ball well - but they just lack that surgical precision and drive at attack they had under Ange Postecoglou.

Rado Vidosic said before the start of the season that he wanted to tweak the team a little to make it more attacking - but it hasn-t worked so far. Second from bottom, 12 scored and 12 conceded, five losses from eight games and yet to win on the road...

Their first-half performance suggested they could get something from the Mariners but, in truth, they were restricted to long-range shots or skying it over the bar. What has happened to those quick, crisp passes into the box for Berisha to finish off, or the patented Broich late pull-back for Nichols to fire home?

The Mariners never really look that flustered - apart from Berisha doing his best to wind everyone up. It should be a very interesting game when Adelaide United travel to Gosford in round 9.