The big five questions | Round 7

Who is to blame for Brisbane's woes? Can Heart keep it going? And Arnie versus Ange... again, we look at the big questions ahead of round seven.

Our editors discuss the big issues for your team heading into round seven of Hyundai A-League action

1. Is it the players or the coach? Both Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC are suffering early season slumps, of that there is no doubt, the good news is these teams usually turn it on against each other, and if all else fails maybe… just maybe, Pascal Bosschaart and Besart Berisha will unleash their dislike for each other again.

The question remains though why are they losing? Is it the players? Or, are the coaches responsible?

After their capitulation to Melbourne Heart last week Rado Vidosic slammed his team-s lack of commitment, labelling the effort ‘garbage-, before going on to say the following.

"There was no heart in our play," he said.

"It was just the game that individuals didn't want to play in, didn't want to perform.

"It was probably the worst performance we've seen from this lot in 2½ years."

Fair enough, but is it really a case of the commitment not being there?

This is a champion team, they don-t just lose their desire overnight, could it be a case of they can-t adapt to the style Vidosic demands from them?

As for Sydney FC, well Ian Crook makes six coaches gone in eight seasons, and while he admitted to hating the pressure, in the case of Sydney FC it might just be the playing unit managing to get through the entire 90 minutes that is the issue.

Then again as so often happens a new coach might just mean they sneak home with a much-needed three points.


Give us your answers to this week's big questions in the comments section below

2. Can Heart maintain the rage? They started the season like the proverbial house on fire, then they drew, then they lost three straight and then they dominated the Roar.

Yep, like a Ronan Keating song life at the Heart this year is one big rollercoaster, you just have to ride it. Despite that their last 135 minutes of football have been quality and they may have just turned the corner.

The true test though comes this week in the form of an Adelaide United side who have been the benchmark of the competition early this season.

There is a recurring theme for the Heart though, when Josip Tadic, Richard Garcia and Mate Dugandzic fire, so do the Heart, so much of their play comes through those three, that for them to have success all three have to lead by example, the question is will they?

3. Arnie v Ange, it-s on again, who will win? There-s little doubt that in his time at the Roar Ange Postecoglou had the wood on Graham Arnold-s Central Coast Mariners, but back then his team were at a different level, they had become used to Ange-s style and played it well.

These days Ange has a talented side at Victory, but they are still learning the Postecoglou method. No doubt they have been improved since the arrival of Nathan Coe between the posts, but they still have a long way to go and to be blunt, their defence is leaky.

In contrast Arnold-s Mariners are a tight unit, know what their style is and play it brilliantly, there is nothing wrong with winning 1-0, it means you get the three points, they are tight and well-drilled. It-s free-flowing football versus a compact defence, who will get the chocolates?

4. Will Newcastle become a ‘no fly-zone? Wellington-s woes on the road have re-emerged this season, as it seems they have forgotten the golden rule to away games is scrap a point however you can.

Last season they became masters of this by parking the proverbial plane in their half of the pitch and when a mistake allowed attacking on the counter.

Ricki Herbert is a shrewd enough manager to know his side must steel themselves before their season suffers and it has to start in Newcastle. For the Jets part they will continue to play aggressive football, the only question remaining is can they break down the Nix if they employ defensive tactics?

5. Attack versus defence, what will win? For all the talk of them being physical it seems no-one has hit on the fact that a big part of that physicality is Perth Glory-s athleticism, and that athleticism makes them an attacking threat.

It-s easy to point out that Scott Jamieson and Dean Heffernan are causing sides headaches on the left side and that Josh Risdon and Travis Dodd are marauding on the right, but why?

With the possible exception of Dodd, the reason is all of them are serious physical specimens, they are supremely fit and have huge motors, they can go longer and stronger than their opponents and attack all day.

The Wanderers on the other hand don-t really possess the sort of athleticism the Glory have at their disposal, but what they do have is a coach who knows his defensive structures and makes his side play tightly to them, Ian Ferguson on the other hand expects and pushes Perth to constantly move forward.

An intriguing battle looms, but what will win? Attack or defence?