Could this FIFA World Cup™ reunion bring Glory back to Perth?

Jason Davidson's arrival in Perth doesn't complete the 2018/19 puzzle yet for Glory, but it does provide a reunion that could lead the club into a new era of success.

New Glory boss Tony Popovic is assembling quite the defensive cohort in Western Australia, headlined by the pre-season captures of Davidson, Ivan Franjic and Matthew Spiranovic.

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The latest addition of Davidson reconciles three of the Australian back four that took on Chile in the Caltex Socceroos' opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.

All three were also key members of Australia's 2015 Asian Cup win with each player starting the side's victory over South Korea in Sydney's final. 

Such a reunion could prove significant in bolstering the Glory defence. This is an area that has handicapped the side in recent seasons, and a region that Popovic has likely labelled as one of the highest priorities in his rebuild.

Franjic and Davidson
Franjic and Davidson were key members of Australia's 2015 Asian Cup win.

Despite possessing some of the league's most talented attacking instruments, Perth have at times struggled to achieve balance between attack and defence in recent years.

This soft-centre has undoubtedly tainted their credentials as a genuine Hyundai A-League contender. 

Their vulnerability came to the fore again last season, but was also evident in the 2016/17 campaign two years ago. Only Sydney FC scored more goals than Glory's 53, but Kenny Lowe's side conceded 53 as well and shared the league's joint-worst defensive record with bottom-club Newcastle Jets.

It was a similar story for the Western Australians in 2017/18. Perth shipped 50 goals and slid to their lowest league finish in four years. Ill-discipline was especially rife - Glory conceded nine penalties and the Lowe era came to a disappointing conclusion.

In Popovic, Glory now have a canny taskmaster capable of rectifying these shortcomings. Davidson, Spiranovic and Franjic all embody his often-championed winning mentality and their experience should prove valuable in nurturing the side's younger talents.

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In his first two seasons at the helm in Parramatta, Popovic's Wanderers conceded 50 goals, which is the same amount Glory shipped in 27 games last year.

While Popovic may not entirely subscribe to the 'attack wins games, defence wins titles' adage, the 45-year-old has certainly targeted the back third as the first point of his evolution at nib Stadium.

Outside of his freshly reconciled Asian Cup-winning trio, the former Wanderers' stalwart has convened a bruising set of defensive players for the upcoming campaign.

In Spiranovic, Tomislav Mrcela, Dino Djulbic, Shane Lowry and Alex Grant, Popovic has an abundance of central defensive options, perhaps indicating he'll utilise a back three this year.

Popovic sent out his charges in a 3-4-2-1 formation in their first friendly match against Perth SC earlier in the week, while Franjic and Davidson represent two excellent candidates to take up wing-back slots.