Half-term report card: Perth Glory

As we approach the mid point of season nine of the Hyundai A-League, we take a look at how the teams are progressing.

It is difficult to work out where to start with Perth Glory.

Happenings off the field have almost become a distraction from their play on the field and the dismissal of Alistair Edwards has, so far, been the biggest headline to come out of the west this season.

It is a shame, for Glory have played well in parts this season. They, like a few teams in the Hyundai A-League, lack consistency but Edwards was true to his word, bringing some bright young talents into the first team, including his sons Cameron and Ryan.

A rift developed between club captain Jacob Burns, and Edwards. With neither side willing to back down, one of Edwards or Burns had to go.

It was Edwards who went and Kenny Lowe was brought in as his replacement.

Nevertheless, Perth are in the mid-table cluster. They sit seventh, but despite the off-field distractions, are only four points in arrears of third placed Central Coast Mariners.

However, they are three points clear of ninth placed Wellington Phoenix. It seems that the team who finds consistency first will join Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers at the top table.

Their aim will certainly be the finals series and Lowe will hope that his side can settle into the second half of the season and find the consistency that they have so far lacked.

Young defender Jack Clisby has been a revelation alongside the experienced Michael Thwaite and the form of Danny Vukovic behind them makes Glory very difficult to beat.

Edwards and now Lowe have had to come to terms with injuries, namely to Scott Jamieson, Shane Smeltz,

Jamie Maclaren and their marquee man, William Gallas.

Latterly, Chris Harold has come to the fore. He, Maclaren, Steven McGarry, Ryo Nagai and the brilliant Sidnei have all scored twice this season to top the Glory scorers charts.

Vukovic has kept five clean sheets and is displaying the consistency that marked him out as one of Australian football's brightest talents.

Sidnei is the sprinkling of stardust in attack and he has already scored a contender for goal of the season.

Gallas, meanwhile, has hardly been sighted since the initial fanfare of his signing, Lowe will hope that he will add further experience and steel to their back-line when he is fit.

Gallas' reputation as an athletic, pacy defender is undiminished and it wasn't long ago that he was gracing the English Premier League. His mix of clubs is curious, as they are all great rivals: Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

If Perth can integrate Gallas into their backline and have Smeltz scoring at the other end, Perth will fancy their chances of being in the mix when the whips are cracking.

STAR MAN: Sidnei

The Brazilian has been a wonderful addition to Perth this season.

He has all the spark and flair that his heritage suggests and his creativity gives Perth hope that they can create something out of nothing.

Sidnei's spark has been well utilised in the absence of Smeltz and Maclaren and when they return, they will rely on the Brazilian to lay on the goal-scoring chances.

Sidnei always looks capable of producing something out of the box and he is hugely important to any success that Perth look to attain in the second half of the season.

COACH'S REPORT: Kenny Lowe

Lowe had a bit of cleaning up to do when he took over from Edwards a few weeks ago.

It is difficult to mark him on his work since then, but he seems to have restored order and harmony for now.

Perth have gone back to basics under their new, and their style is definitely more direct than it was under Edwards, but only the second half of the season will tell whether bringing Lowe in to the job instead was the correct decision.

MARK: C

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not reflect those of Football Federation Australia.