Paper Talk: Le Fondre and Joyce's long history, Arnold's Hyundai A-League assessment

Adam Le Fondre and Warren Joyce come face-to-face again as Melbourne City host Sydney FC in a Hyundai A-League blockbuster on Friday evening.

The pair have shared plenty of history together, while Graham Arnold has made a big statement about the quality of the Hyundai A-League.

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It’s all in this week’s A-League Paper Talk!

Le Fondre set for Joyce reunion

Less than two years ago, Adam Le Fondre and Warren Joyce were sharing the same goal: to get Wigan Athletic back to the English Premier League.

It did not work out for either of them, though, and they meet again in Melbourne on Friday evening on opposing Hyundai A-League sides.

Le Fondre was not in favour under Joyce and was sent to Bolton Wanderers on loan before ending up at Sydney FC, while the manager lost his job before finding work with Melbourne City.

Warren Joyce

But ahead of the pair’s reunion at AAMI Park - more than 16,000 kilometres away from Wigan - Le Fondre had nothing but good things to say about Joyce.

“He said he couldn’t get me in his team [at Wigan], which was fair enough,” Le Fondre told The Daily Telegraph.

“He was the manager at the time so I just said to him ‘I need to play. I want to play week in, week out’.

“And in the end I moved to Bolton and we got promoted.”

Le Fondre has even more history with Joyce, with the pair having worked together while the former was a teenager making his way through the ranks at Stockport County.

Le Fondre remembers Joyce as a “brilliant coach” and Joyce said he is more than aware of the striker’s talents ahead of Sydney FC’s clash with Melbourne City.

“He’s a talented player, a jack in the box, two good feet, can finish,” Joyce said.

Arnold: Hyundai A-League better than Eredivisie

With the AFC Asian Cup 2019 getting closer and closer, Socceroos boss Graham Arnold has given a series of Hyundai A-League players a boost.

Graham Arnold

Speaking in The Herald Sun this week, Arnold said that “a few of the A-League boys are now really in contention” for his squad that will face Korea Republic and Lebanon in November.

“Before our Turkey camp in September, the A-League wasn’t playing,” he said.

“For the October camp, the A-League wasn’t playing but it’s started now and you can see some of the A-League boys coming into form.

“I’m watching them very closely. I know what a lot of the A-League players can do.”

Arnold has recently spent time in the Netherlands and gave the Hyundai A-League a massive endorsement.

“I’ve just been to Holland to see some games and I’d say that A-League level is better,” he added.

“The standard here is getting better and better. If you play well and perform well, then you’ll definitely be selected.”

Taylor is ‘the nicest bloke’

Steven Taylor continues to win rave reviews - both on and off the field - since joining the Wellington Phoenix.

The Englishman has added much-needed steel to Wellington’s defence and took time out of his schedule to delight this travelling Newcastle United fan during the week.

Taylor made nearly 200 English Premier League appearances for Newcastle between 2004 and 2016.

New Phoenix boss Mark Rudan is clearly a fan, too, revealing this week that he had sought widespread opinion on what Taylor could bring to the club before he signed him.

“He was one of my first signings, having spoken to 20, 30 people about him it was unanimous what he could bring to the club,” Rudan said.

Goodwin takes inspiration from … Fernando Torres

Craig Goodwin had a night to remember in Tuesday evening’s FFA Cup Final.

The Adelaide United star scored a pair of sensational goals as the Reds beat Sydney FC 2-1 in front of a vocal Coopers Stadium crowd.

And Goodwin revealed afterwards that one of his goal celebrations was inspired by an idol.