Perth’s ‘purple wall’ a defensive standout

With Andy Keogh enjoying a stellar start to the season with four goals in four games, much of the spotlight has been directed away from Perth Glory’s superb defensive efforts.

New recruits Jason Davidson and Ivan Franjic, while both boasting over 40 caps for the Caltex Socceroos between them, have started quietly yet confidently for their new club, adding some
backbone to Perth’s defence.

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Although all the talk pre-season may have been about what Glory’s new recruits would bring
to the underperforming club, it has been a Perth stalwart with over 50 games for the club
who has shone in the defensive line this season.

Alex Grant has been an ever-reliable presence at left-back in the opening four rounds of the Hyundai A-League.

While Davidson has a duel success rate of 56% this season, Grant sits well ahead at 66%.

The Englishman may trail behind three other defenders in this category, however he
outperforms all of them for passing accuracy (82%).

Additionally, it is his ability to keep the ball without loss of possession that truly places him apart from the others, losing possession just 34 times this season.

In fact, Perth’s secret to their defensive prowess may be that their ability to suffocate teams
of the ball, losing possession the fewest times of any team this season.

Perth have also impressed in other defensive categories, sitting second for interceptions made with 53 (behind Central Coast, 71) as well as second for duel success with 53% (behind
Newcastle, 55%).

With star defender Matthew Spiranovic still to return from injury, coach Tony Popovic will be spoiled choice in building on an already-intimidating purple wall of defence.