Despite a late surge, Perth's failure to build on last term's good work ultimately cost them their season.
Of all Hyundai A-League clubs, Perth Glory do seem to make a habit of heartbreak and frustration; mostly it-s of their own making but sometimes it is thrust upon them.
After finishing season 2011/12 in such good form, many expected Perth to back up this term but it didn-t take long for any lingering expectations of glory to be shot down.
A wound-healing 1-0 win in the season opener against Brisbane was swiftly followed by a loss to the Mariners, defeat of Melbourne Heart, loss to Sydney, defeat of the Jets, loss to the Wanderers…
That inconsistency dogged Glory throughout the season but what hurt most was the lack of goals, a failing that cost Ian Ferguson his job and eventually spilled into their elimination final against Melbourne Victory.
Defence Given Glory have the fourth-best defensive record in the competition, you would half expect them to have finished a bit further up the ladder. In that light, battling into the finals in sixth spot is probably about what their season deserved.
Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic probably had his best season for some time, and while the mid-season departure of Bas van den Brink could have been a big loss, the consistency of the Glory backline of Risdon, Pantelidis, Thwaite and Jamieson proved the backbone of their late surge.
Midfield It was a contrasting year for the Glory midfield. There was the emergence of Ryo Nagai, and potential of Matias Cordoba and Daniel De Silva, and Jacob Burns emerging past the accusations of being overly physical - but, to be frank, these are small compliments.
Overall, there just wasn-t enough creativity in the middle of the park, width, goals or support for the attack. With the strikers struggling, the midfield has to step up - and Glory weren-t equipped to cover those frailties.
Attack Three horror words: Shane Smeltz knackered. Injury robbed the All Whites striker of his form, and subsequently Glory of their only real source of goals. Twenty nine scored in 27 games was the worst attack in the league and cost Glory their season. Strengthening the attack has to be Alistair Edwards-s first priority for next season.
Coach Ian Ferguson looked to have finally hit upon the right formula as Perth went all the way to the grand final last season but at some point during the off-season, he must have left the formula in the pocket of a pair of jeans that went through the wash because he couldn-t get it working again.
Perhaps he put too much faith in that system and the failure to build on his foundations meant that when Glory were caught short - as in Smeltz-s injury - there was no plan B.
Alistair Edwards eventually took the job on the understanding that he will have the time to put a three-year plan in place, and the early signs are positive. In a short space of time, Edwards changed Glory-s style to a more possession-based game and the lift in self-belief was noticeable. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late yet again for Perth Glory.
Ian Ferguson: win 5, loss 11, draw 4; 19 points from a possible 60 Alistair Edwards: win 4, loss 2, draw 1; 13 points from a possible 21.
Perth Glory Overall Grade: D