It’s scary to think that Sydney FC may be a better side this season than their record-breaking 2016/17 campaign which saw them claim the Hyundai A-League double.
But after Saturday night’s 6-0 drubbing of Perth, it’s hard to argue against that assertion.
The Sky Blues are near untouchable in the Hyundai A-League right now. The stats make for impressive reading.
Sydney are eight points clear at the top of the standings, netting an impressive 33 goals and conceding just 10.
And with arguably the league’s two best players in Adrian Mierzejewski and Milos Ninkovic, the Sky Blues are a force to be reckoned with.
Graham Arnold’s side won the double last season, with a record number of wins and goals, keeping a record number of clean sheets and amassing a best-ever 66 points.
In 2017 they won 29 of 35 games to amass 91 points out of a possible 105 on offer.
And at their home ground – Allianz Stadium - they are unbeaten in their last 23 matches.
It’s that patch of grass at Moore Park that is the scene of the Sky Blues’ next challenge on Wednesday night, as second-placed Newcastle Jets come to town for a blockbuster start to round 14.
Even with all the trophies they won in 2017 and all the records they have broken, you get the sense they are intent on making a statement against their closest challengers so far this season.
“Our biggest challenge is ourselves,” Arnold said on Tuesday ahead of the Jets clash.
“I expect a great performance. For me it’s about Sydney FC, what we do every week, and it’s not allowing ourselves at all any respite.
“It’s about making sure mentally we’re ready, the boys headspace is great and I expect a great performance [against the Jets].
“To motivate the boys, it’s all about record, it’s all about history, it’s all about we’ve done nothing this year.
“It’s about performing to the greatest of our ability this year and we’re striving, always the first challenge is to get 50 points as soon as you can.
“I know that the messages in their brain are there today. You can see it in their eyes again, the focus in their faces that in the subconscious mind the messages are clear, that they will win the game and they expect to win the game.”
And Sydney FC have every reason to feel confident given their incredibly dominant record when it comes to recent games against the Hunter club.
The Sky Blues are undefeated in their last 14 clashes against the Jets – winning the last nine – and last tasted defeat against them way back in December 2012.
“The players themselves have this great belief and they’re in such a great headspace,” Arnold said.
“I challenged them again after the [Perth Glory] game, I said to them ‘you’ve given me 45 good minutes out of 95 and I want 95’ and I expect that tomorrow night and I believe it’ll be our greatest performance.
“The boys are fantastic, they’re great, they’re all fit and recovered exceptionally well from the game. The spirits are very high, the belief is very high and we’re excited for the game.”