Cornthwaite’s Corner: Enough is enough

There’s a soft underbelly at Adelaide United this season. When things are going their way, they can be irresistible, but when things are going against them, they roll over too easily.

It was a positive start on Saturday night for very little reward, and very little end product. Up until the drinks break, Adelaide looked well and truly in the contest, but for the second straight week, it just wasn’t a performance that was up to Adelaide United’s early season standards. For the 10th time this year, the Reds conceded first and were once again forced to play catch-up. It took almost 35 minutes for United to register its first shot on goal.

There are too many players at the moment that want to do the flashy, headline-grabbing action, whether that’s a sliding tackle, long-range strike, or talking trash, I’m just not seeing much of the basics — the simple thing that’s going to be the foundation of a solid, hard-to-beat team. These basics give you the best opportunity to be consistent and narrow the gap between your best and worst performances.

I’ve mentioned it before, but the number of times I’ve seen Adelaide players dive in or over commit this season is staggering. Simple rules of defence — showing your player down the line and away from danger, aren’t part of the DNA.

There was no Cornthwaite’s Corner last week, but it would have almost been a copy-and-paste job. Like against Melbourne City, there’s just far too much space for opposition teams in and around Adelaide’s penalty area. They’re sitting ducks.

The attitude needs to change. There’s nothing more frustrating than a team that feels sorry for themselves. They are still well and truly in the race for the top six despite a run of poor results, but I honestly believe that this squad is more than capable of not only making finals but causing plenty of headaches for anyone they come up against.

Carl currently sounds like a broken record, and at some point, I really hope the penny drops with some of the players. The season is already halfway gone, but it’s not too late to make it memorable. When I think about the squad, there’s probably only four players that can say they’ve played to their expected level. The rest still have a lot more to offer.

Stefan Mauk looked good on his return and will add a lot of resilience and leadership to a team that looks short of both. Fans have been crying out for reinforcements, and I agree more depth is needed, but it also creates more competition for spots, which for me is vitally important.

Perth comes to Coopers Stadium this Friday night, and while they might sit second last, they’re only 3 points behind the Reds. They’ve got a very dangerous offence, scoring plenty of goals in recent weeks. 7 points in their last 3 games proves they’ve turned a corner, and it’s almost unfathomable to think that if the results go against United this weekend, they could be the side sitting in 11th.

It’s not my intention for this to be a pile-on, but enough is enough. It’s time for the players to put their hands up and turn things around.

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