Cornthwaite’s Corner: Isaías at centre back… don’t say I didn’t tell you!

Don’t say I didn’t tell you. Isaías playing at centre back and he might be there to stay. 

A brilliant performance and win away from home but we can’t just paper over that first 20 minutes, Carl said it best himself, Adelaide looked absolutely shell shocked. I was sitting back on my couch watching with gritted teeth as Sydney looked like they were going to put the game to bed before Adelaide woke from its slumber. 

It was the eighth time this season the Reds conceded the first goal in a match and the win at Allianz was the first time they’d won a game after going behind first — the starts continue to be a real issue. 

I remember when I played for Western Sydney, we had a similar issue. It was decided that just before the match kicked off, we’d come together in a huddle and do three 20m flat out sprints. There’s a long time between finishing the warm up, sitting in the change room and then going out to start the game. Some players cool down and switch off too much. After the sprints you were out of breath, sweating and fatigued as the match started. It got you in game mode as the game started. I’m not aware if Adelaide has something like this but maybe they should try something new. Whatever they’re doing isn’t working. 

Whatever they did after the 20min mark certainly did!

I said Hiroshi’s performance a few weeks ago was one of the best I’d seen from a number 9 in Red and he bettered it. Three goals and an assist is rarified air for any player and while he’s always just done enough to keep everyone on his side, his game has gone to another level with the change in formation. 

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Nestory looked dangerous and levelheaded throughout, Ben Halloran continues his high-quality season as a goal threat and a provided, and Alexandar Popović is really impressing me in the past few months. 

He did it this time alongside the 250 game veteran. I think he looks better in the heart of defence than he has in midfield for sometime.

It’s similar to Steve Smith moving to the top of the Australian batting order. It could give him a new lease on life and give him a fresh challenge. His distribution was better and it’s an advantage having him playing out through the press. He’s aggressive in his defending and covers the group well. Carl hinted that this could be a more permanent move with Nick Ansell out and with no other defenders pressing their case it might be the only option. 

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Ryan Kitto has been quiet this season compare to his own lofty standard, but I’d expect him back in the side sooner rather than later.

Giuseppe Bovalina has right back locked down and I can’t see Javi López at left back for too much longer. Two players the wrong side of 36 years only on the left side of defence will get exposed eventually. 

This week the side has the weekend off and it’ll give them a chance to freshen up and work on fine turning their game ahead of another mid table tussle next Thursday night. 

Melbourne City’s got its act together under Aurelio Vidmar but they’re still not the powerhouse they once were. The six-nil smashing back in round two seems a long time ago and while City have improved slightly the Reds have dropped off. Melbourne will be out to restore pride and I expect this to be a tight contest. 

Another win could be the difference between staying in touch with the top four or slipping back into the mid table mire. 

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