Cornthwaite’s Corner: Round 12

Robbie Cornthwaite has given his view on the Reds win loss to the Mariners and looked ahead to the Original Rivalry in Cornthwaite's Corner.
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In my eyes, this was one of the games of the season. Adelaide United vs Central Coast, but let’s be honest, only one team showed up.

This week, Mark Milligan said the Reds wanted to take the game to the Mariners, but other than early chances for Zach Clough and Hiroshi Ibusuki, United were toothless. The Central Coast were worthy winners and put a wounded Adelaide to the sword.

I was extremely harsh on Isaías after his red card against the Roar, but this was inexcusable from a player of his experience. A goal down at the break away from home isn’t the end of the world, especially after that first-half performance. Half-time was an opportunity to regroup and regain a foothold in the match. Stay calm and slowly work your way back into the contest. I’m sure Isaías was keen to start the half with intent and set an example from the start, but he went over the top.

In the first half, United showed absolutely no care with the ball in the middle of the park. Central Coast are a young side who play with high energy and completely ran over the top of the two ageing Spaniards – the aforementioned Isaías, and Juande. There’s an opportunity for either Louis D’Arrigo or Ethan Alagich this week, and I’d bring them both in to be honest. Mix it up and show those types of performances are unacceptable no matter who you are.

A massive area of concern was the ease with which they rolled over so soon after the send-off. Carl would have just issued instructions at half-time, so there was no need to fall apart in just a few minutes. Adelaide looked like a team that felt sorry for itself and got what they deserved. It’s not the type of performance we have seen often under Veart, but there’s no doubt, since the World Cup break, they’ve looked a long way from their best.

Nothing showed more how dominant the team from Gosford was than how quiet Craig Goodwin was. That’s not a knock on Goody, but when he blazed a cross high over the bar in the 81st minute, I’d almost forgotten he was out there. There was little the best player in the league could do when there were so many passengers.

Carl said there was no point dwelling on the game as it was done and it was time to look forward. He’s not silly and was quick to try and deflect some of the heat of his team’s performance. There’s two ways he could have gone about it behind closed doors though: read the riot act and put everyone on edge, or continue to look for the positives and continue trying to install confidence in his players. After a recent run of poor form, it would be easy to lose your cool but that doesn’t always get you where you want or need to go. The best man-managers know when to breathe fire and when to put an arm around the players.

I think Carl might have done the latter, careful not to shred the fragile remaining confidence of his players but another poor showing and he’ll be left with no choice.

And the Original Rivalry couldn’t come at a better time.

Let’s be honest, with all the drama surrounding Victory, it’s kind of taken the spotlight off the Reds.

Melbourne is at rock bottom and, although I feel for the players and staff who’ve clearly been affected by the ugly scenes in the Melbourne derby before Christmas, Adelaide can’t show them any mercy. They’re a team that is there for the taking, and United won’t get a better opportunity to inflict more damage on their bitter rivals.

Victory have been hit in the hip pocket harder than any football team in Australian history, and that’ll hurt, but I must say I was surprised they weren’t handed a points deduction, especially with their history of past indiscretions. That said, the so-called ‘fans’ who brought Australian football to its knees, don’t care about the football team, so why should players be punished? I don’t think a loss of points would bother these idiots.

Adelaide United roared to victory at Coopers Stadium in Round 6.

Melbourne is coming off three straight losses and sit last on the ladder, while Adelaide is on the slide with one win in five and are backing up after its heaviest defeat of the season.

Factoring all that in, this Original Rivalry feels more like the ‘Desperation Derby’.

And it’ll have a different feel at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night. It’s usually one of the most anticipated games of the season, with a large contingent of travelling fans helping create one of the best atmospheres in the league. With no active away bay this time, Adelaide United fans must own the fixture and help drag their team over the line. It should be a sea of red come kick-off, and with a perfect summer’s night in store, there’s no reason there shouldn’t still be a massive crowd. I’ll be there!

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