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Cornthwaite’s Corner: The less said about that, the better

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Adelaide learned a harsh lesson on Saturday night. If you don’t show up in this league, you won’t just lose; you’ll get hammered.

It’s the second straight week they were slow out of the blocks. Against Melbourne Victory, they got away with it; against Sydney, They were made to pay.

Carl Veart said he wasn’t surprised by anything the Sky Blues did under new coach Ufuk Talay, but his players looked shell-shocked. We can sometimes excuse the younger players for up-and-down performances, but effort, intent, and concentration are non-negotiable and must be there every single game. You can make mistakes, but you must be switched on.

I’m not putting the fault at the feet of the kids. The older, shall we say more experienced players were just as poor. I don’t care if you have a bad day with the ball at your feet but show me some fight and determination. It can’t always be pretty.

I’ve said it before, and I’ve copped criticism, but go and disrupt Sydney’s rhythm one way or another. A crunching tackle or a push and shove can be enough sometimes, but it can’t be born out of frustration; it must be calculated. You can’t go getting yourself sent off.

United’s inability to play through the press was once again evident, and teams have worked that out now. I said last week to go long if you have to, but Adelaide went long to the wrong players due to being under pressure. It looked panicked.

I admire the want and desire from the centre backs to continually ask for the ball even when it clearly hasn’t been working. One thing – if you want the ball off the keeper on the edge of the six-yard box, don’t be afraid to drop to the byline and give yourself an extra few metres of space. You’re already so deep that it won’t make a difference, and you’ll have more time to make a decision.

A wake-up call

United set the bar very high in the opening few weeks and the side was probably overachieving. They came back to earth with a thud in round four, and hopefully it serves as a wake-up call.

This year, will they actually be as good or as bad as we’ve seen from them so far this season? They probably sit somewhere in the middle.

Hopefully, they will use the international break to sort out a few problems.

With Nestory Irankunda’s deal with Germany all but announced, let’s hope it takes the weight of the world off his shoulders and we get to enjoy his final few months here in Adelaide. Get down and watch the kid play if you have the chance.

You might never get the opportunity again.

Follow Robbie on Twitter and Instagram.

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