The A-League has been entertaining up until its postponement.
It’s due to start again on July 16. This is how Adelaide United’s season was assessed as it stands prior to the restart.
What’s the story?
After winning the FFA Cup, the remainder of the A-League 2019-20 season has been a mixed bag. They have had some decent results with the exception of their last four games in the 2019-20 season as it stands. They have conceded 15 goals in the last four games so something has to change.
The goalkeeping and left back positions have been their weakness. Admittedly they have missed Al Hassan Toure through injury, who was instrumental in Adelaide winning the FFA Cup. They have also been without Mirko Boland and Nathan Konstandopoulos through injury, which has impacted them in the middle of the park.
Riley McGree and Stefan Mauk were astute signings. They are both midfielders that have the capability of going overseas and playing for the Socceroos.
The five most talented players
5. Stefan Mauk was recruited to Adelaide United because he is a quality player.
4. Jordan Elsey has the potential to be a future captain of the club. Elsey can have a great career if he plays to his optimum level.
3. George Blackwood has the potential to be clinical in the final third. Blackwood just needs to be more consistent.
2. Ryan Strain has the capability of being the best right back in the competition.
1. Riley McGree produces plenty of havoc for opposition teams in the final third.
Honourable mention: Mohamed Toure is a talented youngster with plenty of potential.
Most adaptable player
Ryan Kitto can play left back or a more attacking role if needed. It appears as if he needs a change from left back and would be more suited further up the field if needed. It was impossible to separate Ryan Kitto and Michael Marrone as far as adaptability is concerned as Marrone has the capability to play anywhere in the back four. There’s also George Blackwood, who couldn’t be left out as Blackwood performed admirably up front and in the middle of the park.
Who needs to lift?
Paul Izzo and the back four need to prove that they warrant a spot in the starting line-up. Adelaide United conceded 15 goals in their last four games of the season, which is unacceptable. It’s difficult to single anyone out. For instance, Paul Izzo didn’t have any major blunders. The entire team needs to defend better, and they need to press from the front. Unfortunately, ultimately there are a lot of good goalkeepers in the A-League so the number of goals conceded from a simplistic perspective is a reflection on Izzo. More specifically Louis D’Arrigo and Michael Maria need to improve defensively in order to prove they belong at A-League level.
What has to alter?
Michael Marrone and Ryan Kitto should be involved in some capacity whether it be in the starting line-up or as impact players coming off the bench. Marrone may even benefit from a chance to play at left back – necessity is the mother of invention as Michael Maria and Ryan Kitto have found it difficult to prove they warrant a starting role in the left back position.
Unfortunately for Paul Izzo, he may need some time on the bench or a change of goalkeeper can bring a change of fortune. Newcastle Jets changed goalkeepers from Glen Moss to Lewis Italiano and it changed the fortunes of the team and gave the entire team confidence. Even bringing in a goalkeeper from youth level may change the morale of the squad. In no way is this a reflection on Izzo’s ability as Adelaide United performed admirably in the 2018-19 A-League season, with Izzo being a part of that.