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The Wanderers are the A-League's own version of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory

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Roar Guru
19th October, 2021

The Western Sydney Wanderers can draw many parallels with the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

They have their own version of Charlie, who won a golden ticket – in this case it’s the coach Carl Robinson.

Willy Wonka owned the chocolate factory. His modern-day counterpart at the Wanderers is also an eccentric businessman, Paul Lederer.

The chocolate factory itself is equivalent to what Wanderers fans have dubbed ‘Wanderland’ – a place where anything is possible.

Just like the chocolate factory itself, bizarre things happen frequently.

Daniel Margush has just come off a career-best season, where he firmly established himself as the club’s main goalkeeper and was unlucky not to receive a national-team call-up.

In a move that has shocked many, the Wanderers have announced a visa goalkeeper signing in Tomas Mejias. Mejias will immediately be thrust into the number one spot, while Margush will be questioning how he is sitting on the pine now.

Coach Carl Robinson was incredibly lucky to have kept his job after the Wanderers missed out on the finals series last year – in particular when they spent big and the coach was able to get the players he wanted.

Carl Robinson

(Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)


This current off-season has already seen a huge financial outlay on John Koutroumbis, Tomer Hemed, Adama Traoré, Ramy Najjarine, Terry Antonis, Keijiro Ogawa, Rhys Williams, Dimitri Petratos and Tomas Mejias.

The pressure will be ramped up even more on Robinson, who knows that the club hierarchy are expecting success given the riches provided.

Robinson by all reports will only have the first six matches this season to have the Wanderers near the top. If not he will be out of the notorious hot seat.

The coach is already having to navigate a playing group this off-season that want to figuratively skull from the fizzy lifting drinks room inside the chocolate factory, when they know they shouldn’t.

Like Veruca in the movie, several players from the current Wanderers squad have entered the nut room after seeing the squirrels and are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccinations, according to reports.

As the first six games are in NSW this doesn’t pose a problem, but what will happen when the team has to travel interstate? Will these players be thrown down that same chute as Veruca?

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Tomer Hemed appears to have signed without any research being done as his politically-charged goal celebrations have already agitated fans on social media.

Western Sydney has a large Palestinian population and Hemed will need to tone down his antics. Otherwise, he could easily fall into the chocolate river and be sucked up the pipe like poor Augustus.

Kwame Yeboah has cut a disillusioned figure for the past season, but like Violet in the movie, he has been chewing gum in the inventing room and sensationally quit the club to embark on a new career as a male model.

The Wanderers are part of a group that is also helping financially prop up A-League rival, the Newcastle Jets.

Paul Lederer has been accused of using his Willy Wonka-like influence over Newcastle, by having multiple players and even the coach jump ship to Wanderland.


Then there is the problem with the workers of the chocolate factory, the Oompa-Loompas – the ones who make the factory function correctly.

Wanderers fans

(Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Wanderers fans are the Oompa-Loompas, although not in terms of looks and size, but through their hard work and unwavering support for the club throughout the years.

They have been targeted by police and security season upon season, but the Wanderers need their Oompa-Loompas for the chocolate factory to work seamlessly.

The club and its loyal supporters hope to stand tall at season’s end when they traverse the great glass elevator.

Outsiders looking in feel as though they will shrink like Mike with the teleporter.

All signs point to another crazy season in store at the chocolate factory also known as Wanderland.