Team of the week: Week 16
Week 16 produced no less than 18 goals across the 5 weekend and 1 midweek fixtures, at an average of 3 goals per game. Wellington snuck another 1-0 away win, Central Coast came from behind to beat the Reds 3-2 at Bluetongue Stadium, Heart and the Roar couldn’t be seperated, Sydney snatched a win against the Gold Coast, Perth smashed Victory 4-1 at home, and Adelaide and Newcastle shared the points in the midweek fixture in Bathurst. But in a week with so much action and excitement, who did enough to secure their spot in the week 16 Team of the Week:
Goalkeeper – Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix)
Paston secured the only clean sheet this week, which along with a great fingertip save off Ryan Griffiths in the first half and a slew of crucial second half saves, gets him the starting spot between the posts this week. Paston really looks full of confidence right now, despite the long period he’s spent on the bench this season.
Defence – Manny Muscat (Wellington Phoenix), Sayed Mohamed Adnan (Brisbane Roar), Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix), Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart)
Out on the right of defence is the Phoenix’s Manny Muscat. It took 85 appearances, but Muscat finally got on the scoresheet with a beautiful curling shot in the second half against the Jets. Muscat also fulfilled his defensive duties well, helping Sigmund and co keep a clean sheet away from home. In the heart of defence is, yet again, Brisbane’s Mohamed Adnan, who was cool, calm and collected in and around the box even when under serious pressure. His last few weeks have shown just how good and solid he can be. Partnering Adnan is Ben Sigmund. Sigmund is one of the in-form defenders in the league at the moment, having secured back-to-back-to-back clean sheets for the ‘Nix. Against the Jets, he was infallible in his positioning, pressure and timing. Fulfilling the left full back role this week is Heart youngster Aziz Behich, who had an assist for the Germano goal, and had a dominant game this week. Heart will miss him when he goes on Olyroo duty.
Midfield – Evan Berger (Perth Glory), Karol Kisel (Sydney FC), Liam Miller (Perth Glory), Ben Halloran (Gold Coast United)
On the right wing is Perth’s Evan Berger. It was his first start of the season with his new club, and his speed and footwork caused the Victory wing backs no end of issues. Berger earned the second penalty, and put in a great 60 minute performance against his old club. In the centre of midfield is the pairing of Kisel and Miller. Karol Kisel scored one of Sydney’s goals, had an assist for the other, and was unlucky not to score one on one in the first half in what was a particularly positive game by the Slovakian. For Miller, it seems that we’re finally starting to see the best of him on show, as he controlled the midfield, acted as playmaker for the front 3 and generally dominated the game. He deserved a goal late on but was unlucky to put the chance just wide. On the left wing is Gold Coast’s Ben Halloran, who continues to prove just how much of an exciting talent he is, as he ran into space well to finish for Gold Coast’s goal.
Forwards – Mile Sterjovski (Perth Glory), Sergio van Dijk (Adelaide United)
Up front is the duo of Sterjovski and van Dijk. Sterjovski’s delivery to, and work with, Shane Smeltz made the Victory defence look second rate, and his work off the ball was fitting of someone holding down a marquee spot with the WA club. For van Dijk, it was a case of two games, two goals as he continues to relish the fact that he isn’t playing as the lone striker under new coach John Kosmina.
Bench – Jerrad Tyson (Gold Coast United), Josh Rose (Central Coast Mariners), Brett Emerton (Sydney FC), Shane Smeltz (Perth Glory)
In the reserve keeper role this week is Jerrad Tyson. Tyson’s first half was pretty exceptional, and although Gold Coast conceded two goals late on, he could hardly be to blame for either. In a week where only one clean sheet was kept in 6 games, Tyson’s performance is enough to secure him the reserve keeper spot. Josh Rose picks up a spot too, after scoring the crucial winner for Central Coast in their dramatic comeback, and being relentless in his forward thrusts, particularly in the second half. Brett Emerton secures his spot after partnering up well with Karol Kisel in a Sydney midfield that overcame being a goal down to beat Gold Coast. Rounding out the bench is Perth’s Shane Smeltz. The front 3 of Smeltz, Sterjovski and Berger tore the Victory defence to shreds early on, and Smeltz was the end point of most attacking moves. He scored one from open play, one from the spot and could’ve had a few more. Honourable mentions this week must go to Bas van den Brink, Ante Rozic, Jonas Salley and Kristian Sarkies, who were all extremely unlucky to miss out on a berth.
Manager – Ian Ferguson (Perth Glory)
After such a resounding win, in front of such an impressive crowd at home, and making it 6 games without defeat, it had to be Ian Ferguson this week, who seems to finally have his side playing the way he wants them too.
Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know who you thought deserved to make the ‘team of the week’ this week.