Yarrow Stadium New Plymouth 

Where do I start, the Wellington Phoenix were beaten by the better team, simple as that. Western Sydney Wanderers had a game plan, they stuck to it and the Phoenix had no plan B to counter it. They were beaten to the ball across the whole park and forced into simple mistakes by a high pressure game from the Wanderers. The Phoenix back line was unfortunately very unorganized and lacked the solidarity that they’ve had most of the season, giving up very soft goals whilst allowing opposition players time and space to move.

 

One of the Phoenix’s issues has been allowing officials to dictate their games. Whether the players agree or disagree with calls made by officials, they have to accept them and move on. The Phoenix needed smart football, they had a few very tough calls made and some very early cards handed out. That should’ve caused the senior players to settle the team, don’t jump into tackles and control our game. Instead they let it get into their heads an the frustrations grew upsetting any attempt at getting back into the game.

 

It’s hard to see the positives from this match but I feel the substitutes from the Wellington Phoenix was one of them. The coaches seemed to find an issue, then attempted to rectify it. Though I don’t think it worked this time, it was refreshing to see some early substitutions in an attempt to sway the game.

 

The Phoenix have a very tough last 9 rounds, first up Sydney FC followed by Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar. Three of the top four teams, these will determine whether the Phoenix are playing finals football this season. It’s time for the Phoenix coaches to make some big calls, it’s do or die for their season. Anything less than finals football is a bad season. Is it time to see some under performing players see some bench time? Is it time to see those fringe and youth players given a start? I personally believe it’s time to see a big shake up, take what remains of the Phoenix season and run with it. The team have the ability across the park, now just show it!!

Check out the match highlights

 

 

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