The SportingJournal

What’s up at United?

If you were to sum up Adelaide United’s season so far to one word it would be “inconsistent”.

Throughout the 2013/14 A-League season, Adelaide have display pieces of brilliance although they  have lacked the ability to play competitive football away from home.

In a season where Adelaide United  haven’t recorded a single away win, there are major causes for concern for Spanish manager Josep Gombau.

A successful four year campaign with Hong Kong champions Kitchee saw Gombau with two Championships, a Hong Kong Challenge Shield, the Hong Kong FA Cup and the Hong Kong League Cup.

The new job has been no walk in the park for Gombau after coping criticism for his on field tactics and off field antics with a journalist. The situation intensified after Gombau personally insulted journalist Val Migliaccio’s son Fabio claiming he was a “shit” goalkeeper.

Despite apologising to Migliaccio, Gombau’s recent results and excuses have put doubts into the minds of Adelaide United supporters

Gombau has attempted to get his squad playing a possession based game, with a high defensive line pressuring heavily on the opposition. This has put Adelaide’s defensive line under pressure resulting in one of the worst goal differences in the league.

Adelaide's problems just keep getting bigger and bigger. Photo - Tom Griffiths

The problem with this tactic is that his players fatigue quicker. The style of play has proved that Adelaide can play exciting football at home but until the players get used to the style, they will continue to lose games due to a poor defence…

“In professional football, I understand, results (are important) but in this league, without relegation, what happens if a team invests one year to be strong for next season?” Gombau said.

Gombau admitted that it could take two to three seasons for the players to fully understand and implement his style of play to their game. The question is whether Adelaide United are willing to wait or will Gombau’s time eventually run out?

With only two wins this season, 2014 World Cup hopes are in doubt for Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic who was hopeful to make the cut for Brazil. Without finals football on the cards, Galekovic will need to have a perfect end to the season in order to catch the eye of Socceroos manager Ange Postecoglou.

“I’m not sure (where I stand) I haven’t really talked to the coach about that,” Galekovic said.

On a positive note, Argentinian in form forward Jerónimo has had no trouble finding the back of the net. His ability to create opportunities out of nothing provides a much needed threat to Adelaide’s attack.

Adelaide’s morale will also be given a boost after their second win of the season over Central Coast Mariners winning convincingly 4-0.

There are still 17 games left in the season which gives Adelaide and manager Gombau a chance to turn their season around.

A win for Adelaide next round against Perth Glory is crucial for their finals hopes and for players striving for a spot on the plane to Brazil in 2014.

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