A-League Round 9 talking points: FA hands down sanctions but Glover free to play, Corica on borrowed time

    It’s certainly been an eventful festive period, so let’s get to all the hottest topics. Here are your A-League Round 9 talking points.

    Did Tom Glover deserve a suspension?

    Make no mistake: there is absolutely no way to justify the actions of Melbourne Victory supporters who stormed the field and assaulted Tom Glover in the Melbourne Derby. Glover is the victim and certainly didn’t deserve to be hit over the head with a metal bucket.

    Now that said, whether intentionally or not, the City goalkeeper did lob one of the flares back into the stands containing Original Style Melbourne members. Just as it is unacceptable to throw flares onto the playing arena – never mind that security should be discovering them before this can happen – Glover did have a role to play in the violence when he picked up that flare and it ended up back among the fans.

    Prior to City’s clash with Central Coast at the scene of the crime on Tuesday, Joey Lynch reported that Glover will not miss any games. This just doesn’t sit right with me. I was expecting at least a one or two-game suspension. It’s quite a strange precedent to set: does this mean players can send projectiles into the grandstand with impunity?

    Tom Glover picks up a flare to remove it from the pitch. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

    Football Australia come down hard on OSM pitch invaders

    Now let’s get to some football administrators actually doling out harsher punishments than a slap on the wrist for violent offenders.

    Following the deadline for Melbourne Victory’s show cause notice, FA moved swiftly to hand down life bans for the perpetrators of the violence at the Melbourne Derby. There were also significant restrictions announced for supporters, including the prohibition of active support for the next four matches, comprising both home and away games. There will be no public ticket sales for the home game against Brisbane Roar with only members allowed in.

    Even with all of the resources available to them, I was sceptical the national governing body would be competent enough to firstly identify the protagonists, and then actually dole out sanctions to individuals and the club commensurate with the offences committed at AAMI Park. So, credit where credit’s due: FA have got this one right, at least in terms of the initial response.

    Investigations continue into the horrible scenes, and based on the punishments handed down so far, it seems that further action against the four-time champions, including the loss of competition points, is not out of the question.

    Victory players would’ve been affected by not having fans in the ground on Boxing Day, going down to Western United after an abject performance. After a second-place regular season finish and semi-final exit in 2021-22, they’re now sitting outside the top six. Tony Popovic is facing mounting adversity both on and off the field and will need to find a way to galvanise his side.

    Corica skating on very thin ice

    Missing the top six last season was a disastrous result for Sydney FC. For one of the league’s biggest clubs, failing to qualify for the finals is unacceptable and fans got an insight into the board’s position in Sky Blue: Inside Sydney FC: that another season outside the six would surely be the end for the club legend.

    Nine rounds in, the Sky Blues’ record shows more losses than wins, including an abhorrent showing in front of their fans at a mostly empty Allianz Stadium on Christmas Eve. It’s their second straight defeat after going down to the Mariners at Industree Group Stadium a week earlier.

    In an attempt to justify the results so far in 2022-23 Corica will likely point to the fact his two senior centre-backs have been missing for essentially the whole campaign.

    And that’s true – Alex Wilkinson and Jack Rodwell have only managed 45 minutes of A-League football apiece this season. In their absence Sydney’s defence has been absolutely shambolic, but that doesn’t explain their turgid movement off the ball and complete dearth of creativity against Dwight Yorke’s side.

    It’s always tricky business when a legend’s time is up, and Corica is no exception. But you’ve got to wonder: if this was any other coach, would they have been punted by now?

    Armiento hits goal of the season contender

    We’ve been treated to some fantastic strikes this season, and now Brisbane’s Carlo Armiento has thrown his hat into the ring with this swerving effort that bamboozled Lawrence Thomas.

    ????????????????????????????????! ???????? ????????! ????

    How’s the ???????????????????????? on that from the @brisbaneroar attacker!

    Catch all the action LIVE on @ParamountPlusAU ????

    Follow live: https://t.co/XbvkM97oXU#BRIvWSW #WeAreALeagues @IsuzuUTE pic.twitter.com/ye2XjZW6xN

    — Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) December 23, 2022

    Other candidates for goal of the season so far include Craig Goodwin with a fantastic free-kick against Wellington, and Giordano Colli’s long-range belter at Coopers Stadium. But considering we’re less than halfway through 2022-23 let’s hope there are plenty more screamers to come.

    Armiento’s goal got earnt Roar a share of the spoils against Western Sydney at Kayo Stadium, and Brisbane now sit on the fringes of the finals places. Warren Moon’s side has shown moments of class in this campaign – now it’s time for them to find the consistency needed to give the A-League title a real shake.

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