All smiles at Sydney FC after an emphatic victory over Wellington Phoenix, who are cemented to the bottom of the league four points behind the team that thumped them 7-1. For the sake of the Hyundai A League one must hope that Wellington find some form soon as having been competitive for a number of years tonight’s performance brought back memories of the Football Kingz and the New Zealand Knights, their predecessors in the Australian league, and we all know what happened to them.
Alessandro del Piero gave a lesson in finishing today and showed the gulf in quality from the Hyundai A League to the top leagues in the world. His finishing was exquisite, but realistically in many other leagues he would not have been given the space to get a shot away. However once given that space he showed that at the top level your percentages are so much higher when it comes to finding the back of the net.
New signing Joel Griffiths who also scored was quick to acknowledge the importance of del Piero when post match on Fox Sports he said “It helps when he’s on song.”
Given space and time to play Del Piero showed his class, he is undoubtedly a competitor, and a leader on the pitch. Will he stay in Sydney or will another League in Asia try to entice him to grace their league? With a crowd of only just over 12,000 in Sydney sadly it does not appear that his presence is pulling in the fans in their droves, so money could be an issue should he stay on next season. There is no doubt if he can help other players raise the bar in terms of their performances then it would be a good investment. The big carrot could still be the role of player/coach. If he is to be offered such a role one would think it should only be done at the end of the season, as current incumbent Frank Farina was appointed until that time, and it would be wrong to undermine him before that time.
The board of Sydney FC have quite a predicament ahead of them, in the coming weeks. In a sport with big egos one has to hope that the popularity of the Italian maestro doesn’t in fact work against him.
Whatever happens three of tonight’s goals were a lesson to all, and a privilege to view.