They say that the sign of a good coach is when he makes changes on the park that alter the course of the game. Perth Glory fans will no doubt have been pleased to witness such a thing in their opening game of the season against Adelaide United. The changes made by coach Ian Ferguson resulting the in the club’s first win in an opening game of a Hyundai A League season.
Ian Ferguson has stated the problem with his squad last season was that he did not have the depth to be able to bring in players to make that difference. Good recruiting in the off-season has meant that that is no longer the case this year.
Perth Glory dominated the first half of their opening game, but could not seem to find a way through the Adelaide defence. When a change was needed Ferguson decided to change from a 4-4-2 formation to a more attacking 4-3-3; a move that should be applauded. It is great to see a coach chose a more attacking option that resort to a defensive one.
The introduction of Tommy Amphlett on the right was just what the team needed. The youngster who has impressed in pre-season has shown that he will be a vital impact player if he fails to break into the starting line-up. From the minute he came on he ran at defenders and also delivered telling crosses.
It was his cross that saw Billy Mehmet break the deadlock and score the winning goal. The team as a whole played well and the defense looked very solid, but Mehmet’s work rate up front was sensational, and his goal was just reward for his efforts. He showed that work ethic in the pre-season games he played and if he continues in that vein and pops up with the odd goal he is going to not only look like a vey astute signing, but also will soon become a fan favourite.
It was a very encouraging start to the new A league season, and one that banishes last season’s poor form to the memory of season’s past. This is a new chapter, and let us hope that the ending lives up to the opening page.