There’s a common saying in sport: good teams find a way to win.
More often than not, this is stated when a talented team is winning despite not playing well (for example, Adelaide’s win against the Roar).
But if we accept this as fact, the opposite must also be true: bad teams find a way to lose (for example, Adelaide’s loss against the Glory).
Adelaide has only taken a possible five points from its last five matches – a win and two draws. We can take this a step further: the Reds have only accumulated 10 points from their last 10 games.
It’s been a horrendous run from United, who seem to be doing their best to sabotage their season.
Wednesday’s frustrating loss to Perth summarised United perfectly: when they’re good, they’re great but when they’re bad…
How they didn’t come away with at least one point from that match beggars belief. And they have no one to blame but themselves.
Adelaide first half against Perth was akin to a training drill. 45 minutes of complete dominance. But for all their huff-and-puff, United only found themselves one goal up at half time.
Then Diego Castro happened.
For a second time this season, Adelaide was unable to contain the Spaniard, who turned the game for his side after being brought on at half time.
Cursory glances at his heat map (remembering he only played 45 minutes) shows his amazing ability to find space in wide areas. Castro is the consummate mezzala (for those of you who aren’t Football Manager fanatics, this is a central midfielder who likes to drift wide).
I’m not one for over-analysing statistics, because in the end the only stat that matters is the final score.
But it’s impossible to ignore both Castro’s influence on Wednesday night’s game, and how Adelaide clearly could find no answer to him.
With three games left this season, you’d think Adelaide would want at least two wins to ensure some momentum come finals.
But if they serve up the dross they produced in draws against Wellington, Western United, the loss against City, the win against Brisbane and the second half against Perth – even if they make finals – they’ll just be making up the numbers.
Sydney and Western Sydney follow after Sunday’s derby against the Victory in Melbourne. Thankfully both of those games are at home, where Adelaide is hard to beat even on off days.
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