Fan Reaction: Glory embarrassed in record defeat

“The Glory Horror Picture Show” played out in front of our eyes on Sunday afternoon, as reigning champions Melbourne City completely dismantled Perth in historic fashion.

The 8-0 defeat broke the record for the largest victory in the A-Leagues, overtaking City’s own 8-1 smashing of Brisbane earlier this season.

No one escapes criticism after a woeful outing, and that includes the manager. I still firmly believe Alen Stajcic is the right coach to lead the club forwards and into greener pastures, but elements of his team selection on the weekend were questionable.

The two in question were the decisions to start Jacob Muir at right back and to play a midfield two of Trent Ostler and Giordano Colli.

Muir played out of position, chosen over the two recognised right backs in Johnny Koutroumbis and Josh Rawlins.

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It proved a costly choice, as Muir was put to the sword by Leo Natel on the right hand side when he got isolated.

Natel drove past Muir out wide, emphatically opening the scoring to get the ball rolling for the home side, just a taste of what was to come.

Natel’s second came in similar circumstances. The winger cut inside, avoiding the challenge of the young defender andfound the near post. Initially ruled out, the goal was eventually given after a lengthy offside check by VAR.

As for the midfield selection, from the get-go Stajcic has put his faith in Colli to play as a deep-lying midfielder, adjusting from his previous role as more of a creative outlet further up the pitch.

His defensive capabilities aren’t his strongest asset. When paired with a more defensive player, like Mustafa Amini, it helps to negate that area of his game.

Pairing him up with Ostler, who has been attack-minded most of his career and hardly played as central midfielder, was not going to end well. Especially since the same pairing also struggled a few weeks earlier against the Victory.

Colli failed to block the run of Steven Ugarkovic for the seventh, who waltzed into the penalty area and gifted Tolgay Arslan his hat-trick. Ugarkovic scored himself late on after Natel easily went by Koutroumbis and Colli, leaving the midfielder well out of position.

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Arslan had a field day, punishing the Glory defence when given the opportunity. He benefitted from Daryll Lachman’s errant pass to score his first, and for his second found a pocket of space in the box and picked the right moment to strike, catching out Oli Sail after Ostler failed to put in a challenge.

Kaelan Majekodunmi and Riley Warland also had games to forget, the former conceding an unfortunate own goal and the latter subbed after just 27 minutes for Koutroumbis.

Adam Taggart and David Williams had decent chances to get on the scoresheet in the second half but failed to convert, unable to reward some good set up play by Koutroumbis and Jarrod Carluccio respectively.

Spare a thought for Stef Colakovski, who only managed six touches against his former side before also coming off at half time.

The Wrap Up

A nightmare performance dished up on an important day for the Glory supporters, as the Tour of Duty were given nothing to cheer about at AAMI Park. To their credit, they stuck around and kept making noise right up until the end.

The side have two games to make up for that mess, in a bid to not only bring some positivity heading into the off-season but also trying to avoid the wooden spoon.

Worse than that, guaranteed qualification for the Australia Cup is off the cards. The best we can hope for is to finish 10thto get a home playoff, which is incredibly unlikely.

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The defence has now conceded 58 goals in the league, the highest by some margin. It’s the area which needs improving most, and should be the first thing the new owners and director of football look for to shape next season’s squad.

It appears their work has already begun, with the rumours suggesting Brandon O’Neill is on his way back to the club.

His abrupt exit a few seasons ago didn’t sit well with the fans, and that feeling hasn’t gone away. However, added strength in the centre of the park is always welcome and although he hasn’t been at his best with the Jets recently, he still has a lot to offer.

The final home match takes place on Sunday, an encounter which could decide the spoon. Western United are a point ahead of us; avoiding defeat is required, but winning should be the goal in order to reward the fans for their support.

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