For every round of A-League football in 2020/21, FTBL will be handing out awards for the brilliant, bad and bizarre moments each week. In round nine, there were goalkeeping howlers and statement victories, whilst one of the biggest clubs in the country continued to sink deeper.
The Where Did That Come From? Award
During his A-League career at both the Brisbane Roar and now the Newcastle Jets, Connor O'Toole has never looked like opening his A-League account.
That's why it made perfect sense that on Friday night against Adelaide, the left-back would finally score his first with a 25-yard pile driver.
O'Toole combined just outside the area with Angus Thurgate before unleashing a thunderous strike into the top right corner, which gave Reds keeper James Delianov no chance.
The Rob Green Award
In recent years, Andrew Redmayne has been a reliable figure in goal for Sydney FC, becoming a regular starter under both Graham Arnold and Steve Corica.
However, on Saturday against Brisbane, the 32-year-old was anything but reliable, coming up with a howler that allowed Dylan Wenzel-Halls to open the scoring.
Redmayne let a simple shot pee-rolling towards him slip through, a mistake that is any goalkeeper's worst nightmare.
The error was akin to former England goalkeeper Robert Green's infamous mishandling of a tame Clint Dempsey strike at the 2010 World Cup, hence the name of this award.
The Time's Up Award
Somehow Victory’s late capitulation against Western United last week wasn’t the last straw for Grant Brebner.
Surely the embarrassing 6-0 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Melbourne City has to be.
Grant Brebner : 'I don't want to think that far ahead' when pressed on if he would take charge of the Victory against Adelaide— Neal Symons (@neal_symons) March 6, 2021
The three-time champions are a laughing stock at the moment, something they rarely have been throughout their existence.
Simply replacing Grant Brebner WILL NOT change Victory’s fortunes overnight; deep-seated issues have plagued the club behind the scenes.
Questions that will be asked this week...— Mark Bosnich (@TheRealBozza) March 6, 2021
1);-why was it that Grant Brebner initially said he was not interested in the job,(understandable at this early stage of his coaching career) then all of a sudden changed his mind?xmb
Their recruitment has not been at the level you would expect by one of the country’s biggest clubs.
You look at Victory, and you wonder who will take the game by the balls and lead the team by example.
Ola Toivonen was probably the last player I can think of, and every other successful side in the competition at the moment has that leader in their squad.
Think of Craig Goodwin at Adelaide, Matt Simon at the Mariners, Alessandro Diamanti at Western and Diego Castro at Perth, to name a few.
Victory doesn’t have that player right now. To expect average English second division recruits such as Rudy Gestede, Ryan Shotton or Jake Butterfield to lead this team is bizarre.
Also, Victory seems to be unable to move on from the Muscat era.
Just look at their inclination to re-sign Adama Traore, Robbie Kruse, Nick Ansell and Marco Rojas in recent seasons.
These players aren’t that bad, but at some point, you have to move away from the old regime so the new guys can flourish.
Brebner will pay the price, whether that be this week or in a few weeks, but it won’t change much at all.
Their home game against Adelaide United could finally be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, provided Brebner survives the week.
The Big Statement Award
On the other side of the fence, Patrick Kisnorbo has Melbourne City humming at their full potential, and right now, they are hitting form at the right time.
Saturday night's massive win wasn’t just about a statement to their rivals; it was a statement to the competition.
City started slowly under Kisnorbo, but as we have also seen at Adelaide United, you will reap the rewards if you trust your principles and philosophy.
Kisnorbo’s side was still playing well at the start of the campaign but was missing those little flashes of brilliance to turn games in their favour.
Jamie Maclaren is back in the form of his life, whilst Andrew Nabbout showed his old club that they shouldn’t have let him go.
Connor Metcalfe’s brilliant brace highlighted a coming-of-age performance, whilst Florin Berenguer and Nuno Reis have chipped in with their foreign expertise.
The Crossing Award
Perth Glory decided on Sunday in Wollongong that all they would do is cross the ball against Wellington and see what would happen.
The result wasn't a positive one, with the Nix proving the adage that quality always trumps quantity.
The Glory put an astonishing 61 balls into the area and attempted 31 crosses.
However, of those 31 crosses, only 2 found a purple shirt, resulting in a crossing accuracy of a mind-boggling 6.5%.
Richard Garcia's side hasn't struggled at all in finding the net consistently this season.
However, for some reason, on Sunday, they couldn't turn at least one of those balls into the area into a goal.
On the other hand, Wellington proved that effective possession is the key to winning football games.
Ironically, their second and third goals came from balls in wide areas. They only put 14 balls into the box and completed three crosses.
FT: Wellington Phoenix (1.63) 3-0 (2.15) Perth Glory— A-League xG (@ALeague_xG) March 7, 2021
Bruno Fornaroli (1.72) 0-3 (1.63) Wellington Phoenix pic.twitter.com/C6AwrT0XCJ