Every A-League round, we hand out our FTBL awards for the brilliant, bad and bizarre moments each week. In round 14, there were post-match rants, silly send offs, and one team finally broke their barren run.
The Rage Award
Carl Robinson and Richard Garcia win this accolade for their stunning post-game rants last week.
First, it was Wanderers coach Robinson on Tuesday who was fuming.
The decision to award the Mariners with an 83rd-minute penalty that ultimately allowed them to take a point from Bankwest made the Welshman feel "embarrassed".
His post-game interview with Mark Bosnich was intense. Robinson had to constantly remind himself out loud not to say something that could get him in trouble with the powers that be.
Meanwhile, Garcia had no problem blowing his lid following Perth's controversial defeat to Sydney FC last Wednesday.
The match was marred by poor weather, first being delayed by 45 minutes before a storm cut out the Jubilee Stadium lighting in stoppage time.
Despite having a few minutes still left to play, referee Adam Kersey ended the game there.
Richard Garcia letting his feelings known in his press conference. Makes a valid point about the on-pitch interviews. Poor from the league to not properly communicate with him why Perth will not get the chance to get a result, which at 1-0 is not unlikelyhttps://t.co/7Wn7il6U8J— Cam Wyper (@cwyperjourno) April 7, 2021
On top of that, Kersey and VAR somehow denied the Glory a clear cut penalty for Paulo Retre's challenge on Carlo Armiento.
Thus, the series of events sparked an angry Garcia to go all-in on the officiating in his post-match press conference, citing how he was "baffled" by the decisions made.
I'm sure both coaches wouldn't have wanted to go off as they did. Still, both rants - notably Garcia's - will likely be filed into the all-time A-League archives.
The They Won A Game? Award
Yes, you won't believe it, but the Melbourne Victory won a football game in this competition on Saturday against Newcastle.
MELBOURNE VICTORY WON A GAME!!— Jamie Paul/Brokeboi2000 (@Brokeboi2000) April 10, 2021
Victory still had time to showcase their atrocious defending by gifting Apostolos Stamatelopoulos the opener with a point-blank range tap-in, despite being victorious.
However - and uncharacteristically - they bounced back and showed real grit to steal a 2-1 win in the second half thanks to Dylan Ryan and Lleyton Brooks' goals.
Brooks, in particular, was superb from the bench, showcasing his football intelligence and smashing in the winner from close range.
Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio was also fantastic, working like a dog all game upfront. The pair should undoubtedly be in Grant Brebner's selection plans from now on.
The Victory's season is over already, but they might yet unearth some hidden talent in their ranks that could pave the way for the future.
The Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Award
This award goes to Newcastle coach Craig Deans, who has only guided the Jets to one victory since signing on at the club on a full-time basis.
The situation is very similar to when Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was promoted from an interim coach to full-time during the 2018-19 season.
On that occasion, he ended up only leading the Red Devils to two wins in eight to finish that season after being appointed permanently.
Newcastle only picked up two wins during Deans' interim spell anyway. Still, they were playing much better football and were dominating most games.
#NEWvMVC i’ve done a lot of thinking about this— Ethan #EW (@EWsportnut) April 10, 2021
Craig deans in my opinion was more than ready to be the first team coach of @NewcastleJetsFC he had been caretaker Boss 3 times
He’d been assistant for 3 or 4 of the previous Jets manages so He was more than ready
Now, they look bereft of ideas. The form of Valentino Yuel, Ramy Najjarine and Angus Thurgate has completely fallen off a cliff.
Crucial figures such as Steven Ugarkovic could be leaving the club in the next transfer window as well, and their season is unravelling at an alarming rate.
The Price Of Youth Award
Louis D’Arrigo and Mark Natta are both very talented young players. However, they both fell victim to rash decision-making on Saturday night that cost both their sides.
D’Arrigo is adapting very well to a more advanced role under Carl Veart this season.
The midfielder has an excellent range of passing, provides energetic displays, and has even chipped in with a couple of goals already this campaign too.
However, one thing he is not – like many of Adelaide’s players – is experienced.
His inexperience was highlighted by a silly sending off with two cheap yellow cards within the space of fifteen first-half minutes.
His first yellow for a late challenge on Thomas Aquilina was maybe a little soft. However, the lack of self-awareness to know he was already on a yellow for the second was disappointing.
"It wasn't even Louis D'Arrigo!"— NND (@NoNonsenseDef) April 10, 2021
Who the fuck was it then, Carl? His twin?#ADLvWSW
A more experienced player may allow Mitch Duke to go past him in that scenario, knowing it is still relatively early in the match. It isn’t as necessary to make that challenge.
Natta was also caught out late in the game, getting his body position all wrong to deal with a long ball played into Stefan Mauk.
Mauk still had a lot to do to beat Natta and score, but the youngster was over-eager and felt he had to make an unnecessary challenge, just like D’Arrigo.
Both red cards were made worse because they came when both sides had decent control of the game and looked like scoring next.
The Just Because He Isn't Australian Award
Wellington's Ben Waine continues to fly under the radar as one of the A-League's most promising young players this season.
The 19-year-old has three goals in twelve games this season, including a last-minute header to win the game against Western United on Sunday.
Ben Waine have my babies 😩— Mikey 🇳🇿⚡️-(20-33) 🟡 -(5-3-8) (@NixGotNext) April 11, 2021
But is his potential overlooked because he is a Kiwi?
I think so, as the likes of Dylan Wenzel-Halls, Alou Kuol and Kusini Yengi seem to be the young strikers that dominate the headlines at the moment.
It is understandable, as Australian publications are more likely to pump up the young Aussie talent coming out of the A-League. However, Waine is an impressive youngster who should earn more praise.
He has even made impressive inroads at an international level, finishing second top scorer in the tournament and helping his country qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2019.
Ufuk Talay won't care, though, especially if his young gun keeps finding the net.