Simmering discontent between some players and the Perth coach came to a head on Friday, while Adelaide United produced a much-needed win for their controversial coach1. Crisis rocks the Perth Glory 'family' (Iain Strachan @ AAMI Park)
There was a major falling out between Alistair Edwards and at least two of his senior players after the 2-0 loss away to Melbourne Victory on Friday night, with Michael Thwaite and captain Jacob Burns expressing their displeasure at various aspects of the coach's regime, specifically perceived favouritism of his two sons, Ryan and Cameron. The coach confirmed there was a 'rift' between himself and Burns, while Perth owner Tony Sage has refused to publically back either faction. Expect a turbulent week ahead in WA ahead Glory's home game against Adelaide on Sunday.
2. When will Wellington's win arrive? (Iain Strachan)
The second visit of the in-form league leaders to New Zealand's North Island was never going to be an easy opportunity for the Phoenix to finally get off the mark, and so it proved on Saturday, with Brisbane Roar snatching all three points again at the Cake Tin. It doesn't get any easier for Ernie Merrick's men in the lead-up to Christmas, with a game against Central Coast - sure to be hurting after a 4-0 drubbing in Adelaide - at North Sydney Oval on Thursday, followed two days later by a date with Sydney FC and Alessandro Del Piero three days later. Perhaps the away game against Melbourne Heart on December 27 will be moment Wellington finally break their win duck, but John Aloisi and his players are sure to be feeling the same way.
3. Adelaide deliver to save Gombau's skin (Steve Barret @ Coopers Stadium)
The pressure has eased momentarily on embattled Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau after the Reds' emphatic 4-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday, but the road to redemption remains long and windy. Adelaide were impressive in all facets, but consistently producing what Gombau's new-look possession-based regime demands is another matter. Gombau must however take the credit for landing Spanish sensation Sergio Cirio, who has been a terrific find and played a blinder on the weekend. The Mariners are a resilient bunch and won't take any 4-0 beating lying down. Central Coast created numerous gettable chances which they squandered early and Adelaide made them pay big time. It's hard to believe Daniel McBreen will ever fluff so many easy goals again, just as it's hard to believe the Mariners will cop another pasting like that this season.
4. No shame in Jets' loss to Wanderers (Mark Hughes @ Hunter Stadium)
Jets coach Gary van Egmond said his side would prove themselves as premiership contenders if they could beat the Wanderers in Saturday night's game. And although Newcastle controversially went down 1-0, they did enough to prove they can mix it with the best, especially given the fact that they were without their marquee Emile Heskey and in-form on-loan star Nathan Burns.
5. Del Piero magic sparked a dire game into life (Steve Orme @ Allianz Stadium)
The first 43 minutes of this clash was up there with the worst A-League games in history – before Alessandro Del Piero intervened. The Italian maestro left two Heart defenders lying on the ground and beat two more with his sublime footwork before thundering the ball passed Andrew Redmayne. Ranko Despotovic then chimed in with a classy goal of his own in the 45th minute to send the Sky Blues into the rooms with a 2-0 advantage. But Del Piero didn't come back out in the second stanza due to tightness in his lower back and the Heart dominated in his absence. Michael Misfud made it 2-1 in the 72nd minute but the visitors squander five other guilt-edged chances in the second half – including a missed penalty from Harry Kewell, to extend their winless streak to 15 games as Sydney FC held on for a 2-1 victory – their sixth win of the season.