A-League Rev-Up: Why isn't negative Babbel under pressure?

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Another big weekend of A-League action awaits

Western Sydney Wanderers have won only two A-League games under Markus Babbel yet the outspoken German coach isn't under pressure - why?

A surprising statistic reveals Wellington Phoenix will pose a stern test for league leaders Perth Glory on Saturday night.

Can Sydney FC take the positives from their performance against Melbourne Victory to take down City?

Round 17 of the A-League promises to be an absolute cracker...


Has Babbel's language contributed to Wanderers struggles?


Markus Babbel Wanderers

Two league wins in 16 games is not acceptable for any A-League club - and certainly not one who has made three Grand Finals in the past six years - plus also lifting the Asian Champions League.

But German tactician Markus Babbel seems to have escaped scrutiny for Western Sydney Wanderers' performances and season to date - a situation where many other coaches, with less prestigious backgrounds, would be under significant pressure.

It's true that Babbel wasn't helped by the club's actions before he arrived, with the signings of Bruce Kamau, Nick Fitzgerald and Ruon Tongyik happening before he even joined the club.

But several questions need to be raised about Babbel's tenure to date, including the language used by the coach publicly.

His honest approach to questions asked by the media has won many fans - but it's likely to have not helped the confidence of his own players.

Some of Babbel's messages in recent times have included that his team 'can't defend' and the players aren't able to cope with playing many matches in a short period if time.

Both of these comments were made in the midst of Western Sydney's incredible run of choking matches - which includes throwing a result in the final 10 minutes in four of the last five A-League games.

It's clear the Wanderers' issues in this run of results is mental - and how would Babbel's public lashing of his team be helping the situation?

Also if the team's defence is so poor, then why did the club sign two attackers in Kwame Yeboah and Mitch Duke during the January transfer window?

The German is also failing to get good enough performances out of the team's leaders - particularly skipper Brendan Hamill and marquee striker Oriol Riera.

Hopefully, the Wanderers can snap their dreadful run of form and it will be interesting to see if the pressure builds on Babbel if the improvement doesn't happen soon.


Why Perth need to be wary of Wellington


Mark Rudan Wellington Phoenix 2018

Wellington Phoenix traditionally have struggled on their travels - and it isn't really surprising considering they have a two-hour plus fight to Australia every second week.

But new coach Mark Rudan has found a formula for his team to achieve results on the road - with the Nix having not lost any of their last five away games, with their last defeat coming in Melbourne on November 9.

Now facing their longest away trip to league leaders Perth Glory on Saturday night, it will be fascinating to see if Rudan can unsettle Tony Popovic's team.

The Glory snapped two consecutive goalless draws with a fine 2-0 victory against Newcastle Jets last weekend.

Will the Perth train continue full steam ahead?


Has Sydney FC turned the corner?


Luke Ivanovic Sydney FC

Sydney FC didn't win against Melbourne Victory but there was plenty to like in a second half performance which saw them dominate their southern rivals.

Young talent Luke Ivanovic came off the bench to provide a bright spark the Sky Blues needed - and he could start against Melbourne City on Sunday.

The 18-year-old took on players, continually made attacking runs and busted his gut to get into attacking areas to be a goalscoring threat.

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The Sky Blues have a chance to build on the performance against a City team which will be missing their yet-to-arrive star signing Jamie Maclaren.

While it's unfair to say Sydney have struggled this season, they haven't looked as strong as rivals Victory and Perth.

Maybe Steve Corica's side are about to hit the accelerator as the season hits the home stretch?

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