Mike Mulvey can’t save the Central Coast Mariners alone

Mike Mulvey
The Mariners are in desperate need of a change and a new manager is just the start

With all due respect to Mike Mulvey, one man isn’t going to be enough to turn the Central Coast Mariners around next season.

Having sunk to a new low on Saturday after being thrashed 8-2 by a Newcastle Jets side that could’ve easily hit double figures, the Mariners are a club in desperate need of some investment.

Though Mulvey is a fine manager in his own right and clearly has the club's best interests at heart if his unveiling is anything to go by, a coach can only do so much. 

As Paul Okon learned the hard way, when the club isn’t willing to put the money in, the results sadly are going to be hard to come by.

While a football fairytale in the vein of Leicester City may defy the financial odds once in a blue moon, the reality is success in modern football demands some serious fiscal commitment.

It’s exactly this that the Mariners have shied away from in recent years. The fact they didn’t sign a marquee this season and didn't really replace a key, albeit struggling, foreign striker in Asdrubal says a lot. 

Mulvey for his part has said from the outset he won't use any lack of money as an excuse but the nature of the Mariners' loss to the Jets points to some serious issues. Copping eight goals with a new manager watching on and a wooden spoon up for grabs, certainly doesn't paint the current squad too kindly.

For a club that was once so dominant in the A-League, it’s a genuine shame to see them sunk so low and while Mulvey’s appointment should be a step in the right direction, he alone can't drag them to a brighter future.

Central Coast Mariners Andrew Hoole

The Big Blue now solely Sky Blue

Sydney FC wrapped up a seventh straight win against Melbourne Victory on Friday night with Bobo taking his record-breaking goals' tally to 27 for the season.

The Victory's bold decision to wear one-off Championship jerseys against the Sky Blues on Australia Day in 2016 has seemingly back fired with that match marking their last win in the fixture.

Graham Arnold has well and truly got the upper hand over Kevin Muscat now with the soon-to-be Socceroos manager surely taking some satisfaction in that fact.

Both teams could well meet again in the finals and with Victory's recent record in this fixture, they'll have their work cut out to buck that trend. 

Considering the Sky Blues looked in second gear for much of the match on Friday night points to the strength and tactical ability of a side that will take some stopping in their pursuit to win a back-to-back A-League double.

Carl Valeri/Adrian Melbourne Victory/Sydney FC

Young stars shine for Wellington Phoenix

Though the past season was another disappointment for the Nix, their future is looking somewhat brighter thanks to two teenagers.

Sarpreet Singh at just 19, has quickly established himself in the Wellington side this season and scored a decisive brace against Melbourne City to ensure a 2-1 win and help his side avoid a third wooden spoon.

Those crucial strikes made it four goals from 11 games for the young striker who will no doubt be scoring plenty more in seasons to come.

Also playing down the left against City was 17-year-old left back Liberato Cacace - who put in a very strong performance in just his seventh A-League appearance. 

While this season is another to forget for the Phoenix, the fact they've been able to give two young talents a chance to shine means they've done something right.

Wellington Phoenix

Perth Glory made to pay for poor pre-season

Once again, Kenny Lowe's side left it late for a charge into the finals and this time Perth have fallen short after Brisbane Roar beat them 3-2 on their own turf.

Though finishing with a wet sail and boasting a squad full of talent, the Glory were ultimately upended by a questionable pre-season that may well have led to a number of injuries throughout the season.

All three of Perth's Spanish players suffered from injuries throughout the season with former Adelaide United coach John Kosmina questioning Glory's organisational skills as a result. 

"They weren’t fit," Kosmina said on Fox Sport's Sunday Shootout.

"Perth’s guys came in late, some of the new guys they’ve brought in.

"You look at Andreu, Torres went off injured after 15 minutes last night with a hammy. They’re guys who are just not in condition.

"Castro was late coming in so he had another slow start to the season.

"So you can’t run a professional football club like that. You’ve got to get it organised and your players have to be there from the start."

Perhaps a pre-season friendly against Premier League side Chelsea in July is exactly what they need to be whipped into gear a little earlier.

Brisbane Roar Perth Glory

 VAR haunts Western Sydney Wanderers again

A second-half red card to Keanu Baccus arguably cost the Wanderers the game and a spot in the top six against Adelaide United on Sunday as they lost 3-2.

Caught kicking out at Johan Absalonsen by VAR, the 19-year-old though seemingly guilty, was very unlucky to be caught out on such a big stage.

For a player just finding his feet in the A-League and not used to having a single camera on him, let alone several, the VAR's intervention seemed cruel for an act that has surely gone unpunished hundreds of times in past seasons.

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It wasn't the first time VAR has got involved in a Western Sydney clash either with the technology becoming particularly prominent in their fixtures this season.

From their Round 26 clash against Victory which saw Kosta Barbarouses and Michael Thwaite shown reds to a Chris Ikonomidis strike ruled out for a very marginal offside against Newcastle Jets, the VAR certainly hasn't been Josep Gombau's friend this season. 

Josep Gombau Western Sydney Wanderers