There were some star performers in Round 10 of the Hyundai A-League, here’s our pick for the Team of the Week.
Player of the Week:
Sergio Cirio (Adelaide United)
Sergio Cirio has been an unbelievable find for Adelaide United. Josep Gombau, under so much pressure in the past few weeks, must take the credit for landing Cirio. The Spanish schemer was at his lively best as Adelaide put away the Mariners at Coopers Stadium. His constant presence between the lines made him difficult for the Mariners midfielders and defenders to pick up and his passing was on another level as Adelaide tore their rivals to shreds.
Nathan Coe (Melbourne Victory)
Melbourne Victory stopper Nathan Coe has been a rock solid presence at the back and he was in good form again as his side beat Perth Glory. Victory was on top throughout but Glory came home strongly as they chased an equaliser and Coe made a spectacular late save to deny Jamie Maclaren, preserving his clean sheet.
Adama Traore (Melbourne Victory)
The Melbourne Victory left back is without peer when it comes to left sided defenders in the A-League. His tenacity in defence and his overlapping raids down the left are a constant threat and a valuable weapon in the Melbourne Victory armoury. He doesn’t often score but when he does it is spectacular. It was Perth Glory on the receiving end as Traore lashed Victory into the lead with a 25 yard strike into the top corner, a lead Victory made safe late on.
Osama Malik (Adelaide United)
Malik has been a revelation at the heart of the Adelaide defence. Although Adelaide have struggled to put the wins on the board, their style of play has been impeccable and Malik has been key to them playing out from the back. His cultured style was at the fore again on the weekend as Adelaide got the win that has been a long time coming.
Matt Smith (Brisbane Roar)
Brisbane Roar’s captain, Matt Smith, is a reassuring presence at the heart of Mike Mulvey’s defence. His performances over the past few seasons have been consistently high and 2013/14 has started much the same. Roar are five points clear at the top of the table after their win in windy Wellington and Smith’s composure at the back was a big factor in their 2-1 victory.
Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Spiranovic is Wanderers’ rock at the back, having usurped the club captain Michael Beauchamp as Tony Popovic’s first choice partner for Nikolai Topor-Stanley. Spiranovic’s range of passing allows Wanderers to play out from the back and into midfield. Spiranovic was outstanding again as Wanderers kept a clean sheet against in-form Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium and he complements Topor-Stanley perfectly.
Mitch Nicholls (Melbourne Victory)
Mitch Nicholls is a metronomic presence in the Victory midfield and he ran the show against a Perth side that lacked the guile to form any real attacking threat. Nicholls’ consistency of passing and ability to open a defence is key to Victory’s style of play and the signs are, after a good win against Glory, that things are starting to come together.
Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar)
Franjic made his name as an attacking right back but he has been recast in midfield by Mike Mulvey this season. As part of the Roar’s midfield trio, Franjic has shone and he has added goals to his game. His thrust from the centre of the park and his eye for a goal was evident again against the Phoenix, where he scored the winner.
Carlos Hernandez (Wellington Phoenix)
On his day, Hernandez is unplayable, his deft touches and extraordinary vision marking him out as one of the league’s shining lights. After a slow start to life across the Tasman, the Costa Rican is starting to come to the boil. Hernandez makes the Phoenix tick and he scored from the spot to equalise against Brisbane, before the Phoenix eventually succumbed to the league leaders.
Ranko Despotovic (Sydney FC)
Despotovic has made a fantastic start to life in Sky Blue. Drafted in mid-season by Frank Farina, Despotovic scored the winner against Melbourne Heart in the helter-skelter minutes before half-time. Although Andrew Redmayne could have done better, it was a sharp turn from Despotovic that allowed him to create the space to score. He now has three goals in four games, all of them scored at Allianz Stadium.
Djite scored a well-taken goal to start the Adelaide rout against Central Coast Mariners. The striker was in fine form and his finish showed the instinct and sharpness that we have become used to from the Adelaide forward. His form going forward is key to Adelaide’s revival and to the way their coach Josep Gombau wants them to play.