Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A-League 2010/2011 Finals Series - Adelaide United - Preview

Adelaide adopted a different coaching approach in the 2010/2011 A-League season. Coming through the hardest time in clubs history which involved the club going under financial administration, crowd numbers dramatically falling and a disasterous run of performances on the field.

Under new ownership Adelaide began the season by making a host of new signings, including the much hyped move of Sergio van Dijk to the club. But it wasn't van Dijk who would prove to be the instrumental start to the season. Argentinian import Marcos Flores, brought creative flair to the midfield going forward. United's season looked to be in good stead when Flores scored one of the greatest goals in A-League history against the Jets.

This form continued with van Dijk going top scorer of the league. His head proved to be the difference in many games, as well as his physical domination upfront. They took the A-League to a new level comprehensively accounting for the North Queensland Fury 8-0 on their way to the top of the table. Adelaide were on a collision course with the Roar. However Brisbane steamed past Adelaide 4-0, beginning their form slump which was evident for the remainder of the season - they went on to lose 10 of their last 19 games. They finished 3rd in the league after a win against the Victory on the final matchday.

Adelaide have a genuine chance of winning the A-League title this year. However to do so they will need to replicate the form which took them straight to the summit of the A-League. Marcos Flores and Sergio van Dijk will have to lead the team through the knockout phase. With instrumental attacker Matthew Leckie out probably for the rest of season, United will have to push their squad to the limit.