The Wellington Phoenix, they looked the goods with a 4-1 win over the Newcastle Jets but let's be honest, it's been coming. The Nix have offered many reasons to be hopeful early on in the season, but the lingering thought of another Nix side not quite living up to our hopes just seemed to be lurking in the shadows.
What's great is that this performance came at home in front of the Yellow Fever and company. It was the sort of performance that you thought was just around the corner and they delivered thanks to some solid attacking football. Having a bloke like Nathan Burns up front is a huge help. Each week I've loosened up on my Jeremy Brockie hating, because it's quickly become apparent that he'll play second fiddle to Burns down the attacking end.
My hatred (I don't hate you Jeremy, I write things and exaggerate things) for Brockie stemmed from the fact that we had to rely on him to get goals. We still might be put in the situation where we have to rely on the Brockster, but he's doing a decent job of playing his part. With Burns and also Michael McGlinchey adding class, Brockie's role is much simpler.
So what? We've got 3 players capable to posing a consistent threat on attack, but let me introduce a new idea. I love this midfield as well, they're tough, rugged and able to go forward. Go forward, that's the key and they (along with the front 3) like to go forward quickly when the opportunity presents itself. I love that, throw in to the mix that a midfielder can join the attack safely in the knowledge that Albert Riera is covering. Even if both Roly and J-Rod go forward swiftly, Riera is always there #Handy.
All that makes defending a hell of a lot easier. Instead of being isolated in 1 v 1 situations, there's bodies around making it tough and with Andy Durante calling the shots, everything is in order most of the time.
To be fair, Newcastle were pants. But the fact that the Phoenix went out there, put on a (mostly) clinical performance and even scored some goals was lovely. Burnsy coulda had the first ever Phoenix hat-trick but he laid one off to Mickey McG. Even Captain Fantastic got in on the action! Which was a cool consolation after blowing the clean sheet.
Who Are Ya!? I'm Nathan Burns. Hello Burnsy, you're fantastic. Thanks for bringing some class to this Nix attacking line and just being awesome. I like your mates in the Nix, but you fill me full of confidence, something that hasn't always been the case with the ol' black n yellow, black n yellow, black n yellow. And that second goal...
Who's Nek? The Melbourne Victory. Ouch. But, it's a great time to face these lads just as the Nix look to be figuring out their combinations and style. It's a great test, we're all loving the Nix right now as everything is in order, but the Victory offer a totally different type of beast. Should be an easy win.