Once in 291 games: In defence of Jamo

Here are some of the key talking points from this week’s episode of the Official A-Leagues Podcast, where Daniel Garb, Robbie Cornthwaite and Amy Chapman are joined by Western United boss John Aloisi. Listen via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Google Podcasts. Return from Wednesday for our special A-League / Women’s preview. Or Listen here

‘We’re all guilty of it’

Scott Jamieson might be one of the Isuzu UTE A-League’s most passionate characters, but don’t make the mistake of doubting his discipline.

The City captain was booked early doors in Saturday night’s clash with Adelaide United, and Robbie Cornthwaite, speaking on the Official A-Leagues Podcast, said it was easy to fall into the trap of assuming Jamieson would end up picking up a second yellow card, with his emotions taking over.  

The City left-back was quick to wave away Channel 10/Paramount+ presenter Michael Zappone’s question posed at the half-time break: “You’ve got a yellow card, now just be careful in the second half – does that play on your mind at all?”

Jamieson replied without hesitation: “not at all”.

He then quickly departed down the tunnel to the City dressing room.

“I’m guilty of it as well, and I think as pundits and commentators we’re all guilty of it,” Cornthwaite said on this week’s episode of the Official A-Leagues Podcast.

 “If someone gets a yellow card, automatically we say “he’s got to be careful”. We don’t really take into (account) their disciplinary record. 

“I only ever got sent off for two yellow cards once. When someone said ‘oh it was silly because he got two yellows and he didn’t know how to walk the line’, (I was like ‘well, it happened one time so I did know how to walk the line)’. I think Scott Jamieson has fallen into the same category. 

“He got a yellow card in the first half, last time he went to Coopers Stadium he got sent off so I understand the questions and I understand the narrative, but I just don’t think his disciplinary record can be questioned.

“He’s had one red card in 291 games, and surely there’s something else we can talk about to him other than that. I know he chirps, I know he’s annoying, but he’s not one of these players that’s ill-disciplined and gets red carded all the time.”

Cornthwaite and Zappone shared a Twitter exchange about the half-time interview, with Cornthwiate stating “Jamieson has had one red card in his career. I know it was against Adelaide at Hindmarsh last time out but I don’t think his discipline should ever be questioned.”

Zappone answered back: “Relevant mate because the last time it happened (a Jamieson red) it was here (at Coopers Stadium).. I’m sure Scott didn’t take it the wrong way.”

Cornthwaite asks – why the surprise at Sturridge absence?

When the Perth Glory team sheet dropped on Friday night, there was one notable absence from the squad set to take on Western United at AAMI Park: star man Daniel Sturridge.

The marquee striker travelled to Victoria with Richard Garcia’s playing group as Glory prepared for the first of a lengthy road trip, with border closures rendering it impossible to schedule regular home-and-away fixtures throughout the initial stages of the 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League season.

After playing just nine minutes on debut against Adelaide in Round 1, Sturridge was removed from the picture altogether for his side’s 1-0 loss to Western United.

It was an eyebrow-raising omission for some, but Cornthwaite suggests if you take a logical look at the scenario, unclouded by desperation to see the former Liverpool star strut his stuff in purple and orange, you will see a relatively straightforward explanation: he’s simply not ready, and it will require patience from player, club and fans if Sturridge is ever to be ready.

It was the lay of the land before his arrival, and it remains so now – there should be no surprises despite the eagerness from all watching on to see Sturridge in full flight.

“I don’t have a problem with it, if I’m honest. It genuinely doesn’t bother me,” he said. 

“I think we spoke about it last week or in the preview about him missing games, and him knowing his body and injury concerns. For him to fly to Australia, stay in a hotel for two weeks, do basically nothing, come out and train for a few days and play for five minutes, then travel to Melbourne. 

“It’s not just the travel to Melbourne that he’s gone ‘four hours on a flight is too much for me’. The guy probably has (hardly) trained, then he’s trained for 10 days and everyone expects him to play.

“If he had played and got injured I think the story would have been far worse… maybe people are saying he’s here for the money, but honestly it sits fine with me.”

‘Predictable’ Sydney FC lacking cutting edge early doors

It’s the trap fallen into all too often at the start of a campaign: a slow-starting side with finals aspirations gets the league talking about its downfall. 

But after an injury-plagued Sydney FC lost 1-0 to Macarthur FC on Saturday night, Amy Chapman couldn’t help but ponder if the 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League season was a bridge too far for a team with three consecutive Grand Final appearances to cross.

The Sky Blues were defeated 1-0 on home turf by a Bulls outfit rejuvenated by an impressive off-season recruitment spree only improved by this week’s announcement former English Premier League defender Adrian Mariappa was on his way to Campbelltown.

After losing the 2020/21 title decider to Melbourne City, Steve Corica’s Sydney FC acquired minimal reinforcements for the new campaign with Max Burgess, Elvis Kamsoba and James Donachie coming through the door as key off-season signings.

Luke Brattan’s ACL tear in last week’s FFA Cup win over Sydney Olympic has left Corica without one of the most influential players in his squad, and Chapman saw the early effects of the devastating injury take hold as the Sky Blues fell flat against Macarthur.

“We’ve watched Luke Brattan grow through the A-League, we watched him dominate at Roar, he literally predicts the way and the style that they play,” Chapman said. “It’s really heart-wrenching to see he’s done his ACL, that’s obviously 12 months out.

“For me I find Sydney a little bit too predictable at the moment. I feel like (teams) know how to nullify Ninković a little bit now, they’re not super creative in attack – I think that’s missing and perhaps that’s because they’re missing Brattan as their playmaker.

“The combination is just not there up front for Sydney yet, they’ve not got that spark. They’ve got Caceres, they’ve got some really talented players there but it’s not coming together.”

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