Robbie Slater and Marci Monteverde write Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart should play for Socceroos

Robbie Slater and Marci Monteverde write Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart should play for Socceroos


Perth Glory needed their fightback win against Brisbane, why Adam Taggart deserves another chance for the Socceroos, and where is Adelaide’s Nestory Irankunda? This issue and many more tackled by MARCO MONTEVERDE and ROBBIE SLATER.


Glorious occasion

Roar fans wouldn’t agree, but Perth Glory’s fightback from 2-1 down to beat Brisbane 3-2 at HBF Park was exactly what not only the West Australian club, but also the A-League, needed after a forgettable few months for the national competition.

In front of loyal Glory fans, who have suffered enough, the Glory celebrated the club’s new ownership with a memorable win.

New owner Ross Pelligra was at the ground to see “The Shed” rocking with noise and atmosphere as the Glory stretched their unbeaten run to five games, three of which have been wins.

Pelligra seems to have big plans for the Glory, and let’s hope they come to fruition, because the club was once the benchmark for Australian football.

However, Perth’s NSL dominance didn’t transfer over to the A-League, with the Glory still chasing their first championship in a competition that started 19 years ago.

Premiership success under Tony Popovic in 2019 has been the Glory’s only A-League honour so far.

Popovic isn’t there anymore, but in Alen Stajcic, the Glory have a coach perfectly suited to their backs-to-the-wall situation.

Stajcic ­– who was wrongly and unfairly sacked as Matildas coach a few years ago ­– loves to prove critics wrong, and he’s injected a never-say-die attitude into his team, as well as a siege mentality when nothing was going right for them and promises allegedly weren’t being kept by the APL.

Finally finding a buyer for the Glory will also be a huge weight off the APL’s shoulders.

The APL wasn’t in a position to be spending millions of dollars propping up Perth after wasting $40 million on failed digital arm KeepUp, as well as a lot of other money on things they are yet to disclose.

Offloading the Glory will enable the APL to spend money, hopefully wisely, in other areas of need in the A-League, and let’s be honest, there are plenty of them.

Taggart on target

One man that has played a big part for Perth on the field is the Glory’s captain and key striker Adam Taggart, which is good news for the club, as well as Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

Taggart, 30, has become the forgotten man of Australia’s attacking ranks, but in his current form, he more than deserves a spot in the Socceroos squad for next month’s two World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon.

His weekend brace against the Roar brought his A-League season goal tally to 12 from just 15 appearances.

It’s sometimes easy to forget that Taggart was a part of Ange Postecoglou’s 2014 World Cup squad.

That was 10 years ago, and since then Taggart has had his ups and downs with form and injuries, but there is no doubting his class.

He has also matured as a player, and has embraced the captaincy role at the Glory.

There’s no doubt that Arnold will continue to watch him closely between now and the naming of the Socceroos squad for next month’s two games.

Taggart’s form surely must have him ahead of Melbourne City’s Jamie Maclaren if Arnold intends to make changes to the squad that was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup.

Reigning Golden Boot Maclaren has now gone seven games without an A-League goal. That’s his longest stretch of matches without scoring in the national competition.

It’s a barren run that has coincided with an ordinary patch of form for City, who were lucky to escape from Saturday night’s Melbourne derby against Victory with a scoreless draw.


Mystery absence

Nestory Irankunda’s absence from Adelaide United’s squad in the Reds’ 2-1 loss to Sydney FC on Saturday night continues to be shrouded in mystery,

“Illness” has been given as the reason the teenage sensation wasn’t in the match-day squad, but The Tackle has been told his absence might have been for reasons to do with his attitude.

It raises questions again whether Irankunda is ready to make the move to German giants Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

Many believe that the 18-year-old attacker would be better off spending another couple of seasons in the A-League before moving to Europe.

However, with his sale to Bayern finalised, let’s hope the Reds continue to work closely with Irankunda because he will need to be in the best frame of mind when he departs for Germany.

Let’s be consistent

The search for consistency with refereeing decisions continues in the A-League.

The Wanderers had every right to ask why Mariners fullback Jacob Farrell wasn’t sent off for his foul on Western Sydney striker Marcus Antonsson in the first half of Sunday’s match in Gosford.

Farrell escaped with only a yellow card despite his studs clearly making contact with the top of Antonsson’s foot.

The Wanderers have had players sent off this season for similar tackles.

Making matters worse for Western Sydney was that Antonsson was forced off because of the tackle, while Farrell remained on the park as the Mariners went on to win the match 1-0.

Team of the round: (4-2-1-3) Tom Heward-Belle (Western United); Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Tomoki Imai (Western United), Roderick Miranda (Melbourne Victory), Josh Risdon (Western United); Luke Brattan (Sydney FC), Josh Nisbet (Central Coast Mariners); Daniel Penha (Western United); Robert Mak (Sydney FC), Adam Taggart (Perth Glory), Nikola Mileusnic (Brisbane Roar). Coach: Alen Stajcic (Perth Glory)

Player of the round: Adam Taggart (Perth Glory)


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