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Post  Black Cat Kiwi on 2019-10-19, 2:49 am

Hope you've had a good week mate. Thought I'd send this to you (apologies in advance if you were relieved to see the back of him). 

We get to see him at home next week.


New signing Gary Hooper potentially a striking star for the Wellington Phoenix
Andrew Voerman16:52, Oct 18 2019


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HAGEN HOPKINS/GETTY IMAGES


English striker Gary Hooper was unveiled by the Wellington Phoenix on Thursday.

ANALYSIS: Let me introduce you to four strikers.

We'll call the first one striker A. He joined the A-League in 2009 as 29-year-old from the English Championship, where he had scored 21 goals and made nine assists in 116 league appearances.

Striker B arrived in 2014 as a 28-year-old, also from the Championship, where he had scored 43 goals and made 26 assists in 233 league appearances.

Striker C came down under last year as a 31-year-old, with 184 Championship appearances under his belt, where he had scored 49 goals and made 12 assists.



READ MORE:
* EPL striker Phoenix's marquee man
* Ex-EPL boss to help A-League
* Phoenix sure the goals will come
* Phoenix lack cutting edge up front

Striker D signed with an A-League club this month, having scored 61 goals and assisted 22 during his 166 Championship appearances, easily enough to make him the most productive of this quartet.





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ANDREW VOERMAN • SPORTS REPORTER

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In the Championship, striker A averaged .40 non-penalty goals plus assists (NPG+A) per 90 minutes. In the A-League he averaged .50.

Striker B averaged .39 in the Championship and .59 in the A-League. Striker C .47 and .50.

They are Wellington Phoenix legend Paul Ifill, former Perth Glory stalwart Andy Keogh, and Sydney FC's Adam le Fondre.

Striker D, as you've probably guessed, is new Phoenix signing Gary Hooper, who averaged .67 NPG+A per 90 when playing in the Championship.

Even if he doesn't up his production like the other names mentioned, he should still be the prolific attacker the club has been looking for to replace Roy Krishna.

There is, of course, a rather large caveat, one that undoubtedly helped make the signing possible.


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JAMIE MCDONALD/GETTY IMAGES


Gary Hooper has made a habit of scoring goals at every club he's joined.

That's that Hooper has barely played since December 2017 – he was sidelined for most of last season at Sheffield Wednesday with a groin injury before notching up 318 minutes in six appearances in April and May, where he scored a goal and assisted another.

Injuries have been an issue for the striker, who previously played for Norwich City and Scottish giants Celtic, limiting his playing time in each of the past five seasons, though he declared himself injury-free upon his arrival in Wellington.

If he can't stay fit, it could all go pear-shaped, but the A-League's lighter schedule should help in that regard.

Ultimately, it's a risk the Phoenix needed to take and their owners and management must be applauded for the show of ambition.

Once he's ready to go, which could be as soon as next Sunday, Hooper should slot in for Jaushua Sotirio alongside David Ball up front in coach Ufuk Talay's 4-2-2-2 system.

He will hopefully make those around him – Ball, Ulises Dávila, and Callum McCowatt – better. If nothing else, he'll certainly be an upgrade on Sotirio, who was barely involved as Phoenix lost their season opener while registering just a single shot on target.


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The magic will come if Hooper can produce goals and assists like he has in the Championship, and that's where it might be useful to look at what some of the A-League's best have done.

Keogh averaged .81 NPG+A per 90 as Perth claimed the Premiers Plate last season. Bobo averaged 1 and Adrian Mierzejewski .95 as Sydney did so the year before. Marco Rojas averaged .89 and .95 in his two seasons at Melbourne Victory.

At the Phoenix, Nathan Burns holds the honour of the best attacking season (minimum 1000 minutes played), averaging .76 NPG+A per 90 in 2014-15, the third-best mark in the league that year.

He's followed by Dylan Macallister, who hit the same mark in 2010-11 (falling to second when you add a third decimal place) to claim the fourth-best mark in the league, then by Krishna, who averaged .74 last season, the fifth-best mark in the league.

Jeremy Brockie (.68 in 2012-13), Blake Powell (.68 in 2015-16), Carlos Hernández (.65 in 2013-14), Krishna in 2014-15 (.65), Ifill (.63 in 2009-10), and Krishna in 2016-17 (.62) are the others to have surpassed the .60 mark, which the likes of Archie Thompson and Besart Berisha reached like clockwork.

If Hooper doesn't join that select group, it will be because he hasn't played enough, not because he doesn't have the talent.

The Phoenix have got their replacement for Krishna, even if he's arrived a little later than they would have liked. There's every chance he'll be an upgrade.

Goal and assist statistics from FBRef.com. All A-League statistics are for the regular season only.

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Post  canary-dave on 2019-10-19, 5:13 am

Hi BCK, he is obviously a talented goal scorer, he was prolific at Scunthorpe and Celtic, but he never reproduced that form with us. 

I can only assume that our style of play didn't suit him. He missed an awful lot of chances and so was reduced to a bit part player. 

I wish him well down under and hope he can find his form and become prolific once again!  like

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Post  Black Cat Kiwi on 2019-10-19, 6:26 am

canary-dave wrote:Hi BCK, he is obviously a talented goal scorer, he was prolific at Scunthorpe and Celtic, but he never reproduced that form with us. 

I can only assume that our style of play didn't suit him. He missed an awful lot of chances and so was reduced to a bit part player. 

I wish him well down under and hope he can find his form and become prolific once again!  like
I remember him knocking them in at Celtic & seeing him in yellow but wasn't sure how he'd gone.

He's got the leagues top scorer's boots to fill who moved onto bigger money in India? so should he succeed it might just motivate more to attend Phoenix matches at home.

I'll update later in the season which kicked of last week.

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Post  canary-dave on 2019-10-19, 6:36 am

Black Cat Kiwi wrote:
canary-dave wrote:Hi BCK, he is obviously a talented goal scorer, he was prolific at Scunthorpe and Celtic, but he never reproduced that form with us. 

I can only assume that our style of play didn't suit him. He missed an awful lot of chances and so was reduced to a bit part player. 

I wish him well down under and hope he can find his form and become prolific once again!  like
I remember him knocking them in at Celtic & seeing him in yellow but wasn't sure how he'd gone.

He's got the leagues top scorer's boots to fill who moved onto bigger money in India? so should he succeed it might just motivate more to attend Phoenix matches at home.

I'll update later in the season which kicked of last week.

like

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Post  Black Cat Kiwi on 2019-11-03, 8:59 pm

Started last night after a couple of late appearances off the bench. Scored after 23min to open the scoring only to then be pulled at half-time with his team 2-1 down as he builds fitness. 

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    ....on a side note read this (A BIG fine & possible suspension pending).

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Phoenix defender Louis Fenton swore it wasn't handball as A-League stands by call
Phillip Rollo09:40, Nov 04 2019


Phoenix player drops the F bomb twice in foul-mouthed post-match interview after shocking referee howler.


Louis Fenton could be fined for his foul-mouth outburst in the aftermath of Wellington Phoenix's controversial 3-2 defeat to Melbourne City but the club's general manager is standing by the player for giving an "honest comment" on a highly-contentious moment.

Fuming from a VAR decision that potentially cost the Phoenix their first point of the A-League season, Fenton dropped numerous F-bombs during his post-match interview with Fox Sports presenter Archie Thompson.

Fenton was asked to comment on Ben Abraham's decision to award a penalty for handball, a decision upheld by Video Assistant Referee Craig Zetter despite the ball hitting the right-back's chest.


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Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay has words with the fourth official Adam Bavcar after the penalty was awarded to City.

It is not a handball if the ball deflects off the player's body but Fenton swore it did not even touch his arm.



READ MORE
* Phoenix fume over handball howler
* Phoenix search for winning formula
* Bunge handed first Ferns call-up

"I thought 100 per cent it's no pen. It doesn't even f...ing hit my hand. It's f...ed," Fenton said.

While Dome said he does not condone the language Fenton used in his post-match interview, he sympathised with the player because he also believed the referee was wrong.


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Phoenix players plead with referee Ben Abraham after he incorrectly awarded City a penalty.

"The reality is that was the heat of the moment," Dome said. 

"He's literally just finished a game where a contentious decision and swung the game against your team. The broadcaster wants greater access to players in those moments and we support that as a club, whether that be Sky or Fox, to capture the real emotion of football where we can because it's good for fans and good for the products. But this is sometimes what happens, you get raw emotion and there's nothing you can do about it.

"I felt very sorry for Louis that he's just come off the field and someone has thrown a microphone in his face and asked him for comment because he's just given a really honest comment. We do do media training and go over that stuff, that in the heat of the moment this may happen to try mitigate the language, but I have a lot of sympathy for what happened to Louis and a lot of sympathy for how he expressed himself."

Dome took up the handball howler with A-League referees advisor Strebre Delovski immediately after the match. However, he said Delovski stood by the referee's decision.

"Our position is that it's not a penalty because it never struck his hand and Louis is adamant that it never struck his hand. If you look at the replay it does look like it hits his chest and bounces away from his body and never goes near his hands," he said.

"But the thing for me is the referee is behind Louis and ball is going away so there is no way the referee could have absolutely have known it hit his hand and been a penalty. 

"You can't re-referee a game so all we can do is press our case with Strebre that there was a mistake here, the mistake was made and if anything it might strengthen our case for higher quality referees for Wellington Phoenix games because again we have a very inexperienced referee in charge of a Wellington Phoenix game.

"We seem to get them more often than other teams."

Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay delivered a restrained response when asked about the controversial moment in his post-match press conference.

"I don't think it was our best performance to be honest today against Melbourne City but I thought we were still in with a fighting chance at 2-1, but the decision made the game a lot more difficult for us," Talay said.

"In my opinion I thought it came off his body first and then hit his arm after that and the new laws state that if it hits your body first and then hits your arm then it's accidental and it's play on, but that decision was made and that changed the game."

Talay was just as frustrated by the way his team let City back into the match, having taken the early lead through marquee man Gary Hooper.

City responded by scoring twice inside four first half minutes, Connor Metcalfe beating two defenders to a Craig Noone cross and Scott Galloway cutting in from right-back and scoring a spectacular long-range goal, before Noone converted the second half penalty as a result of the handball howler.

"One we didn't deal with the cross and they scored with a header at the back post or just before the back post, and one was a shot from distance from Scott Galloway so we needed to put pressure on that ball carrier at that time, just to step out."





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PHILLIP ROLLO • SPORTS REPORTER

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"They had a lot of possession but I thought we were compact and good in our two banks of four with our two No. 9s as well but it's just one of those games where we let them back into the game and we came into the half at 2-1 leading."

The Phoenix will return to Melbourne to play Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday. Having already equalled the unwanted record of four consecutive losses set at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, anything short of a win will consign the club to their worst ever A-League start.


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Post  canary-dave on 2019-11-04, 3:48 am

I'm not sure what's worse, referees or VAR, both very poor in England  like

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Post  Black Cat Kiwi on 2019-11-04, 10:23 pm


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Post  Nostalgic on 2019-11-04, 11:55 pm

The final analysis for me is that the system is only as good as the operators. As explained bu Bosnich the shape of the body or unusual position of the arm all have to be considered. Slice it any way you want it was still harsh in my  book but I  have seen many a penalty given or stone cold ones not.

In the end "bloody useless referees " are involved, VAR included.
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