After suffering his eighth defeat of the season and 23rd overall, the German is finding it increasingly difficult to defend his performances ahead of his looming meeting with the club’s chairman Paul Lederer, who returns to Australia early this week.
Sunday’s loss was like so many others under his tenure. The Wanderers conceded from their own defensive mistake, lacked cohesion in possession and were directionless in attack. Irish international striker Simon Cox was unveiled as a new signing to the Wanderers’ fans who left wishing he was on the field.
“I’ve scored more than a hundred-odd goals in my career so it’s something I enjoy doing. I intend to be inside the box and hopefully putting the ball in the net,” Cox said.
Whether he gets to play under Babbel remains the big question after Sunday’s loss to Perth. In the week leading into the game, Babbel said “the truth is on the pitch” and that verdict hasn’t been kind. The Wanderers have picked up just five points from a possible 33. For Babbel, he may also find the truth is also in the stands. His team’s results appear to have turned fans away and Sundays’ match drew their lowest crowd of the season of 10,994.
For many, there has been an air of resignation this season and that feeling surfaced after just seven minutes.
A poor turnover from Wanderers’ defender Dylan McGowan in front of goal gave Bruno Fornaroli space to shoot from the edge of the area and the Uruguayan striker struck the back of the net with the aid of a deflection off McGowan.
While the Wanderers had little structure when going forward, they had plenty of individual talent. German midfielder Nikolai Muller forced a fine save from Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy with a volley from inside the box before the half-hour mark in what was the only real scare for the visitors before the break.
Western Sydney’s desperation was laid bare straight from the restart. Defender Patrick Ziegler threw himself to the floor inside the box hoping to win a penalty but the only luck he found was going unpunished for what looked to be an act of simulation.
Eight minutes later, the Wanderers’ desperation took another turn. Striker Kwame Yeboah threw himself forward hoping to turn Daniel Georgievski’s cross into the net and did just that, rattling the back of the net to send Bankwest Stadium into raptures. However, their celebrations were cut short after the VAR noticed Yeboah used his arm, not his chest to score.
Perth forward Joel Chianese thought he had sealed the result in the 75th minute, scoring a one-on-one to make it 2-0 only for the VAR to rule offside.
It mattered little. The under-strength Glory side did just enough to hang on to their seventh successive win and inflict a loss on the Wanderers that could have significant implications on their season.
Dominic Bossi is a football reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.