This piece wouldn’t have been written if not for Georgia Campagnale’s 97th minute equaliser for Adelaide United against Melbourne City.
If City had won, courtesy of Kyah Simon’s converted penalty, things would be different.
Obviously, there would have been three points which are always helpful, but there also would have been the confidence and momentum of a win. And that would have been coupled with the imminent return of players like Steph Catley and Rebekah Stott.
But Campagnale scored and City only took home a point and now the reigning champions sit in seventh on four points.
Rado Vidošić’s team are nine points behind ladder leaders Melbourne Victory but only three points outside the top four. However they’ve conceded the most goals in the league and have a -5 goal difference.
It feels as though maybe this season has escaped City. I say maybe because City’s last two seasons are front of the mind.
But the thing is, even though the team in light blue won the last two championships from fourth spot on the ladder, they spent those two seasons hovering in and around fourth.
They did not launch an assault from eighth into the finals, like they would have to this season if they have any chance of the winning a fourth title.
A dramatic turnaround would be more than possible if the season wasn’t nearly halfway through.
The shortness of the season plays as big a role as squad selection in determining whether the season is a success or a failure.
It is this lack of time which also exacerbates the effects of things like injuries and international duty and a lack of playing time together
It can’t be understated that City’s squad has been missing key pieces for the first five rounds of the season. Their internationals only arrived in the opening weeks of the season.
They only regained Simon on the weekend and have been without Catley through injury and Stott through international duty.
Plus Jodie Taylor’s guest stint has yet to begin; the assumption is her seven games will coincide with the last five games of the season plus the two finals as it did last season.
City is entirely capable of putting in a devastating performance as it did against Sydney FC in round two.
And if anyone could make the jump from eighth to finals – considering all the talent that is set to return to the starting XI – it’s City.
But the clock is ticking. The wins need to come soon and some favourable results in other fixtures wouldn’t go astray.