SOCCEROOS captain Mile Jedinak has again struggled for form at new club Aston Villa, with the midfielder substituted after just 55 minutes against Wolves on the weekend.

The performance came off the back of Jedinak flying back to England after playing in Saudi Arabia, then Melbourne, in consecutive weeks.

The Birmingham Mail’s Steve Wollaston slammed the midfielder’s performance as “jaded” in a scathing review.

“He hasn’t been on it at all yet for Villa this season and this was another game where he seemed largely anonymous,” Wollaston wrote.

“In the throes of a heated midfield derby debate, he was largely nowhere to be seen.

“He has the voice and the presence, but what he doesn’t seem to have is the engine, despite being a technically adept player, his passes were wayward.”

New Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce conceded after the match that he should have rested Jedinak after a long haul flight.

“He’s just got back from Australia and got back yesterday morning,” Bruce told the Birmingham Mail.
“Maybe I should have left him alone, but I wanted his experience.

“It’s fair to say it’s very difficult for all of us to fly back from Australia, so to try and perform in a big football match (is even harder). It was a mistake by me.”

It was Bruce’s first game in charge after replacing Roberto Di Matteo, but the relegated PL club remain with a lot of work to do, and Bruce questioned the fitness of the squad overall, with Micah Richards also having to replaced along with Jedinak.

“I can’t complain about the players’ attitude but it is alarming how quickly we tired,” Bruce said. “It is fair to say that some of them could be in better physical condition.

“There is a lot of work to so but that’s why I’m sitting here.”


IF THE long flight back to England bothered Jedinak, it certainly didn’t affect Aaron Mooy.

The midfielder turned in another strong midfield performance in Huddersfield’s 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday.

Despite the travel of his past two weeks, Mooy again played the full 90 minutes for Huddersfield Town.

The Huddersfield Examiner noted Mooy looked tired but again put in a solid shift in the centre of the park.
But before the game had even kicked off, Mooy was already earning plaudits.

The classy Socceroo continues to win the hearts and minds of Huddersfield Town fans, with the midfielder named the club’s ‘player of the season so far’ in a poll conducted by the Huddersfield Examiner.

Ahead of the weekend’s game, Mooy had attempted 779 passes and created 20 chances, while also recording one assist and a spectacular long-range goal.

Those stats saw 67.8 per cent of Huddersfield fans who entered the poll naming him as the club’s best player.

Mooy, who was loaned out to the Championship club by Manchester City, has dominated through the midfield since his move, mirroring some of the stunning form he’d earlier shown for both the Socceroos and Melbourne City.


FLYING seemed to be the word of the week, with Burton Albion wary of Jackson Irvine’s fitness after his time with the Socceroos.

Irvine was used off the bench in Saudi Arabia but didn’t make an appearance against Japan in Melbourne.

Given the series of flights, Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough was wary of tiring out the club’s leading goalscorer.

“The good thing is he’s had experience of doing it for the last few seasons,” Clough told the Burton Mail ahead of the game.

“We’ll talk to him and see how he feels. I think he’s honest and genuine enough to say ‘listen, I’m absolutely shattered’ or if he doesn’t feel too bad, because you do feel different ways.

“Sometimes when you come off long-haul flights you don’t feel too bad. But if he is shattered, we’ll leave him for Saturday. We’ll very much see how he is when he gets back.”

But Irvine seemingly wasn’t fazed by the airtime, playing out a full 90 minutes in Burton Albion’s 0-0 draw with Wigan Athletic.


HE’S very much flown under the radar but youngster Aiden O’Neill continues to make the cut at Premier League side Burnley.

The 18-year-old has played a role in three Premier League matches — more than any other Australian.
An injury substitution meant the youngster came on in the 44th minute of Burnley’s clash with Southampton.
Southampton midfielder Sam McQueen (L) vies with Burnley's Australian midfielder Aiden O'Neill.
Southampton midfielder Sam McQueen (L) vies with Burnley's Australian midfielder Aiden O'Neill.Source: AFP
It wasn’t to be his day, with the Clarets losing three one, with one set piece goal going through O’Neill’s legs.

“I know we can do better, good planning doesn’t always work. There’s a desire here to go and defend, and I didn’t think we showed that on the two set pieces,” Burnley manager Sean Dyche said to the Burnley Express.

“Ben (Mee) falls into Vokesy on the first one, so his man gets a free header, and the second goes through Aiden O’Neill’s legs, though it’s a great strike.

We’re attacking the ball and sometimes it goes in the right slot, but it’s always disappointing as a manager to lose goals to set pieces.”


MULTIPLE clubs chose not to risk their Socceroos off the back of heavy workloads and travel.

Massimo Luongo was an unused substitute for QPR, while Bailey Wright remainmded on the bench for Preston North End.

It’s been a good stint for Luongo though — the creative midfielder was recently named QPR’s player of the month.

Despite his recent red-hot form at club level, Tom Rogic was left out of Celtic’s squad against Motherwell FC.

Chris Ikonomidis wasn’t named for Danish Superligaen club AGF Aarhus, while Robbie Kruse was left out of Bayer Leverkusen’s squad — though he had already been struggling for game time.

Mat Ryan (Valencia) and Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg BK) also had the weekend off club football.



IT was a busy weekend for Australians plying their trade in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Craig Goodwin came off the bench in the second half of Sparta Rotterdam’s game against Willem II and had a big impact, scoring a goal and providing the assist for another.

Teenage midfielder Daniel de Silva started and provided an assist in Roda JC’s 1-0 win over Excelsior.

But it wasn’t such a happy outing for out-of-favour defender Jason Davidson, who was sent off in FC Groningen’s 3-0 loss to Heerenveen.

Brad Jones may not be in the Socceroos’ line of sight for selection but the goalkeeper put in another solid shift for Feyenoord.

Matt Leckie came off the bench for Ingolstadt in the German Bundesliga, while Milos Degenek (1860 Munich) and Ben Halloran (Heidenhelm) both scored in the 2. Bundesliga (second division).

It was a rough day out for Mitch Langerak, who had five goals go past him as Stuttgart were thumped by Dynamo Dresden.

Socceroos bolter James Jeggo returned to the Austrian Bundesliga and played the full 90 minutes for Sturm Graz.

Despite having a heavy workload against both Saudi Arabia and Japan, Tomi Juric played the full 90 minutes in FC Luzern’s loss to Basel in the Swiss Super League.


DEFENDERS Matthew Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown) and Ryan McGowan (Henan Jianye) each played a full 90 minutes in their respective returns to club football. Striker Apostolos Giannou started and scored for Guangzhou R&F while Trent Sainsbury was a late substitution for Jiangsu Suning.

Forward Nathan Burns came off the bench in the second half for FC Tokyo in the J1 League, while Mark Milligan played 90 minutes for Baniyas SC in the UAE Gulf League.

Source: Foxsports