How the 'crazy' Western Sydney Wanderers can help the A-League rival the NRL and AFL

Despite an embarrassing 7-0 defeat the sporting world can't help but talk about the Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Western Sydney Wanderers are the nut job the A-League just can't afford to do without. They are the headline creators, the daily soap opera, the only constant talking point of a competition struggling for relevancy, vibrancy and acceptance.

You never know what to expect next - be it the club's fan group blueing with security and cops and boycotting games to co-owner Paul Lederer's hysterics or coach Marko Rudan's petulance. Rudan has been MIA since the Wanderers lost 7-0 to Melbourne City on Tuesday night.

The Western Sydney Wanderers may have been embarrassed 7-0 by Melbourne City this week but they have stolen some of the headlines away from rival codes. Image: Getty
The Western Sydney Wanderers may have been embarrassed 7-0 by Melbourne City this week but they have stolen some of the headlines away from rival codes. Image: Getty

He refused to front the post-match press conference, throwing assistant Jean-Paul de Marigny under the team bus instead. JP would have swapped a proctology examination for the presser as he swatted away questions about Rudan's whereabouts.

He not surprisingly made a hash of the whole thing, bickering with reporters who quite rightly asked why the head coach wasn't sitting in front of them. "I think that's irrelevant at this stage," de Marigny said. Um, actually, it's quite relevant.

When pressed on whether there was a good reason for Rudan's non-attendance, de Marigny responded: "No, not really. Let’s speak about the game. Told it was a bad look, de Marigny's just kept digging a deeper hole. "I've got no comment on that. I'm here to answer questions about the game," he continued.

Rudan's no-show was gutless, embarrassing and lacking in leadership. But, on the flip side, at least people are talking about our domestic football competition.

Marko Rudan's Wanderers are genuine headline creators

The Wanderers are wonderful theatre – on and off the field. With the NRL and AFL seasons in full swing, the A-League needs all the help it can get to muscle its way into nightly sports bulletins and away from a handful of paragraphs near the greyhound results in the papers.

Rudan is trying his best to build a siege mentality at the Wanderers - an Us against the World compound in Sydney's west. But he's far too emotional. He lets those emotions control his actions.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12: Referee, Jonathan Barreiro shows Wanderers coach, Mark Rudan a yellow card during the A-League Men round 12 match between Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers at CommBank Stadium, on January 12, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Marko Rudan could not hold in his frustration as the Wanderers were thrashed 7-0 by Melbourne City. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) (Brendon Thorne via Getty Images)

As a result, his time at the Wanderers - despite recently signing a contract extension - looks to be coming to an end. And that's a real shame.

Rudan is a passionate football man who shoots straight from the hip and says what a lot of people in the game won't. There is no PR about him, no finesse, no fakeness.

What you see is what you get, for better or worse, warts 'n' all. And right now, the A-League needs Marko Rudan and his Wanderers more than they need the A-League.

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