Many outsiders witness a draw and see everything they find dull about our game, so we tell them a draw can still be a thrilling nail-biting contest between two good teams. But sometimes, as was the occasion last night, a scoreless draw really is a frustrating bore.
While I'm sure we'd all like to forget the turgid affair, there was still plenty to learn from the match:
A predictable problem
After last week's 1-1 draw against Western Sydney and last night's nil-all, the four-nil win against Western United feels like a lifetime ago. While we shouldn't get too impatient considering how well we are performing, no one wants to see an extended period of results such as these.
Every now and then we enter a period during which every team seems to have us figured out. It's happened under every manager we've had so far and it'll be intriguing to see how Rado Vidosic counters the dilemma. Of course, it should be mentioned we've just played two of the best defensive teams in the competition so it may just be a case of some tough nuts to crack, but if we are to be the greatest team in the league, our attack should be great enough to unlock any defence.
There was an unexpected change to the starting eleven with long-standing servant of the club Scott Galloway inexplicably coming in for Calum Talbot at right-back, but if creativity is the issue, our caretaker coach could do worse than giving Florin Berenguer a chance to start over Valon Berisha. The Frenchman notched up his 100th appearance in City blue last night, and while Berisha hasn't put a foot wrong - other than failing to see his efforts rewarded with a goal or assist - experimenting with the switch for one game wouldn't hurt.
There was one other change to the full-backs in our line-up, this one a forced change, with Jordan Bos suffering a minor concussion last week and necessitating the call-up of Scott Jamieson back into a starting position. I questioned in my preview whether Maclaren would retain the armband, but the captaincy reverted straight back to our veteran Jamieson, demonstrating that he no doubt still plays a large role in the team as a leader.
His role in the playing squad, however, is under serious pressure. No player with inconsistent game time is going to immediately fit in seamlessly, and playing backup to the most talented young full-back in the country at the age of 34 is an impossible task. Scotty can still do a job and is a fantastic player to have at our disposal, but doesn't offer quite as much going forward (especially in a modern system) as his younger counterpart, and fans will need to temper their expectations accordingly from here.
Home is where the Heart is
There could be one other solution to inspire the lads to another victory. It's been a turbulent time in the A-League Men, we all know that. Many of you reading this have likely been banned from our past two home games, as have I.
On top of the reduction in atmosphere, the lads have also played plenty of games away this month, so with two home games in a row and active returning, this could be just the surge we need to get back on track demolishing every team before us - as we did during our last home game when we steamrolled Western United.
The team will need every bit of inspiration they can get as we face another defensive team in Adelaide United, who also play a tedious style under Carl Veart. Let's hope that a return to normality off the pitch can see a return to normality on it too.