Seven Burning Questions For The A-League

The A-League was launched on Monday, and these are the biggest questions that will be asked in the new season.

Will Keisuke Honda be a star?

Melbourne Victory's prized recruit Keisuke Honda is the A-League's biggest signing since Alessandro Del Piero. But unlike the Italian maestro, Honda is still close to his prime. At 32, and having scored at the World Cup in Russia, he should be the competition's most dominant player and right in the mix for the Johnny Warren Medal.

Keisuke Honda of Melbourne Victory poses during the 2018/19 A-League Season Launch at Fox Studios on October 15, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Image: Getty Images
Is Central Coast's revolution for real?

For the first time in a long time, Central Coast appear contenders for the finals. The signings of attacking dynamos Ross McCormack and Tommy Oar are symbolically significant and should give coach Mike Mulvey enough firepower to mount a legitimate top-six bid. They look good on paper but will the Mariners be any good on the park?

Can Steve Corica carry the torch?

Sydney FC searched far and wide to replace Graham Arnold, making contact with the likes of Arsene Wenger and Mick McCarthy before handing the job to Arnold's assistant, Steve Corica. Does the former Socceroos and Sky Blues midfielder have what it takes to keep the Sky Blues at the top? With a quality-laden squad at his disposal there should be no excuses.

Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica smiles after his team's victory in the FFA Cup round of 16 match between Cairns FC and Sydney FC at Barlow Park on August 21, 2018 in Cairns, Australia. Image: Getty Images
Can Newcastle back up the fairytale?

Newcastle were the feel-good story of last season, breaking a long finals drought to finish second and secure grand final hosting rights. But will they remain contenders for the top prize or were they just one-year wonders? Coach Ernie Merrick needs to be on guard for any hint of second-season blues from his largely settled Jets squad.

Jets players celebrate a goal from Riley McGree during the A-League Semi Final match between the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium on April 27, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia. Image: Getty Images
Will Tony Popovic make Perth great again?

They were a powerhouse of the National Soccer League but are yet to win a single piece of A-League silverware. The Glory are a true sleeping giant of Australian soccer. Tony Popovic is the kind of coach who can wake them up and drive them to a new era of success. A suite of new defensive signings should provide Popovic and Perth a solid enough foundation.

Perth Glory's new coach, Tony Popovic. Image: Getty Images
Can Wellington avoid the axe?

The Phoenix have two more seasons left on their A-League licence and a renewal is conditional on improving off-field benchmarks like crowds and TV ratings. The way things have been going, they look to be on death row - unless new coach Mark Rudan can turn things around on the pitch and spark a club-wide revival that brings punters back to Westpac Stadium en masse.

Low crowd numbers in Wellington have been a concern for the A-League. Image: Getty Images
How will the A-League's metrics fare?

Crowds fell by 14 per cent last season and pay TV ratings plummeted by a staggering 24 per cent. Football Federation Australia has tried to arrest that concerning slide with several initiatives designed to renew mainstream interest and lure back active supporters. Will they work or will the downward trends continue?

Feature Image: Getty Images