Wellington Phoenix defeated Macarthur F.C 4-1 in A-League action. Macarthur mostly sat deep and dared the ‘Nix to break them down. This was a bit of an unusual position for Wellington to find themselves in as they usually set up to hit teams on the counter. But in the second half, the floodgates opened and they scored three unanswered goals to secure victory.
- Nationality: New Zealand
- Age: 20
- Date of birth: 13/08/2002
- Current club: Wellington Phoenix
- Career: Wellington United, Wellington Phoenix Reserves
- Position: Attacking midfielder
- Preferred Foot: Left
Ben Old played on the right side of a 4-2-2-2 in this match. He scored a goal and showed some positive things but overall I would not say that I was wowed. Old is very well-built for such a small player. This makes him very good at shielding the ball from opposing players and keeping it under pressure. It also makes him surprisingly good in physical battles and winning headers. He also has some solid technical skills. He has a good first touch and is quick with the ball at his feet. He’s quite shifty and sent defenders the wrong way a couple of times. But I would have liked to see him take players on more often. He sometimes seemed a little hesitant to push forward with the ball, instead choosing to slow things down and wait for support. Sometimes this caused potential chances to not materialize and it’s a shame because Old does have some of the traits to be an effective ball carrier.
Old has really good vision, even if his ability to connect with those passes is a bit inconsistent. He did a good job of spotting teammates making runs into channels and almost unlocked the Macarthur defence a couple of times, though he was denied by last-second interventions. As with the dribbling, I think he needs to attempt these passes more frequently. A player needs to attempt a lot of through balls before one connects, no matter their quality. So even if Old can spot these passes, he can’t create enough chances if he only plays a handful of them. Really that’s the thing that holds me back from being all-in on Old. He just doesn’t have quite enough cutting edge, yet, to recommend him for a step up. There’s still lots of time but he needs to increase the number of shots he creates for himself and others. Being more direct and decisive in his attacking play can help him do that.
I have no doubt that Ben Old can have a long career in the A-League. But if he is to go higher than that he needs to be more productive offensively. He scored in this one but he didn’t really create any Grade A scoring chances for himself or others. That said though, he does have all of the ability to become a more consistent attacking threat so I have given him an A2.