Previous
Chelsea
Norwich City
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Swansea City
Wolverhampton Wanderers
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
AFC Bournemouth
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Sevilla FC
6:00 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details
Espanyol
Barcelona
8:00 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details
Valencia
Alavés
6:00 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
Dijon FCO
8:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Querétaro
Morelia
1:00 AM UTC Jan 18, 2018
Game Details
Lobos BUAP
Pumas UNAM
2:30 AM UTC Jan 18, 2018
Game Details
Dorados de Sinaloa
Monterrey
3:00 AM UTC Jan 18, 2018
Game Details
Next
Central Coast MarinersCentral Coast Mariners
Melbourne City FCMelbourne City FC
2
2
FT
Game Details
Perth GloryPerth Glory
Melbourne City FCMelbourne City FC
0
2
FT
Game Details
Melbourne City FCMelbourne City FC
Wellington Phoenix FCWellington Phoenix FC
2
1
FT
Game Details
Western Sydney WanderersWestern Sydney Wanderers
Melbourne City FCMelbourne City FC
2
1
FT
Game Details
Melbourne City FCMelbourne City FC
Melbourne VictoryMelbourne Victory
0
1
FT
Game Details
Sydney FCSydney FC
Melbourne City FCMelbourne City FC
3
1
FT
Game Details
Melbourne City FCMelbourne City FC
Central Coast MarinersCentral Coast Mariners
1
0
FT
Game Details
 By AAP

Why isn't marquee man Marcin Budzinski starting for Melbourne City?

Western Sydney Wanderers started 2018 in perfect style with a strong win over Melbourne City.
Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce reminds the media that his team have a game at the weekend after their questioning was centered around Tim Cahill.

Marquee players are at a premium in the A-League, so why did Warren Joyce keep Marcin Budzinski on the bench as his Melbourne City side slumped to defeat at Western Sydney?

The 27-year-old has featured in just five minutes of football over the last month, as City's fortunes have nosedived.

The loss at ANZ Stadium was City's third on the spin, coming against a side that hadn't scored in four losses over the past five games. So where was Budzinski?

On the bench, pocketing his wage as the club's second-highest earner -- behind only injured skipper Bruno Fornaroli -- without kicking a ball.

It's a mystery why the attacking midfielder has only been sparingly used since his arrival in Melbourne.

City Football Group, with its unrivalled scouting network and eye for talent, plucked Budzinski out of the Polish top flight, but there's been precious few glimpses of his ability.

His second start in a City shirt produced the high-water mark. Budzinski came on as a substitute in the season's first Melbourne derby to score his only goal in Australia to date.

The club has confirmed there's no issue with his fitness.

Joyce declared he was "quite happy" with his sharpness in the lead-up to the Christmas derby; when he was again an unused substitute.

"It's never easy for players joining new clubs," he said in December, when queried about Budzinski's failure to be a regular starter.

"You come from the other side of the world, you have to settle and develop. He's a good lad around the place."

Marcin Budzinski
Marcin Budzinski has played just five minutes of competitive football over the last month.

In a sign that Budzinski was off the pace of regular City midfielders Stefan Mauk, Luke Brattan and Osama Malik, Joyce compared Budzinski's claim to a first-team place with teenagers.

"Everyone is in a competition. Josh Cavallo, Nathaniel Atkinson, Connor Metcalf ... I just judge them the same as anybody else at the club," he said.

"It's the ones who are absolutely flat out every day [that are selected] and if they get the chance they have to make the most of it."

The club's inability to get a tune from his big-money signing is scarcely tenable, suggesting an exit for the Pole could be possible in January.

And, concerningly, it continues a run of rotten marquees for City.

The last two foreign players brought to Australia as City marquees have hugely underwhelmed.

Slovenian Robi Koren left the club ahead of time after struggling for form and fitness, while Argentinian Nicolas Colazo completed one season on loan from Argentina's Boca Juniors.

Socceroos Striker Tim Cahill also left the club by mutual consent last month.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.