From the passion of Alex Brosque to the confidence of Graham Arnold, the Sydney Derby has certainly produced some fascinating quotes over the years.
And ahead of the 34th edition of the fixture at Allianz Stadium this Saturday, we take a look at the top ten quotes to come from the great rivalry.
Graham Arnold – “Obviously the biggest club of Sydney is us, and we’ve got to go out with the attitude they’re the little brothers.”
Ahead of Graham Arnold’s first season in charge of the Sky Blues (2014/15), the now Socceroos coach was adamant that Sydney FC was the biggest club in Sydney.
And Arnie’s derby record speaks for itself – only losing once and boasting a 58.33% win rate – the best of any coach in charge of more than one derby.
Alex Brosque – “We hate every single one of them.”
With the opening fixture of the 2016/17 season coming against the Wanderers away at Olympic Park, former Sky Blues captain Alex Brosque was raring to go.
The skipper’s fiery pre-match words certainly fuelled his passion come matchday, with the attacker scoring Sydney FC’s final goal in a then record 4-0 win over the Wanderers.
Brandon Borrello – “If I’m being brutally honest they deserved nothing.”
Following Sydney FC’s 1-0 win over Western Sydney at CommBank Stadium last month, Wanderers forward Brandon Borrello felt Sydney FC did not deserve the victory.
And despite the Sky Blues club taking a well-deserved lead after Max Burgess thundered the ball into the top left corner of the net in the 16th minute, Borrello was in no mood to give Sydney FC any praise.
Graham Arnold – “We have an average of 19,000. The Wanderers had 14,000 last year, so there is a bit of a misconception there.”
Sharing his thoughts in October 2014 ahead of the new season, Graham Arnold admitted that the Wanderers were “the team to beat” after reaching the AFC Champions League final series.
However the former Sky Blues boss claimed that Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory are the two largest clubs in the nation, neatly fuelling the Sydney Derby tension to come later in the month – where Sydney FC famously came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Allianz.
Marko Rudan – “I just reminded him of their play-acting.”
Revisiting the theme of Sydney FC’s 1-0 triumph at CommBank Stadium in February, Marko Rudan was undoubtedly irritated with his opposite number Steve Corica after their post-match altercation.
The Wanderers boss accused the Sky Blues of time-wasting – also describing the match as a “one-off game”.
Steve Corica – “He’s probably being a little bit of a sore loser.”
A match which provided the media with plenty of post-match content, Steve Corica certainly delivered on that front too after Sydney FC’s win in Parramatta last month.
And following a heated exchange between the Sky Blues boss and Wanderers coach Marko Rudan at the full-time whistle, Corica was certainly not pleased with his former Sydney FC teammate.
Graham Arnold – “It’s a one-night opportunity for the Wanderers to come out and come to the big city of Sydney, but also to our mansion.”
In classic Arnold fashion, the former Sydney FC boss jokingly described the first derby of 2015/16 as a chance for Western Sydney to leave the “little shed” of Pirtek Stadium to play in the “mansion” of Allianz Stadium.
And perhaps the Moore Park “mansion” played its role in the match too, with the Sky Blues going on to win the derby 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of over 40,000.
Tony Popovic – “For him to suggest that is completely out of order.”
After the Wanderers’ Iacopo La Rocca collided with Sydney FC’s Ali Abbas in the second derby of the 2014/15 season, causing ACL and MCL tears to Abbas’ left knee, Sky Blues Head Coach Graham Arnold accused two Western Sydney players of high-fiving when the former Iraqi international was being carried off.
Then Wanderers Head Coach Popovic made clear his disappointment in Arnold’s claim, saying he was “insulted personally” by the accusation directed at his players.
Graham Arnold – “We’ve had many games this year where Danny Vukovic hasn’t had to make a save and the same will happen on Saturday night.”
A figure who has popped up multiple times on this list, Graham Arnold always knew how to stir the pot ahead of a Sydney Derby.
And before the second derby of the 2016/17 season, Arnold’s men had only conceded seven goals in 14 games, prompting the Head Coach to back his defence to not allow a single Wanderers shot for goalkeeper Vukovic to save.
The match would eventually end in 0-0 draw at Moore Park – with the Wanderers recording no shots on target…
Graham Arnold – “I think the most lopsided derby in Australian football.”
Following Sydney FC’s 3-1 win over Western Sydney at Allianz Stadium in February of 2018, a victory part of a run which saw the Sky Blues only lose one derby in 17 matches, Graham Arnold was rather pleased with his side’s domination.
Having ACL games to contend with midweek, Arnold and his players emphatically proved their league form would not struggle – with Sydney FC finishing the season on top of the table, 14 points above second place Newcastle Jets.
And with another Sydney Derby set to light up Allianz Stadium again on Saturday night, the tension and passion from both sides is certain to produce more compelling quotes.