When will we see Socceroos young gun again?
Rising Socceroos star Daniel Arzani hasn't been sighted since suffering a knee injury in his senior debut for Scottish giant Celtic more than 12 months ago, and he has suffered a setback in his comeback.
Plus a bizarre Asian snub for Sam Kerr, positives in a loss for Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City goes to sleep and opens the door to A-League challengers, the latest political moves at FFA headquarters and world football's new pint-sized Finnish cult hero.
Herald Sun soccer writer David Davutovic gives his take on the hottest 11 issues in football. Is he right? Leave a comment below.
1. ARZANI AIMS FOR BOXING DAY DERBY
Socceroos starlet Daniel Arzani is still more than a month away from returning to action for Scottish giants Celtic.
The 2018 World Cup bolter, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his senior debut against Dundee in October last year, appears to have suffered a small setback in his bid to return to the pitch.
Arzani, who returned for Celtic's reserves off the bench in September and was part of an Olyroos training camp in October, is hoping to be available for the hectic December schedule.
It includes four games in 11 days, starting with the trip to Hearts and ending with the Old Firm derby at Celtic Park on Boxing Day, which looms as arguably the biggest since Rangers went into liquidation and were relegated in 2011-12, paving the way for Celtic to win the next seven titles to draw to within four of Celtic (54 to 50).
2. CITY LOSS OPENS A-LEAGUE DOOR
Melbourne City's late collapse at Brisbane Roar exposed its frailties while indicating that this A-League season could be the tightest one yet.
City remains top, and undoubtedly complacency crept in as Erick Mombaerts' side let 2-0 and 3-1 leads slip, leaving hat-trick man Jamie Maclaren spitting chips post game.
His masterclass was overshadowed by Roy O'Donovan's own hat-trick to break Brisbane's scoring drought and losing streak in one fell swoop, a massive confidence boost for rookie coach Robbie Fowler.
The sight of a packed house and ripper atmosphere at the boutique Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe should also prompt Roar officials to consider a relocation from Suncorp Stadium, which is far too big for the A-League side.
3. JOINT BID STILL IN CUP MIX
Australia's 2023 Women's World Cup bid remains on song, with a decision imminent about whether to go solo or pursue a joint bid with our New Zealand neighbours.
The race has whittled down to eight after Bolivia dropped out, with South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia the other bidders.
FIFA's decision to increase the tournament from 24 to 32 teams has left budding hosts in a race against the clock to finalise plans ahead of the December 13 deadline for bid books.
A home World Cup looms as a trailblazing event for the Matildas and women's sport, off the back of the historic PFA-led Matildas equal pay deal.
The 2019 World Cup, hosted by France and won by USA, was watched by 1.12 billion people globally.
The Herald Sun revealed in July that Australia was considering a joint bid with NZ.
4. ASIA'S SUPER SNUB FOR SAM
Sam Kerr's shock omission from the Asian Football Confederation 2019 player of the year award was lost in the hype of her $2 million move to English giants Chelsea.
Beyond the backflips and popularity is some serious substance for club and country. A W-League golden boot with Perth Glory (albeit half the season was played in 2018) was backed up with the US women's league MVP, scoring a record 19 goals in 23 games to secure a hat-trick of golden boots.
She even missed a chunk of the US season with Chicago Red Stars due to Matildas World Cup duty, where she scored five goals - one shy of US pair Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe and England's Ellen White.
Good enough for a FIFA Best Women's Player and Ballon d'Or nominations, but not Asia where India's Ashalata Devi, China's Li Yang and Japan's Saki Kumagai were nominated.
We weren't complaining when Kate Gill (2010), Katrina Gorry (2014), Caitlin Foord (2016), Kerr (2017), Sasa Ognenovski (2010) and Mile Jedinak (2014) won AFC awards, but in 2019 Matildas fans have reason to feel aggrieved.
5. LIGHT AT END OF VICTORY TUNNEL
Melbourne Victory lost 2-1 to Sydney FC and slipped to eighth, but may have just turned the corner.
Under new A-League guidelines, Victory was entitled to postpone the game as four players were away on international duty - Tommy DEng (Olyroos), Storm Roux (New Zealand), Kenny Athiu (South Sudan) and Elvis Kamsoba (Burundi).
A trip away to a dominant Sydney FC played into Marco Kurz's hands more than being the aggressor, but fielding a host of kids and minus five first XI players - Tim Hoogland and Andrew Nabbout are injured - the display showed signs of unity, promise and light around the corner, amid a tinge of frustration.
Josh Hope, who provided a sublime cross for Ola Toivonen's goal, and Robbie Kruse's debut - a late 30-minute cameo - were the big positives.
Though way underdone, Kruse's crisp passes a sublime movement are music to Victory fans' ears.
6. SECOND TIER PUT ON HOLD AGAIN
The much-anticipated national second division looks set to be delayed.
Initially slated for 2021, the uncertainty at head office amid a host of departures has put the second tier on the backburner.
I ran a 24-hour Twitter poll last week asking which issue fans view as the game's most pressing. A second division polled 44 per cent of the 961 votes.
The second division will be one of the top agenda items for the new CEO and - assuming promoting-relegation is eventually integrated - is viewed by many as a key unifying tool for a fractured game.
7. GIVE PLAYERS A BREAK
A-League Round 6 has highlighted why the A-League must resume FIFA international breaks next season.
If we are to be a serious football nation, putting our national teams back in the spotlight and placing players' individual development at the forefront of decision-making, it is a no-brainer.
However, it will also then be incumbent of FFA to devise a coherent plan with regards to youth national teams, as opposed to the current hand-to-mouth existence where each camp is virtually reliant on one-off funding.
The A-League clubs signed off on the current Olyroos tour of China, but too many coaches have remained disillusioned and players may ultimately - again - suffer.
8. YOUNG TALENT EMERGES IN W-LEAGUE
Young Matildas vice captain Shadeene Evans's jubilation after her late headed goal was the highlight of the opening round of the W-League.
The John Moriarty Football product was electric in her substitute appearance for Sydney FC, icing a 3-0 win with a sensational header.
Mary Fowler (Adelaide United) and Kyra Cooney-Cross (Western Sydney) were among the breakout players in the opening round of the W-League.
While losing Sam Kerr, Emily Gielnik and Lisa De Vanna to Europe will affect the quality of the league, it provides great opportunities to the next generation, many of whom have had to sit patiently amid a foreign influx.
Last season saw a record high 40 visa players signed in the W-League, meaning as little as 76 Aussies took the W-League field each week, compared to 102 in 2011 and 91 in 2015 - which also preceded World Cups.
However, the W-League missed a chance to start off with a bang locally by fixturing both Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City away in Round 1, with their A-League counterparts also interstate.
Both teams had great selling points, with Steph Catley and new signing Ellie Carpenter (Melbourne City) and Jenna McCormick (Melbourne Victory) all starring for the Matildas against Chile.
Sadly, the W-League continues to be an afterthought for an FFA whose resources are badly stretched in this transition period.
9. TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER
This week will define the next decade of Australian football, with FFA's two top jobs to be resolved.
A two-horse race has unfolded to find David Gallop's replacement as chief executive, after Liberal politician Robert Cavallucci pulled out.
Australian players' union founder and world players union chief Brendan Schwab and City Football Group vice-president and former FIFA professional football chief James Johnson are thought to be locked in a tight contest to succeed Gallop.
The CEO appointment will be made after Thursday's AGM and the decision could hinge on the make-up of the board and chair.
Existing chairman Chris Nikou has time left on his term, but he can be ousted.
FFA has four nominations for two remaining board positions - Carla Wilshire, Robyn FitzRoy, John Marinopoulos and ex 3AW chief Shane Healy.
10. FFA MAY RIDE SUZUKI IN 2022
The Socceroos could compete in the Suzuki Cup.
FFA has turned its attention to the 2022 event for the national teams of southeast Asia after missing out on the region's under-19 tournament.
Indonesia will host the under-19 event after also winning hosting rights for the 2021 under-20 world cup. The Philippines will host the women's ASEAN event, which Australia was also circling.
"For Australia to participate in the prestigious AFF Suzuki Cup would be a real honour, however careful analysis is required to ensure it is viable and would benefit all of ASEAN," FFA head of international relations Mark Falvo said.
11. FINNISH FAIRYTALE
Norwich City pint-sized cult hero Teemu Pukki's brace helped Finland become the Euro 2020 fairytale, qualifying for its first major tournament, triggering tears and pure joy.
The star-studded Dutch side avoided embarrassment as Croatia sealed a berth after a come-from-behind win over Slovakia. The Dutch have joined Italy in recovering from the horror of missing the 2018 World Cup to qualify for the 24-team tournament, which will be played across 12 cities.
Euro 2020 kicks off in Rome on 12 June.