Tuesday Teabag: Victory now A-League’s joke

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Football has developed a certain title over the years, a title that personifies everything that is good about this great sport. Passing, positioning, scoring, the supporters – it all culminates in what is known as ‘the beautiful game’.

If the aforementioned traits are what makes football beautiful then Melbourne Victory is butt ugly. Beaten with a stick ugly. Proactive ‘before’ photo ugly.

Once touted as genuine title contenders, the Victory have gone from bad to worse both on and off the field as the season has progressed. However, it is in the past two weeks that consecutive 5-0 losses to both Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC have crippled the Victory’s title aspirations and has seen them take the mantle from their improving cross-town rival Melbourne Heart as the laughing stock of the A-League.

It could be argued that the fall from grace has happened almost overnight but this car crash has been coming ever since Ange Postecoglou left to manage the Australian international team. Make no doubt about it, the club is in deep doo-doo in more ways than one.

Melbourne Victory had the second best goal difference and was contesting Western Sydney Wanderers for second on the ladder just two weeks ago. Now the club is tied for the second worst goal difference with Newcastle and faces the very real prospect of finishing outside the six finals places.

A large amount of the criticism has fallen on the shoulders of new head coach Kevin Muscat which is a mixture of deserved and ridiculous. It has become clear that Muscat is trying to teach the team Postecoglou’s philosophy which he, understandably, doesn’t have a strong grasp of.

What isn’t so understandable is why Muscat continues to pursue doing so. It’s like watching a blind person give a skiing lesson.

It also doesn’t help that the team has no consistency on the selection sheet. Since Postecoglou’s last game as Victory manager, a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar, the team has lacked any solidity. When you consider that the club has struggled with injuries, lost players to international duty and now has dabbled in the transfer market, it’s pretty easy to understand why.

What isn’t so easy to understand is how the team can be allowed to step out onto the field and appear to not care about the result. There is no chemistry between the forwards, midfielders are playing out of position and the back four has more large holes than a tour bus full of female porn stars.

On top of the on-field issues, the dispute between the Northern Terrace and the club continues to go unresolved despite the two parties being in constant contact. At this rate, the concerns won’t be resolved until the season is over and a record-breaking membership year is partially wasted due to a large portion of the active support protesting against the club.

The one positive for the Victory is that there are still 10 games left. That’s 10 games for Muscat to develop and teach a philosophy to the players that he actually appears to understand while attempting to create some kind of consistency on the park.

Mitch Nichols has already been sold to J-League club Cerezo Osaka and Pablo Contreras has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, although it’s not like he gave much of a contribution anyway.

With Tom Rogic on loan from Celtic and captain Mark Milligan to return from knee surgery in coming weeks, there is a chance for the Victory to settle the ship and secure a finals spot. From there, anything can happen.

On paper, it’s not too difficult for the Victory to put out a team that is capable of beating any side. If Muscat can rework the game plan to something he is more comfortable with and certain players remove their heads from their rectums, there may just be hope for the blue and white.

The season has been little short of a disaster for Melbourne Victory but there is still time for the club’s supporters to release the fetal position – at least temporarily – and see improvement on the run home to the finals.

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