Rojas right now may not be the answer

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This week for Melbourne Victory has been all about the return of Marco Rojas to the club who will slot in the attacking front alongside Ola Toivonen, Robbie Kruse and Andrew Nabbout.

His two-and-a-half-year deal has been labelled as the deal to turn around Victory’s season, but despite the club going down 0-3 against Sydney FC on Friday night and a 2-2 draw with Perth Glory, it looks like the issues are coming from the back line… again.

Rojas returns to the club for his third stint, adding to the 75 games and 28 goals he has already accumulated in Victory’s colours.

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On paper, the forward line is one that was not too bad at all.

Rojas’ inclusion adds depth into the attacking front and allows for rotation amongst the players – who have all suffered injuries already this year and missed games at some stage.

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However, interim coach Carlos Salvachua said Rojas still needs time to adjust after the Sydney game.

“He’s not training with the team, just one day, he’s finishing one month without training and he needs time as well,” Salvachua said.

“We cannot expect that to see the same Marco that two years ago here finishing the league.

“Now he’s starting, and he needs time as well.”

Whilst Toivonen in particular was unlucky to score against Sydney, the loss cannot all be blamed on him and his wasted opportunities to score.

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Victory played with a backline that looked nothing like they would usually name for a starting XI.

With Thomas Deng still away with Olyroo duties, Tim Hoogland out with injury and James Donachie serving a week on the sidelines due to suspension, it was the job of others to step up.

The return of Hoogland and Donachie could see the potential for change, and Salvachua and his side will hope that that is the case.

The three goals Victory conceded were all saveable – and not just on Lawrence Thomas’ behalf.

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Sydney on all three accounts manoeuvred through Victory’s defence like there was no defence at all.

The defence lacked composure and professionalism, but noticeably, they lacked experience and the return of Rojas should not overshadow the fact he will not be helping the defence.

Long-time fans are pulling out their number seven guernseys and already wearing them to matches.

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Rojas’ return though, cannot be one that is expected to fix all of Victory’s problems.

Victory’s problems again are lying in their backline, which showed promising signs it was on the mends.

The backline should return to its regular look with Donachie back from suspension and Hoogland hopefully returning from injury.

It is only then can Victory’s performance be re-evaluated, and questions can be asked as to whether the backline they have currently is strong enough to help the side win games again.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Tricia Mifsud
Covering Melbourne Victory during the 2019/2020 season. Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism) at Latrobe University. Dedicated to writing articles that sports fans want to read.