W-League mid-season report card: Melbourne Victory

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With half the season already behind us, now is an ideal opportunity to analyse Melbourne Victory’s performance so far.

Semester summary: The team is sitting in fourth spot on goal difference, which just about satisfies the minimum expectations.

The season started off nicely, a promising goalless draw against the formidable Brisbane Roar backed up by a 6-0 thrashing of last year’s defending champions – Melbourne City.

The hype quickly died down after a 3-2 loss to City and a 6-0 hammering to the Roar over the following weeks.

Despite all the negatives though, Victory still occupy a finals spot and that in itself is a good sign.

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Areas in need of improvement: Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.

This squad clearly needs a psychological change to play at their best every game. Thrashing City 6-0 one week and then losing 3-2 the next cannot be explained by skill.

In the first half of that game Victory looked lethargic and went 2-0 down. In the second, they played their rivals off the park and found an equaliser.

Ultimately, the loss was very unlucky. If anything, Victory deserved to win it themselves if not for some near-misses.

Clearly when they play at their best, this team is nearly unstoppable.

Another fun fact is that all Victory’s losses came when Lisa De Vanna was not in the squad. Is she the leader the team needs to be revved up every game?

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Top Student: Catherine Zimmerman. She has been a shining light in Victory’s attack this season.

The signing from Calder United has scored an impressive three goals in six matches for the club.

Crucially, her late header in a narrow 1-0 win against Adelaide United may have just kept Victory’s season alive.

Without her timely contribution, the team would be sitting in fifth and two points outside finals.

Needs improvement: There was every reason to expect Kyra Cooney-Cross to pull the strings in the midfield this season.

She does have two goals, which makes for a positive reading.

Yet, in the six games she played, the 18-year-old failed to provide a single assist.

This is a noticeable contrast to last season’s output of four goals and three assists in 13 appearances for Western Sydney Wanderers.

She is a victim of her own high standards, but there is definitely some room for improvement.

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Grade: C+

Outlook: Despite looking to at least secure finals, Victory still have league-leaders Sydney FC and Canberra United to play twice.

The second half of the season can go very well, or very bad. There is no in-between.

At their best, this Victory team can score for fun and claim a top two spot.

At their worst, this side can suddenly concede six goals despite keeping a clean sheet against the same opposition weeks prior.

As a minimum, anything less than a finals berth would be a failure.

Feature Image Credit: Melbourne City FC

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Bogdan Vlasyuk
Total football fanatic. Supporter of the Melbourne Victory and Dynamo Kyiv 🙂