A-League mid-season report card: Melbourne Victory

-

It is now the halfway point of the A-League season, which makes for a perfect time to analyse Melbourne Victory’s campaign so far.

Semester summary: This has been Victory’s worst ever start to a season, with almost no reason to smile.

After three consecutive losses to start the year, the team managed to pick up four points in the following two matches.

The sense of positivity was short-lived, as Victory recorded only one win in nine matches since.

Embed from Getty Images

This run included their biggest ever A-League defeat – a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Melbourne City.

To make matters worse, Marco Rojas sustained two serious injuries, on top of Callum McManaman, Robbie Kruse and Rudy Gestede also having disrupted seasons.

Victory’s most valuable attacking quartet only started one game together this entire season.

Defensively, Nick Ansell, Dylan Ryan, Aaron Anderson and Ryan Shotton all suffered lengthy setbacks of their own.

Such luck with injuries presented a helpless Grant Brebner an array of problems.

Areas of excellence:  It is hard to find positives in a team which only managed to pick up eight points in 13 outings and sits on a negative 18-goal difference.

They did score 13 goals, which is a somewhat bearable return considering the lack of service for the attackers.

Another positive was the exposure of Victory’s youth to A-League football.

Dalibor Markovic thoroughly impressed at left-back in two of the three matches he started.

The 19-year-old managed to keep one clean sheet and provide two assists while covering for an injured Adama Traore.

Embed from Getty Images

Aaron Anderson also did not look out of place in defence, with the only obvious poor performance being the Melbourne derby.

Areas in need of improvement: Where do I start?

Firstly, defending simply needs to improve. Victory have conceded 31 goals in just 13 matches due to some simple errors and poor man-marking.

Twenty of those goals came in the second half, which suggests it could also be a matter of fitness.

The midfield does the defenders no favours either, as Jacob Butterfield and Leigh Broxham often failed to drop back and provide sufficient support.

Embed from Getty Images

Ball movement is another area which needs to improve.

Once Victory win back possession, the transition is slow, and the ball is frequently turned over in the defensive half.

This puts Victory’s defence under sustained pressure throughout the match.

Top student: Jake Brimmer.

The 22-year-old has been Victory’s only shining light with four goals and three assists in thirteen matches.

This makes him the club’s leading goalscorer and assist provider this season.

Embed from Getty Images

His ability to take advantage of dangerous set-pieces has given Victory fans something to cheer about.

Brimmer’s commitment to the team can not be questioned either, which is a big reason why he is adored by fans.

Class clown: Despite not being the worst performing player, it is hard to overlook Jacob Butterfield.

Being a visa player automatically comes with high expectations, but Butterfield has failed to deliver.

Indeed, the English has midfielder has had some particularly poor showings in midfield.

Embed from Getty Images

Inadequate tracking back, misplaced passes and conservative decision making is something he has been guilty of throughout the season.

He was also directly at fault for Stefan Mauk’s equaliser against Victory at Marvel Stadium.

Perhaps, he would benefit playing alongside a more energetic box-to-box midfielder which the Victory currently lack.

Grade: F-

Outlook: Grant Brebner has been under pressure for the best part of this season. However, he seemingly has the board’s backing for now.

Considering all the past and current injuries, it is understandable why.

However, the team has conceded 18 goals in the past five matches.

As such, it is a matter of merely playing for pride, developing youth and somehow avoiding the last spot on the table.

The question is though, will Brebner still be at the helm by the time this campaign ends?

Feature Image Credit: Melbourne Victory

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Latest Articles

Corica unhappy with Sydney giving away points

Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica says he is frustrated with his team’s inability to see out games after his team conceded two late...

Bulls need to focus on themselves says Milicic

Macarthur FC boss Ante Milicic says his team needs to focus on themselves for the remainder of the season. The month of April was the...
Bogdan Vlasyuk
Total football fanatic. Supporter of the Melbourne Victory and Dynamo Kyiv 🙂
Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required