We are two weeks in to the A-League season, and the soccer world collectively gasped with delight after Tim Cahill’s long goal for Melbourne City on the weekend. Can he do the same this week?
Game of the Round – Melbourne City v Perth Glory
Melbourne City are flying high, getting off to a 2-0 start for the first time in their history. In their first game at their home venue of AAMI Park/Melbourne Rectangular Stadium/the not round ground (as my grandmother calls it), they play pre-season title chances Perth Glory. The Glory are celebrating their 20th anniversary, but have played pretty poorly in recent times. You should never count out a squad including Andy Keogh, Diego Castra, and Nebojsa Marinkovic. Perth haven’t won in Melbourne since 2012, though, so I think City will continue their undefeated run.
Mini-Article – Don’t Write Off Melbourne Victory
Also written as a Writing Folio piece at high school.
Everyone has an opinion on Melbourne Victory.
If you’re one of their vast army of supporters, which include comedian Danny McGinlay, my friend Leo, and my younger brother’s Grade 4 teacher, to name just a few, they’re the best team in Australia. This is something it’s hard to argue with. They’ve won more titles than anyone else, have a better winning record that any team but Brisbane, and have more recognisable names than any other team.
If you support their rivals, as I do, they’re the hated arch enemies. You mock them for having the threat of points deductions hanging over their heads, tease them for having a manager who is one of the most booked players in history and complains every other week, and belittle them for having the gall to complain despite a persistent media bias from Melbourne’s top newspaper (to their credit, they’re trying to fix it, but mostly for Tim Cahill.)
Actually, if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s an easy ride being backed by Arab oil billionaires. But I digress. Onto the Victory.
Their 4-1 loss against City on the weekend was, with no need to mince words, a disaster. City found themselves able to get shots off easily (a 15 to 5 shot count reflects this), half of goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas’s passes went off target, and Victory couldn’t get any momentum. They now have one point of a possible six and a goal difference of -3, and look in dire straits.
But we shouldn’t write them off just yet. People wrote off Hawthorn all through 2014 & 2015, and they still won the flag easily. There’s a few things in Victory’s favour that could see them go on to greatness yet.
Firstly, there is the FFA Cup. The reigning champions play City on Wednesday, and the team that looks in worse shape tends to lift for Melbourne derbies. If they can’t win the A-League, then going back to back in the Cup would be pretty good.
As well as that, their squad is, as always, top notch. Jason Geria and Daniel Georgievski are components in a multicultural and regularly stingy defensive line; Marco Rojas, Carl Valeri, and Leigh Broxham provide plenty of engine room run, and their forward lineup of Besart Berisha, James Troisi, and Fahid ben Khalfallah is part of the reason Victory in the highest scoring team in the A-League’s history.
So, Victory can come back from here. It’ll be a long road, but we’ll have to see where it goes.
Chart III – Melbourne Derbies
I made a chart about Sydney Derbies in week 1; here is the Melbourne follow-up.
More predictions, with the right date this time!
I got two last week, for a running tally of 3/10.