April 16th, 2014
As the Hyundai A-League season comes into the business end of the competition there have been some question as to whether the reigning champions Brisbane Roar can go all the way once again this season.
However that does not seem to be a concern for Australia defender Ivan Franjic, who is more than confident in his side’s abilities despite their recent wobble at the end of the regular season.
Without a victory in their last two matches, the factor of knowing they are guaranteed finals football appears to have been their undoing and perhaps some complacency has crept into the side over the last couple of fixtures. Read the rest of this entry »
March 13th, 2014
Melbourne Victory will be taking on Jeonbuk Motors in the Asian Champions League on Wednesday night. Ahead of this match, the Australian club’s defender Nick Ansell says that it is important that the club maintain discipline in order to get a good result. Jeonbuk Motors are one of the top teams in Korean football and they will provide a stern test for Melbourne Victory. Ansell says that the players should be extremely careful about picking bookings over the course of the match and they aim to do this by improving the overall discipline of the team.
Melbourne Victory had a hard lesson from the recent 4-2 defeat at the hands of Chinese outfit Guangzhou Evergrande. They managed to bring an end to 2 consecutive defeats after the 3-1 win over Central Coast during the weekend. This win helped them stay just one point behind Western Sydney Wanderers in the table. Ansell has been one of the consistent players for the club this campaign. He only recently turned 20 years of age. He also spoke about the need for three points given that this is the first home match of this Champions League campaign.
Melbourne Victory have a defensive crisis with a couple of defenders suspended. This puts the pressure on young Ansell, who is hoping to fill the boots of experienced players.
“Guangzhou was a good experience for us and definitely a lot different playing Asian teams compared to the A-League. Just the way they control the game, keep the ball and use their strikers and wingers on quick counter-attacks, their precision long balls. It’s a good competition and definitely a challenging one. The atmosphere was unbelievable and it was played at a high intensity, especially in the second half,” said Ansell.
A win will also help erase memories of the 4-0 thrashing against Melbourne Hearts.
February 18th, 2014
Melbourne Victory will be taking on Muangthong United in the Asian Champions League playoff at Geelong. Ahead of the match, Melbourne Victory have received a warning from Brisbane Roar Mike Mulvey, who has said that the Australian club needs to expect the worst from the Thai champions. Brisbane Roar have already faced a Thai outfit last season and they came out second best in all areas of the pitch. Even though Melbourne Victory will be heading into this contest as the clear favourites to win it, Mike Mulvey says that the contest is not as straightforward as people think.
Brisbane Roar were beaten by Buriram United in the qualifying stage last season. Buriram United went on to reach the quarter-finals of the competition. Mulvey has said that if Melbourne Victory are not at their best in this match, then there is a good chance that they could be overrun by the underdogs. The Australian outfit Melbourne Victory will be heading into the competition on the back of a poor run of form, which only recently came to an end following a 3-1 win over Central Coast. Prior to that, they lost two matches in successive 5-0 scores.
As a result, the club finds itself fourth in the table with just 27 points on board.
“You cannot underestimate these guys. These Thai clubs are usually backed by businesses or very wealthy individuals, and they can throw as much money as they need to at it. We got smashed for the fact that we lost to a ‘no-name’ team, but that was very disrespectful towards Thai football. They played very good football against us, Buriram. What people didn’t really appreciate was the quality of the opponent,” said Mulvey.
“One thing that will be fascinating to watch is whether Muangthong is going to play counter-attacking football or whether they’re going to come and pressure.
January 28th, 2014
Is there any chance, whatsoever, of the Socceroos progressing to the second round of the World Cup in Brazil next June?
On paper, even the most ardent Aussie soccer nationalist would probably have to say no. In a group featuring both the 2010 World Cup finalists and a South American team that many expert pundits see as something of a dark horse for the whole tournament in the shape of Chile – we would seem to have virtually zero chance of progressing. Read the rest of this entry »
January 7th, 2014
Fortunes change very quickly in football and Melbourne Victory FC is a prime example of it. Before Christmas, they were in a decent position in the A-League with 12 points in 8 games, but, in the last couple of weeks, their performance has come down considerably. They have managed to secure just 7 points from their last 5 games and 6 of those points have come against comparatively weaker teams like Perth Glory and Melbourne Heart.
However, the situation hasn’t got panicky for Melbourne Victory yet. They are still one of the top 4 sides in the A-League points table and their chances of qualifying for the finals are still very good. But, they have lost the momentum for sure.
At this point of time, the points’ tally of Melbourne Victory shows 19; that is 11 less than the no. of points secured by the table toppers Brisbane Roar.
The main reason behind the deterioration of Victory’s performance is Mitch Nichols’ sudden loss of form. The Queensland midfielder had been a stand out performer for the Navy Blues for the first 2 and half months of the season, but, in the last few matches, he has looked completely lost. His concentration level on the ground hasn’t been that high.
There have been talks about Cerezo Osaka being interested in him and planning to place a bid for him during the mid season transfer window. That might also be affecting his concentration a little bit.
Nichols had made his way to AAMI Park at the start of the ongoing season. He has so far made 13 league appearances for the Navy Blues and has found the back of the net on 3 occasions.
It’s very important from Victory’s point of view that he regains his form.
December 16th, 2013
Sydney FC star, Alessandro Del Piero, has once again dismissed rumours he plans to leave the A-League club in the January transfer window.
The 39-year-old’s future with the Sky Blues has been under the media spotlight of late, with a number of clubs back in Europe believed to be interested in acquiring the veteran Italian’s services next month.
Del Piero has missed two of Sydney’s nine games in the campaign so far but has insisted any frustration he has at the club at the moment is to do with his injury set-backs and not to do with his overall future happiness at the Sydney Football Stadium. Read the rest of this entry »
December 16th, 2013
After injury delayed the start of his return to Australia, Harry Kewell has admitted he still feels he has “unfinished business” with the A-League. The Socceroos star has spent the majority of the time since signing with the Melbourne Heart as a frustrated spectator, watching on helpless as his new side failed to register a win in their opening eight games of the A-League season.
Kewell made his long-awaited comeback in the 1-1 draw with the high-flying Western Sydney Wanderers, and the former Leeds and Liverpool forward will now be looking to get an extended run in the team over the Christmas period. Read the rest of this entry »
November 12th, 2013
Melbourne Victory have found a replacement for their former manager Ange Postecoglou, as they have appointed Kevin Muscat in the role for the next two years. Postecoglou recently took over the job as the national team manager of Australia. Muscat has the experience of working under Postecoglou as an assistant for four years. The first match for Muscat as the Melbourne Victory manager will see him take on Wellington Phoenix. The club chairman Anthony Di Pietro has expressed his confidence that Muscat will remain as the manager even after two years.
Di Pietro did admit that Muscat will undoubtedly be considered for the national team manager position in the next four years. Australia have done extremely poorly in recent friendly and competitive matches, which led to the appointment of Postecoglou. Postecoglou is one of the highly rated coaches in Australia. He arrived only recently to Melbourne Victory with the hope of leading them to the title after having done the same with Brisbane Roar for two consecutive seasons. Muscat has said that he has learnt a lot from Postecoglou and he will not be trying to deviate from what is predecessor has taught him.
Melbourne Victory can be expected to play in a similar way to that under Postecoglou.
“As head coach, it’s not about being a favourite son, it’s about being a father figure. And we’ve given him the opportunity to write that [history] and we look forward to that and hope that this is a long-term relationship. In fact, dare I say, I hope he’s in contention for the next Socceroos job, that would be a demonstration of what has been achieved,” said Di Pietro. “My ego doesn’t tell me that I need to fracture what’s happened in the last 18 months and rebuild it,” said Muscat after taking over the reigns from Postecoglou.