Melbourne Victory left AAMI Park last night with three points after Melbourne City gifted them a result and Besart Berisha more presents than your local K-Mart Wishing Tree. Well done Victory, you won your first derby of the season and go into 2017 chock full of confidence.
On the flip side you have a Melbourne City squad, who were on top of the world only a month ago after a successful FFA Cup campaign. We are currently lying on the canvas and you are beginning to question if this ‘team’ has the motivation and unity to lift itself back up. Most likely this squad will be sitting fourth at the end of the weekend is hardly disastrous, it’s a far cry from the potential this squad has.
Firstly let’s address the myth that City has the best squad in the league. Over the first ten weeks of the season it’s abundantly clear that City is far cry from the team most experts would have you believe. Yes this squad is flush with talent, but for this talent to succeed you need to be able to mix the ingredients together. John Van’t Schip is hardly you’re Shane Delia type and is struggling to find the right formula for success.
This current City squad is a group of individuals playing football, portraying nothing but self interest and having the cup win go straight to their heads. Last night we saw plenty of ‘me me me’ action from City players, with little regard for the team ethos.
When you look at the City squad you immediately notice too many strong personalities in the starting line-up not working together to achieve the desired result. Everyone is looking to add individual flair to the City style of football and the team is suffering as a result of this.
Sometimes the best player in the team doesn’t necessarily make the best captain and this is evident with Bruno Fornaroli. There is no doubting his sublime skills on the pitch but this group of strong personalities needs a leader with an outstanding leadership trait, something I don’t see Bruno having from this outside view. I think the captaincy would be better served by a player such as Thomas Sorensen or Neil Kilkenny.
This brings me to my second point, whilst Dean Bouzanis has performed above expectations and has superior distribution skills we are missing the leadership at the back from Sorensen. We appear to be a rudderless ship at the moment and whilst Bouzanis hasn’t put a foot wrong this season we are in desperate need of experience and leadership on the pitch.
The importance of Michael Jakobsen was not lost on any fan last night with a shaky performance at the back from Josh Rose. If City is to achieve any result this season it will be with Jakobsen being the rock at the centre of defence.
At risk of being hit with an FFA sanction I’m going to openly criticise Tim Cahill. There is no denying his wealth of experience and his uncanny knack to score goals at crucial times throughout his career but when a referee makes a decision against you, can you please just accept it and move on. There is no need to approach the referee every time he makes a call against you and surely you’ve played the game long enough that you understand the decision won’t be changed. Accept that the standard of officials is most likely less than you experienced thru the journey but that’s the reality of the A-League. This club needs your leadership and when other members of the squad see you openly challenge the referee at every opportunity this stems down and spreads thru the team like wildfire. If we are to be a successful outfit and achieve the results we are striving for you need to make it less about Timmy Cahill and more about Melbourne City. Accept the referee might get it wrong, but also accept you have a bigger role to play.
Lastly John Van’t Schip, you didn’t escape my list.
When are you going to take control of this talented group and make them play as a team we need them to? Last night was a derby played to a near sold out AAMI Park and there was no strong desire from the players and to be honest we were never really in the game. As head coach you need to mould this playing group into a Championship winning squad.
Week by week it’s frustrating seeing this opportunity slowly slipping away and you falling asleep at the wheel. You need to take control of this squad of individuals and get them playing for each other and the City fans.
The FFA Cup honeymoon is over, it’s time Melbourne City players were prepared to get their hands dirty and get stuck in for a serious tilt at the 2016/17 A-League title.Google+