A disrupted start to the season for both Heart and Victory

Melbourne Heart’s disastrous start to the season has taught us through the misfiring striker Jason Mifsud that, with all due respect, Malta can’t be good if he’s their captain.
If you take out a 6 minute period against Central Coast in round 2, Heart hasn’t scored this season. Almost just as worryingly, Harry Kewell’s been out since the first round derby and Orlando Engelaar has been injured since pre-season, unlikely to be seen until at least February. Thus, there is little motivation at present for supporters to go to games.
And so, inevitably, noise from the stands in favour of manager John Aloisi’s dismissal has been getting louder.
I’m not Aloisi’s biggest fan, but we haven’t even had the chance to see his preferred XI on the pitch yet this season. This means he’s had to implement temporary gameplans which can only be disruptive to the greater squad the longer they last. He shouldn’t be judged until we see that full squad, or close to it, on the park.
So while the ‘red half’ of Melbourne call for change at the top, the ‘blue half’ is enduring its effects.
An opportunity to take up the position as manger of an already-qualified nation inside a year of a World Cup is not regularly seen. Ange Postecoglou was fortunate enough to have the reins of the Socceroos handed to him at a time when Australian football needs a domestically experienced coach at the helm to rebuild the national team.
In much the same light, Melbourne Victory employed the man just over a year earlier with similar criteria in mind. It was coming out of its most unstable period, and begged for that satisfaction of stabilty to return.
Just as Postecoglou was readying his Victory squad for a tilt at a third A-League title, he leaves for the promise of Brazil. The promotion of club stalwart Kevin Muscat exudes stability, but his first results suggest otherwise.
It will be intriguing to see where both clubs go from here. Will Aloisi’s vision for Heart come to fruition? We may not have the chance to find out. And can Victory return to the rock-solid path they were on under Postecoglou? We’ll just have to wait and see.

About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.


  1. Good to have you back Tom. I have taken more interest in the Perth Glory than the Western Warriors so far this season.
    That marks a real changing of the guard for summer sports in Australia.
    Perth look a hard working mid-table team to me. Will the marquee signing of William Gallus from the Premier League make a big difference? He is a defender but we seem to be struggling for goals.
    On your Heart I have little sympathy with Kewell as he has been injury prone since his Liverpool days. Trading on past glories. More fool Heart. Was the injury to Engelaar less foreseeable?

  2. There’s a real division over here re the Kevin Muscat appointment….another Kevin who fails to deliver? The Victory had a better strategy this week after a rudderless tactical flop v Sydney. There are many who want him to fail…but I guess the appointment made some sense.
    Still worry about Ange for Australia – as a coach who favours skill and style he has nothing to work with on a world scale. Need a Harry Redknapp.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Well written Tom, like Peter said, great to have you back.

    As a Victory fan I have faith that what Muscat learned from Postecoglou will hold him in good stead. Aloisi is in trouble though.

  4. A thousand pardons, Tom, for referring to “your” Heart. I just checked last year’s posts from you and it looks like you are a Victory stalwart.
    No memory for old men.
    Good to have you back. I look forward to your views on my Glory and the new UK recruit. Have you seen Gallas much in the Premier League. He played for the big clubs, but had a reputation as a hot head.
    Hope you will forgive me, Regards.

  5. Nice to have you back in the Almanac pages Tom. Hope the cricket season has started well for you.

  6. Good on you Tom ,always great to read your thoughts. Postegoglou’s legacy at Victory is an immensely more watchable game, they should never have dropped the game against Sydney FC but the game against the Wanderers could have gone either way in appalling conditions.
    The Heart on the other hand are struggling to merely appear relevant.

  7. Cheers for the good feedback everyone, much appreciated!
    You’re excused! I’m just glad I don’t come across as too biased in writing, because on matchday there’s only one team in Melbourne.
    On the Glory, I like how they’re shaping up and the addition of Gallas can only strengthen the lineup. He gives his all for the team that’s for sure, even though he can snap at times.

    Cowshedend & Luke,
    I do have faith in Muscat but I think it sets us back a step or two, or at least halts our momentum that we had built under Ange.

  8. Tom- would be interested in your comments on Adelaide and the new coach
    Its a patchy start for the season so far

  9. Oges,
    The Reds were extremely impressive from round 1 to halftime of round 2 where they found themselves 2-0 up over the Victory. Since then, however, they’ve been largely unimpressive. The upside of that positive start is we know they can play well enough to challenge at the top, but the downside is that it set our expectations too high for the rest of their season. The coach will win over his players and I think we’ll see Adelaide coming home strongly as the players become comfortable with his style.

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