Melbourne Heart is the most unobtrusive sporting team Australia has seen since professionalism.
This season has been poor. And now with hindsight I can whine and complain as if I’d have run the team better.
From the outset, we were struggling to make the top six. And when you’re playing teams called Perth ‘Glory’ or Melbourne ‘Victory’, a top six finish should be a prerequisite.
Our squad was inadequate compared to the at least eight other teams. Fred and Colosimo were too old to be ‘marquee’ or ‘starting’ players.
The 24-27 year old bracket was lacking in talent and numbers. But of these players, David Williams, Josip Tadic and Andrew Redmayne were our best.
They have experience and talent, and if you look at the Mariners, the Wanderers or the Victory, they had a similar amount of quality within this age bracket.
Macallister was not a bad selection. His first derby goal justified his contract for me, but compared to the rest of the competition he just didn’t do enough to compete with the top four.
He scored just as many goals as Kresinger, yet he didn’t have Ono or Mooy around him. He only scored one goal. Thanks, but goodbye.
Fred is poor. His technique is good, but the A-League has moved on.
Matt Thompson didn’t have a good season either, and while it’s sad to see a foundation player go, he wasn’t performing well enough either.
The clean-out along will bring in a more positive and younger team.
Meeuwis should be the yardstick for all international investments – mediocre European players do not guarantee good A-League footballers.
From a coaching perspective I think our season showed a few things.
When we look at the grand final teams, they have both been applauded as the most organised teams in the competition, and rightly so.
But how were the heart not better organised?
Tactically we were exposed too much and we were just too short sighted at times.
It seemed if the team weren’t firing we just accepted the loss and moved on. So for next year, the Heart need another experienced assistant coach.
Aloisi is safe, but needs help. If we can combine the pass and move Dutch inspired football with more structure and nous, we can win this league.
As for next season, besides an assistant coach who else to we need?
As well as a new assistant coach, we need a new CB, creative marquee player, CM with experience and technique to rival McGlinchey, Mooy and Milligan.
A coach from the VPL – Chris Taylor anyone?
Craig Foster has watched enough UCL and EPL to have an A-level coaching license. Jokes aside, he would be a wonderful addition to the club, and emphasises the football philosophy that Heart employ.
However, he might be expensive.
Ok, so we have a bit of money after clearing Colosimo, Bolton, Thompson and Fred.
Let’s get a quality centre-back who can rival anyone in the A-League. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff has kicked around in the third and fourth divisions of England for long enough to break someone and start a play and therefore would be perfect for the A-League.
He is solid, is a leader and is better than Colosimo. He would be good for a year or two more.
He would be an interesting choice and would provide the experience and ability that we’ve lacked.
Matt Jurman has been released from Brisbane. He wasn’t the best and was released for a reason but you never know, he’d be cheap.
He’s only 23 and had to defend a league title – it wasn’t the easiest job.
Otherwise perhaps Alosi could scout a better player from Europe? Suggestions anyone?
Now that our centre-back has been discovered, we need to invest in an awesome footballer. A footballer that will make people watch our games and realise that there is another team in Melbourne.
Frank Lampard? David Beckham?
Really, if the FFA throw in 400-600K like they did with Kewell, Ono and Del Piero, we can get anyone. We just need to be bold, and not go for someone completely past it.
We need very good technical centre-midfield who can boss the midfield. I like Luke Brattan, or someone from Europe, but please not a second division Dutch/Argentinean/Brazilian who is here for the money.
Moving Garcia into this position could work as he is easily our best player.
The Heart are three or four signings away from winning the league.
When we’re on form we can thump teams, and as our young players become more experienced this will become more frequent.
Possible starting 15 for Round 1:
LB Mitchinson CB Vrankovic,Jurman/OS player RB Walker
CM Garcia, Mauk
Subs- Ramsay, Babalj, Garrucio, Germano.