Four points separate teams from fifth to 15th in one of the closest seasons in recent history.
Melbourne Heart are the best* team – to watch – in the A-League.
Firstly, they’ve conceded 21 goals so far – that means the opposition nearly score two goals a game.
Usually this means Melbourne Heart have either given away a penalty (penalties are exciting!), had a defender sent off, or had a defender masquerade as an amateur footballer.
Unless they’re amateur footballers masquerading as professionals.
You don’t get that kind of inception at other clubs.
Plus, Melbourne usually score a goal (nine in 11 games), which means there’s always a chance of a comeback and the ‘Is this the day?’ build up.
Invariably, Heart get an equaliser and then attack with not a hint of tactic, desperately trying to score a winner.
Sure the first 75 minutes of Heart games are ad hoc mediocre idiosyncrasies of a team with no direction.
But the last 15 minutes always leave you going ‘How did Mifsud miss that?’, your head, so far buried in your hands that you’ve forgotten the game was still on, only to catch a glance of a misguided back pass that lets the opposition in once again.
Sure Brisbane and Victory have style and class, the Wanderers get results, and Sydney have Alessandro Del Piero, but none of the aforementioned clubs drag you through a rainbow of emotions so unique like Melbourne Heart do.
It’s also somewhat flattering, if Harry Kewell can do that** and have a UEFA Champions League winners medal, to think how far away am I from a football contract.
It’s pretty clear, on this comprehensive list of the best games of the A League season so far, Melbourne Heart feature four times.
1. Adelaide v Melbourne Victory, 2-2
A game of poor refereeing, delightful South Americans and traditional Adelaide self implosion.
2. Melbourne Heart v Adelaide, 2-2
“Did we sign Totti!?” Migliorini brings down Galekovic’s ego in European style.
3. Melbourne Heart v Western Sydney, 1-1
WSW were such strong favourites, that when the Heart didn’t lose people praised their tactics.
4. Sydney v Melbourne Heart, 2-1
Kewell steps up with a chance to equalise, he walks up, looks at the ball, and kicks it in anger in remembrance of signing for Galatasaray. ‘Maltese Messi’ gets on the scoreboard too, as Fox Sports have a field day as they talk about a man more talented than them make a mistake.
5. Melbourne Heart v Central Coast, 2-2
Media have pun field day as Melbourne have their hearts broken.
And when you’re not treating yourself by watching them play, you can always play ‘Pick the round Aloisi gets fired’.
Sounds easy, because your first response is usually “by the end of next round he’ll be in the Centrelink line” but it’s either his Armani or his ’05 spot kick, and it’s Round 11 and he’s still there.
I’m going to stick my neck out and say the last round he’ll grace the grass with his immaculate suit will be Round 12, after they lose to Wellington in a game of half chances and expletives yelled by spectators.
Sure, they haven’t won in a long, long time, their tactics are questionable to say the least, they play in front of not many people, they’re named after a part of the anatomy, their best player rarely plays and they couldn’t score in an illegal Fitzroy brothel.
However, in terms of making football interesting, they’re a cut above the entire league.
*When not considering all the main Key Performance Indicators
**Includes, but is not limited to, missing a simple chance, berating a teenage teammate for not passing to him, getting paid to be injured.