Interim Melbourne Victory coach Grant Brebner insists the struggling A-League glamour club are heading in the right direction despite equalling their worst run of losses.
With the current season postponed, here’s a review of Melbourne Victory’s 2019-20 season.
With a new coach in Marko Kurz and promising signings in the offseason, the Victory were expected to push deep into the finals this season, but have been underwhelming and are set to miss the finals for the first time since the 2011/12 season as they currently sit tenth place on the table.
Season highlight: 2-1 Melbourne Derby win – Round 11
Melbourne Victory came into the derby having won only two games for the season and needed to make a statement. As well as being the underdogs going into the game, they’d also been poked fun at by their rivals during the week with a Christmas Card addressed ‘to Melbourne Victory, this is the season you will be losing.’
Ola Toivonen put in a captain’s performance to score two in the first half, guiding his side to a 2-1 win.
Season lowlight: Losing three times to Sydney FC
In their first clash Melbourne would take a 2-1 honourable loss in Sydney, but it was the matches in Melbourne that were true lowlights. In their first visit to AAMI Park to face the Victory, Sydney won 3-0, and then in their next visit to Melbourne won the game 4-1. The Victory conceded on average three goals a game against Sydney, getting embarrassed this season against their traditional rivals.
End of season bonus: Anthony Lesiotis
The point of this end of season bonus is to hypothetically reward a player who’s not a top earner and give recognition for their good performances. The Victory are clutching at straws to find a candidate, but Lesiotis fits the bill. He rotated through defensive midfield and as a fullback, he’s come on this season and looks a promising player.
Chopping block: Kenny Athiu
It’s his third season at the club and he has only found the back of net once in his tenure, going goalless in the past two seasons. Though he has had limited opportunities, his performances in games he’s played haven’t given coaches a reason to keep playing him.
He has struggled to adapt to the A-League and should be moved on this season; a move back to the NPL would be ideal for him, going down to a lower level to find confidence and recapture the form that had Victory bring him in the first place.
Season score: 3/10
At the start of the season Kurz failed to get the best out of his squad, Robbie Kruse was injured for a chunk of the season and Andrew Nabbout has been underwhelming. The Victory have been lacking goals this season, and the stat that Toivonen was responsible for 100 per cent of Victory’s goals in the early part of the season showed that most of team were under performing.
A disappointing season which rightfully has them in tenth place.