Finally this season, City broke out of Victory’s shadow, showing that there isn’t only one team in Melbourne.
The A-League had been entertaining up until its postponement. It’s due to start again on 16 July, and this is the shape of Melbourne City’s season prior to the resumption.
Melbourne City would be disappointed to know they won’t win the premiers plate, but the culture of the club has been extremely good. Credit to coach Erick Mombaerts, who has built the culture. Despite that, however, they need to make some changes to cement their place near the top of the A-League table.
It’s difficult to decipher the reason they’re sitting second on the ladder. Should they be content with that or would they be better served unwaveringly aiming to win the premiers plate and the A-League finals series?
Melbourne City have good players, there’s no doubt about that, but should they be satisfied with merely making the finals?
The postponed season may have come at a good time for City. They lost their previous game 2-1 against Newcastle Jets. They need to prove that was an aberration and not the start of a worrying trend.
They need to improve and get better. With the squad they have Melbourne City should be looking to win the title when the season resumes.
Having said all that, winning isn’t everything, as they have built a good culture along with a winning mentality.
5. Craig Noone
Noone is a quality player, there’s no doubt about it. He’s contributed four goals and provided five assists for the season thus far, and he can get better, like his teammates, by showing the right amount of endeavour.
4. Josh Brillante
Brillante has always been a consistent player but hasn’t reached the elite level he should be playing at. Had he played to the level he is capable of, he would be a regular Socceroos player and would have been playing overseas in a top league.
3. Nathaniel Atkinson
He has so much natural talent. Atkinson needs to keep his feet planted firmly on the ground. He is a prodigious talent, but the question is: can he reach his potential?
2. Jamie Maclaren
He has been clinical in the final third. Maclaren is currently the A-League top scorer as it stands, with 18 goals in the 20 games Melbourne City have played so far this season.
1. Harrison Delbridge
Delbridge is arguably the most talented centre back in the A-League. If Delbridge can play to his optimum level and have the right attitude, he will be playing overseas and for the Socceroos.
Ramy Najjarine has so much talent, having showcased as much with a fantastic goal for the Olyroos.
Nathaniel Atkinson could play midfield extremely effectively. It would be interesting to see how a back four with Joshua Brillante playing at right back and Scott Galloway playing at left back would perform. It would be interesting to see how Scott Jamieson would go playing on the left wing as opposed to left back.
Tom Glover needs to prove that he should be in the starting line-up as the goalkeeper ahead of Dean Bouzanis, as Bouzanis did nothing wrong to warrant sitting on the substitutes bench. Perhaps the change of goalkeeper is a reflection of how highly rated Glover is at the club.
Harrison Delbridge needs a new central defensive partner. Curtis Good shows plenty of endeavour and Rostyn Griffiths has played there, but Melbourne City need to seriously consider recruiting a centre back. Lachlan Wales needs to improve to prove he is good enough to play at A-League level, as does Adrian Luna.
First of all, Dean Bouzanis should at least be rotated into the starting line-up at times as he has a fantastic attitude and is a quality goalkeeper. Joshua Brillante should play at right back at times as he has played in that position before. Ramy Najjarine should play every game he is fit and available for, at the very least as an impact player on the bench. Najjarine is a talented player who just needs to be given the opportunity.