Melbourne Victory

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A-League

Round 7

2019-11-23 08:30:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Melbourne Victory

In


James Donachie (def) Jeongham – loan made permanent; Adama Traore (def) free agent; Tim Hoogland (def) Bochum; Kristijan Dobras (mid) Altach; Migjen Basha (mid) Aris; Jakob Poulsen (mid) Midtjylland; Robbie Kruse (att) Bochum; Andrew Nabbout (att) Urawa;

Out


Georg Niedermeier (k) (def) released; Keisuke Honda (k) (mid) released; James Troisi (r) (mid) released; Carl Valeri (r) (mid) released; Raul Baena (r) (mid) Granada – end of loan; Terry Antonis (r) (mid) Suwon; Kosta Barbarouses (r) (att) Sydney FC: Jai Ingham (sp) (mid) Brisbane Roar;

After 6 years under Muscat Victory decided the time for change had come in the summer and the long-serving manager was replaced by Adelaide’s German coach Macro Kurz. Known for his pragmatic style that already worked in the A-League in the last 2 seasons Kurz is building squad of his own. Muscat was followed by 7 regulars through the exit door, including 2 of the 3 marquee players Niedermeier and Honda. This gave room for Kurz to bring players he wants and the gaffer was busy shopping abroad with all of the new signings coming from other countries. Lethal striker Toivonen will be supported by newcomers Nabbout and Kruse this season, with Kamsoba and Athiu back up options for what already looks like frighteningly good front line. The main area that is worry for most pundits is the heart of the midfield where only new signings Basha, Poulsen, versatile Broxham and inconsistent youngster Hope are the options for 2 starting spots. That makes it very important to keep Basha and Poulsen fit. Veterans Hoogland and Traore join what already looks like a very solid back line and one thing certain about Victory seems to be the fact that they should be amongst the best defensive sides this season. This combined with the impressive front 3 should be enough to see Victory making smooth transition to the post-Muscat era.

Target


Despite all the changes still seen as one of main players and expected to make at least the top 4.

Season Review
2018/2019

№3: Melbourne Victory

Victory failed to defend their title, with the semi-final where their season ended. High-profile signings of international stars Honda and Toivonen created buzz early in the season and driven by this Royal Blues won 6 of their opening 8 games. Both Honda and Toivonen played well and were very effective when available, just both of them missed lots of games during the regular season and their poor health was issue that disrupted the campaign. Still up until round 17 in early February Victory looked like the only team that could challenge Glory for the first place at the end of the regular season, mainly because Barbarouses had excellent campaign and with 15 goals and 8 assists he was constant contributor. However, around that time started the Asian Champions League group stage with Victory’s small squad really stretched to deal with the demands of 2 competitions at the same time. This brought poor end to the regular season (4 wins, 2 draws and 4 defeats), which eventually saw Victory finishing outside top 2. Display in Elimination Final vs. Phoenix was solid and worthy of the 3:1 win, but then came the strange and inexplicable collapse in the semi-final vs. Sydney FC that saw Victory beaten 1:6. Veteran Honda unlikely to be offered another contract for next season, but Victory are likely to look to bring another high-profile player instead.


Player of the Season: Kosta Barbarouses

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