It’s over 2 and a half years since the FFA announced that a license to create another team in Melbourne, awarded to a bid going by the name ‘Melbourne Heart’. After seeing the success that Melbourne Victory had in the city, the decision was decided that there were 2 teams in Melbourne.
Come a year and a half into the battle of Melbourne, You would find a very even playing field. Both Heart and Victory haven’t produced any major thrashing of each other, but have provided some great, high paced entertainment for the Melbourne Football community.
The return of main man Harry Kewell gave Victory the upper blow on the Heart, not only racking in a highly skilled player, but won the attraction from Melburnians. This handing Victory all the national media attention. Without all the attention the Victory was receiving, Melbourne’s Red & White boys were quietly working on a plan that would project themselves deep into the A-League finals. A plan that’s defiantly succeeding for the Heart.
Now on the 12th week of A-League season 7, Melbourne Heart sit nicely in 3rd, vying for an attack on top spot. A great away run, winning 5 of 6 has definitely given John Van’t Schip’s men the upper hand coming into one of the most important Melbourne Derbies.
Melbourne Victory on the other hand, have served up a very disappointing start to the season, with only 3 wins. A tough start for all Victory fans after a lot was expected from the return of Kewell.
Overall a win for either Heart of Victory, in tonight’s Melbourne Derby is going to be the most important result for both this season.
Heart coming in with the upper-hand, a win would set them from third into second. The highest placing the newbies have ever achieved in its’ short history. This in its self is a major achievement for the club, where not much was expected from them this season. Victory, some redemption and restoration of some pride in the older Melbourne club.
Though searching a little deeper into what stakes that the Heart have on this game, you would find that a win hits the roots of Heart becoming the bigger team in Melbourne. All the ‘hoo-har’ that the Heart have been making about becoming a bigger team in this weeks media, is more than possible. Though it won’t happen unless Melbourne Heart provide 3 points at the end of Friday evening. Heart is at a point in its history, where it can really serve it up to Victory.
”Melbourne Victory cannot continue to operate as if we don’t exist. I don’t think they can ignore us any more. They have supposedly got the best players in the country playing for them, but at this stage they are sitting below us on the league table and they are not playing football as good as ours.” Wise words from a confident Heart manager. If I was Victory, I would be shivering in my boots.
It’s either huge success or massive failure.
Picture: Melbourne Heart Facebook. Cover: “tedgreen” Flickr
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