Season Preview Series: Melbourne CityPosted: October 1, 2014
In the lead-up to the 10th of the A-League we’ll be doing an extensive preview of the league club by club- continuing today with Melbourne City.
Last Season: 10th
It was an interesting year last time around for the Heart, with a winless streak seeing John Aloisi sacked after 12 rounds. Then returning manager John van’t Schip briefly turned results around seeing the side go from last to just outside the finals, before tailing off again to win the wooden spoon. In between all of that the club was purchased by Manchester City, and whatever happens the new Melbourne City will be a totally different proposition this year.
1) Andrew Redmayne, 3) Rob Wielaert, 4) Connor Chapman, 5) Erik Paartalu, 6) Aaron Mooy, 7) Iain Ramsay, 8) Massimo Murdocca, 9) David Villa, 10) Robert Koren, 11) Damien Duff, 13) Jonatan Germano, 14) James Brown, 15) David Williams, 17) Jason Hoffman, 18) Paulo Retre, 19) Ben Garuccio, 20) Tando Velaphi, 21) Stefan Mauk, 22) Nick Kalmar, 13) Mate Dugandzic, 24) Patrick Kisnorbo, 25) Jacob Melling, 26) Marc Marino.
Connor Chapman, James Brown (Both Newcastle Jets), Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney Wanderers), Damien Duff (Fulham- England), Jacob Melling (Adelaide United), Robert Koren (Hull City- England), Marc Marino (Australian Institute of Sport), Erik Paartalu (Muanthong United- Thailand), David Villa (New York City- USA (10 game guest stint)).
Jeremy Walker (Hume City- NPL Victoria), Orlando Engelaar (Retired), Sam Mitchinson (Bayswater City), Patrick Gerhardt (Released), Harry Kewell (Retired), David Vrankovic (Bonnyrigg White Eagles), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor- Turkey (loan return)).
A lot of the attention here goes to the short term signing David Villa, but the recruitment of English based duo Robert Koren and Damien Duff will also be fascinating to see. They’ve also added some highly rated young English talent in the shape of Connor Chapman and Aaron Mooy, in addition to the returning Erik Paartalu. From those that have moved on, only Orlando Engelaar would get a regular game in this current side, while Harry Kewell’s experience and popularity will also be missed.
Expected Starting XI:
City’s new looked starting eleven has an expensive front third with three imported players that figure to be one of the biggest storyline’s in the new season. The changes in midfield however could be the most influential with Mooy and Paartalu likely to form part of a solid midfield combination that could from the foundation of the side. The real challenge for City will be after round 10 and Villa is gone, when it will be dependant on David Williams to step in and score the goals.
City have had a long and interesting pre-season including a pre-season tour to Manchester where they amongst other results beat a Bolton side 5-1. Against A-League opposition however have only won the one game (out of 5), however the majority of those have been without their big money additions.
Melbourne City 7-0 Whittlesea Rangers
Ballarat Red Devils 0-6 Melbourne City
Bury 2-2 Melbourne City
Oldham Athletic 1-1 Melbourne City
Bolton Wanderers 1-5 Melbourne City
Melbourne City 1-3 Sydney FC (FFA Cup)
Hume City 0-5 Melbourne City
Adelaide United 1-0 Melbourne City FC
Bendigo 0-4 Melbourne City
Melbourne City 1-1 Central Coast Mariners
Adelaide United 2-0 Melbourne City
Melbourne City 1-0 Pascoe Vale
Melbourne City 2-1 Perth Glory
All-time record against Melbourne Heart/City:
It goes without saying that City are going to be a totally different proposition this season with their new side and their trip to Brisbane in round four figures to be one of the better home games this season. While Villa will create the headlines, the real story of their season will be told from round 11 onwards when they will have to answer the question of ‘do they have enough goal scorers?’ If they do, they’ll be in the finals without question, if not it could be tough