A failure to deliver
For all the glimpses of brilliance they have shown, Victory have failed and not even Harry could save them.
It-s not all doom and gloom at Melbourne Victory at the moment.
Next weekend the club will be looking to set a new world record when it plays in its 23rd consecutive ‘must win- game.
Problem is for the boys in navy blue, must wins have turned into ‘shoulda, coulda, didn-t- games on far too many occasions.
And for all the tantalising glimpses of attacking flair and a recently rediscovered appetite to fight, Melbourne Victory-s season is over.
Forget the mathematical permutations and the miracle scenarios being dreamt up in fantasy football forums. Don-t think twice about coach Jim Magilton-s relentless and resilient optimism and stoicism.
This bird has flown.
Melbourne Victory will have to spend the upcoming Hyundai A-League finals campaign and the upcoming off season shackled to the disappointment having over-promised and under-delivered like a used car salesman on the make.
Last Saturday in Melbourne, the resurgent Newcastle Jets took Melbourne Victory apart like a child pulling the wings off a fly. Gary Van Egmond-s men came with a plan, and executed it to perfection, exposing Victory-s vulnerable defence with an almost cruel efficiency.
Having won their past four games and five of their last six, the Jets are finding clear air at the right time of the campaign and are beginning to soar.
Who would have picked it at the start of the season?
Cast your mind back to the official season launch, where then coach Branko Culina was holding court with the other coaches, talking up his teams prospects only to find out moments later he-d been sacked.
Newcastle was the season-s first train wreck (and by no means it-s last). It seems a world away now. Van Egmond has won the battle of wills with some in his squad who questioned his plan to play a more physically demanding pressing game. Eventually the players have bought in and the results have followed.
Ruben Zadkovich is running his own race in wide areas on the right along with Ryan Griffiths. On the other side of the park, Tarek Ellrich is starting to sparkle. In the middle Jobe Wheelhouse provides the grit and grunt with just enough class to also act as provider when the opportunity presents - as he did twice for young Jacob Pepper last Saturday.
And when it all clicks like it did on Saturday in AAMI Park, The Jets look every bit title contenders.
It-s everything Melbourne Victory promised but failed to deliver.
They-ve become a team on the edge of a nervous breakdown, so weighed down by expectation and the spectre of mediocrity that they too easily fray at the edges and come apart at the seams.
Nothing encapsulated this more than Matthew Kemp-s five star dummy spit after being hooked off before half time by Magilton to be replaced by Leigh Broxham.
Kemp-s initial incredulity was understandable - no one likes to be subbed before half time. His subsequent fit of pique escalated into the sound of his Tonka truck being chucked out of the pram.
As he stormed off for an early shower with his ‘take this job and shove it- strut, Victory were exposed for what they-ve become - selfish rather than selfless.
Not that it-s of any concern to Gary Van Egmond and his squadron of Jets. In their current form, this team might just be given to fly.