Analysis: Theoharous an inspiration for Victory
Kevin Muscat summed up the apprehension stifling Melbourne Victory when he praised teenage talent Christian Theoharous in the wake of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar.
Muscat described the 17-year-old, whose positivity and skill paved the way for Besart Berisha’s opener, as playing “without any stress” and “with some belief” in his exciting 15-minute cameo.
Victory were uncharacteristically tentative until that point, with slow transitions leaving wide-man Leroy George to shoulder the creative burden.
But last season’s Grand Finalists still have enough key components to be a top-quality team.
Rhys Williams turned in perhaps his best performance in a Victory shirt, Berisha proved he barely needs a sniff and Mark Milligan will soon reunite with Carl Valeri.
And the integration of a fresh-faced attacking weapon might breed the kind of belief needed to rediscover their swagger of old.
It could provide a few lessons for Brisbane, too.
Outfoxed by Victory’s pint-sized playmaker minutes earlier, Jack Hingert twice stormed forward with purpose in the moments that followed. On the second, he teed up Brett Holman’s equaliser.
This was a quintessential goal of past Roar teams: players committing forward, a horizontal pass from the by-line and a simple close-range finish.
Better still, it was a reminder that the DNA of these former attacking juggernauts still runs deep.