And the nights out at AAMI Park keep coming! We’ve got another one tomorrow night against Adelaide United, who fans will be desperate to get some revenge over given our earlier loss this season (and hell, some of us are still not over that FFA Cup Final yet either!)
Last Sunday, the City boys survived a scare from Brisbane Roar to secure probably the most significant three points of our season so far, extending our lead to nine points at the top of the table.
As for tomorrow night’s opposition, they were only recently one of the most significant threats to our title charge, but have since gone four games without a win, extended by their recent 0-0 draw with Wellington Phoenix.
The squad are looking in good health, with the obvious exception of Nathaniel Atkinson, so without further ado, here’s the preview for tomorrow night’s clash:
A step closer to mathematical certainty
We’re in an unprecedented time as Melbourne City fans right now; waiting for mathematical confirmation of a league title win is certainly an unusual period – like waiting for midnight on New Year’s Eve, except someone keeps changing the clock.
The only thing that we can be certain of is that claiming all three points against Adelaide is the only thing that’ll bring midnight any closer, so the boys will be desperate to continue their run of good form by knocking off the visiting Reds.
Playing the rotation game
Now into the third of our four games in the space of two weeks, fans can probably expect to start seeing some changes to the starting lineup.
Whilst there’s little point speculating on the exact personnel who’ll be shifting out, the pleasing aspect for fans will be the unprecedented depth that we enjoy in just about every position; Garuccio and Georgievski must be the best second-choice fullbacks in the league, Griffiths is more than ready to come in at centre-back, Berenguer is the unlucky fourth who can’t be fit into the midfield three, and a little-known winger with ‘Nabbout’ on his back should be fit and firing to come in for Tilio after playing just 45 minutes in our last outing.
With depth like that, just give us the plate already…
Our history books are slowly filling
I kept the first two points fairly short, partly because the storylines are much the same as the past week or so, but primarily to afford more airtime to this point.
Personally, one of the biggest and most exciting appeals of being a fan of such a young club is the fact that history is being written with every season (if not every game, as it is these days – thanks JMac), but if I’m being honest, Melbourne City hasn’t been all that great at creating history in its short existence – and I’m not talking about trophies.
We’ve historically been poor in regards to player turnover, meaning a completely fresh squad every 2-3 seasons. It’s difficult to create emotional connections between fans and players, even more so to create club legends, when the identity of the team is changing every off-season.
Now in our 11th season, we have just one centenarian, with David Williams holding the club record with 103 appearances. By comparison, Western Sydney Wanderers, who’ve featured in nine A-League seasons, have four players who’ve cracked the tonne, with Mark Bridge leading the way with 141.
That’s why the biggest talking point (for me, at least) heading into this game is the fact that Scott Jamieson will be marking his 100th appearance for Melbourne City, the most he’s played for any of his five A-League teams, against the side that gave him his start in the competition as a 19-year-old.
Jamieson’s achievement is special not only in the significance of being City’s second player to reach triple digits for the club, but also for the fact that, on form, he looks like holding his starting XI spot long enough to surpass Williams and, even more importantly, perhaps even earn a contract extension at the end of this season that would enable him to really crack on and post a respectable total as City’s all-time appearance-maker.
After four seasons at the club, three as captain, Jamieson is probably enjoying his best yet and deserves a win (and maybe a sneaky goal) to mark his special night.