Fan Talk with The Punter #7

Two wins at home in a row, and more importantly we played some of the football that John van ‘t Schip has been talking about since before pre-season. There were periods of time in that match where we played some football and made some passes that I haven’t seen since I was in Europe.

In the immortal words of Christopher Turk: “That-s what I-m talking ‘bout”.

Two wins at home in a row, and more importantly we played some of the football that John van ‘t Schip has been talking about since before pre-season. There were periods of time in that match where we played some football and made some passes that I haven-t seen since I was in Europe.

There were a lot of positives to come out of our 2-1 win over the Phoenix.

Firstly, our crowds increased by 50%. While being happy at a 6000 strong crowd might seem bizarre, we were the only club in the A-League to increase their crowd numbers. If we continue this trend, our crowd in the next home match (after the derby) will be around 9000, which is getting closer and closer to my aim of a 12000-15000 strong average attendance.

Secondly, our cohesion was much, much better than against the Mariners. We were all over the shop and didn-t look like we even know which direction to face in that match, however we appeared confident in our movement and passes almost all day on Sunday. I was quite impressed with our movement off the ball, as it-s a crucial part of playing a 4-3-3 style. Off the ball movement takes defenders out of position and opens up gaps to be exploited, and that-s exactly what we did against Wellington.

Thirdly, we had a few great individual performances.

Gerald Sibon looked much more potent and confident playing as a #10 instead of a #9 and had a hand in both of our goals. His interplay with Wayne Srhoj for our first goal was an example of his vision and passing precision, and his determination to put Nick Ward under the pump led to Alex Terra-s great left footed strike.

Michael Marrone stepped his game up and bossed the right flank. He led to a number of attacking moves and negated nearly all of Wellington-s play down his side of the park. Matt Thompson had a stellar game playing as a makeshift centre-back, proving his flexibility and importance as a utility for us.

Most importantly, though, Rutger Worm showed an amazing amount of determination, confidence and hunger to win each and every ball. After being started on the bench, he came on for Brendan Hamill and looked incredibly dangerous every time he was on the ball. If he can continue to play at this level, he-ll be difficult for any defence to deal with.

While getting the win was important, we-ve got a much more important task this week. Our away form hasn-t been great. We-ve got 1 point out of a possible 9, and this can easily change against Brisbane this weekend. It-s important for us to play the same style of football that we did against Wellington and keep momentum going, especially with an enormous match coming up the week later. While the Roar has a very well structured defence, I definitely think that it-s possible for us to come back with 3 points this week.

Lastly, if you haven-t done it yet, make sure you buy your tickets for the upcoming, enormously important derby match against the blue side of Melbourne. Buy tickets for you, you parents, your partners, your friends, your colleagues, that guy who lives down your street that you see randomly, EVERYONE!

Let-s turn AAMI Park into a Red and White fortress and show Melbourne what it-s like to play some real football! Yours in support, - The Punter www.redwhiteunite.com - The home for all Melbourne Heart supporters