Versatility can be a wonderful thing in football, and Melbourne Heart have an incredible abundance of it.
Versatility can be a wonderful thing in football, and Melbourne Heart have an incredible abundance of it. On Friday night, Melbourne Heart took on Gold Coast United, away from home, with eight players unavailable due to a combination of international duty and injury.
Sometimes, you do not envy being in the shoes of an A-League manager. Strict squad rules means that depth is hard to come by across the league, but perhaps John van-t Schip-s greatest contribution to our fledgling club has been the development of a squad with almost unrivalled depth.
From last week-s 3-0 dismantling of the Newcastle Jets, Heart travelled to the Gold Coast without Jason Hoffman, Aziz Behich and the brilliant Mate Dugandzic, whilst Alex Terra was forced out with an injury. In their place, Heart welcomed back Germano, who would prove match winner, Rugter Worm, who made his first senior appearance of the season, Adrian Madaschi and Curtis Good, who filled in admirably at left back. All that, and David Williams was still consigned to the bench.
Gold Coast on the other hand was without James Brown and Dylan McGowan, but based on the performances you-d have thought it was Gold Coast who were missing four first team starters. That-s a great credit to the incredible depth to van-t Schip-s squad and his foresight in creating a squad that is adaptable and well covered all over the pitch.
Just look at Matt Thompson. Already in seven games this season, Thompson has played at centre back, in the centre of the park, at left back and now down the left flank. It is easy to stereotype players with this sort of versatility as a “jack of all trades, and master of none”, but that would be a massive discredit to a man who has made himself accountable to his team wherever he has played. He had some shaky times at centre back, particularly against Perth as he admitted himself, but he has otherwise excelled all over the park.
It is that sort of character and ability that defines so many of Melbourne Heart-s players, and on Friday night, it allowed us to take a well earned three points in a trying situation where so many others would have struggled.
Matt is on Twitter @mg91.