Great expectations? Reasons to temper the Melbourne City hype

It’s the time of year that A-League fans get very excited. Season 2013-14 feels well consigned into the history books, the other football codes have come and gone and our appetite has been wet by the nearly two month old European season

Nothing quite matches the experience of watching your team live in the stadium week in week out. The long off-season has resulted in significant change; but no other club has undergone a makeover to the extent Melbourne City has.

Some disappointment certainly exists about how little of Melbourne Heart’s identity has been retained. This article won’t dwell on these issues - the overall fan response will be determined in the opening home matches in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, new signings Robbie Koren, Damien Duff, Aaron Mooy, Connor Chapman, James Brown and Erik Paartalu, plus the guest stint of David Villa, have lifted spirits after a hugely disappointing 2013-14.

Such signings have provided us with a wealth of talent and depth in the midfield, arguably one of the strongest midfields in the competition. However it is in defence where we appear lacking.

From a fan’s perspective we have one too many midfielders and too few defenders for a squad of this size. If an AFL style trade-week existed I would prefer to see an experienced and proven defender brought in. Returning defenders Jason Hoffman, Rob Wielaert and Patrick Kisnorbo although becoming more popular among fans have still been found lacking at times and leaked goals.

An extra defender would provide more insurance in the case of injury and importantly provide greater competition for starting places.

In attack obviously David Villa has stolen all of the headlines and his guest stint is fantastic for the entire league, not just Melbourne City. It is important, however, that we don’t get too comfortable with Villa in the side as he will be on the plane back to New York by Christmas. Strong rumours persist of Josh Kennedy coming to Melbourne when his contract with J-League side Nagoya Grampus expires around the same time as Villa’s departure.

Overall, last season should be considered as the low tide mark and significant improvement is demanded from fans. A finals appearance is my expectation most seasons and has only been met once in the club’s existence. But with such a monumental change in just a few months that is the expectation I will stick to.