It seems like a ridiculous comment to make about a team that has scored 45 goals in just 21 matches so far this season. But when I talk about killer instinct itís not necessarily the ability to score goals and get in the lead. I feel itís knowing when to kill off any hope of the opposition. When to shut up shop and let the other team know that there is no way back. When to simply keep possession, stay organized and watch the sparkle in your enemyís eyes fade as they chase shadows around the pitch.
All the best coaches and teams do it. Jose Mourinho often draws criticism for doing just that, but look at his CV. Liverpool dominated the 70s and 80s in a similar manner while Sir Alex Ferguson was simply the master. Playing Utd while they were under the guidance of the wily Scotsman was at best heart breaking but more often than not demonically soul destroying.†
If you went a goal down you knew there was little chance of getting back in to proceedings. It you went a goal a head you knew that you had to be at your very best for the rest of the 90 minutes and more if you were to come away with the three points.
This mystique is something that Victory simply doesnít have. Teams always know they are always in with a shot no matter how far ahead we get. Muscat has his team playing on the front foot always looking for goals which looks great on paper and is exciting for the neutral, but it fails to take in to account the natural ebbs and flows of a match. There are times when you need to take the sting out of things. There are times when it pays off to show a different kind of killer instinct.
I know Muscat is still learning. I know there are EPL coaches who go about things in a similar manner (Brendan Rodgers), but for me dominating teams isnít necessarily about how much possession you have or even how many goals you score. For me domination is making the opposition feel like they would prefer to be at home or making them step on to the field feeling like they are already beaten.
Melbourne Victory go in to this weekends match against The Central Coast Mariners sitting 2nd on the A-League ladder, but could very well end up 5th by the end of the round. With the squad at our disposal this simply shouldnít be.