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PLAY IT SHORT (A-LEAGUE): Spineless Victory board, Glory aces primed at right time, A-League should look to Texas

SPINELESS VICTORY BOARD JUST WANT TO BE LIKEDThere's no defending the Melbourne Victory board. Three coaches in less than 12 months after six years with one. It's an absolute disgrace. Even if the rumours are true about Gianfranco Zola, or someone of similar stature, the treatment of Jim Magilton is deplorable and no-one can blame him for leaving yesterday. Why the hell should he need to re-interview for the job? This isn't some bean counter's post at a government department. This is football. Rudderless is too kind for this lot. No bottle, no backbone is more like it.The complete opposite to Geoff Lord's reign, when he simply ignored (and infuriated) the vocal minority and allowed Ernie Merrick and Gary Cole to get on with it.

IS KEWELL NEXT?Jim Magilton was easy to warm to. His personality made you want him to do well. And he was succeeding. The progress of Jimmy Jeggo, the identification of Julius Davies and Harry Kewell's form turnaround were all major positives in a season of transition. He's managed bigger clubs than Victory. He was competing for the Northern Ireland job before Victory's call came. He'd helped Shamrock Rovers become the first Irish club to reach the group stages of a European competition. And this Victory board demand he re-interview? Whose next? Kewell? How will he take this news? And if not Zola, can an Aussie coach actually man-manage Kewell the way Magilton successfully did during his time? D'ya think when Newcastle United finished in the bottom half of the table last season, Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias called Alan Pardew in to re-interview for the job? There were some great managers floating about at the time - so why not? Because they'd decided on Pards, had seen what he was trying to achieve and backed him to the hilt. This is what football clubs do. They don't allow themselves to be influenced by Twitter trolls and bitter, whinging ex-players. Melbourne Victory's board ... what have you done to this once, great club ...

TENSE GLORY WIN WAS ENTHRALLINGSurprised even Chris Coyne gave the first hour of Perth Glory's finals win yesterday the thumbs down. The moaning commentators I can understand, but Coyne as well? It was tense, it was nervy, it was enthralling. It was about bottle and who was going to blink first. Gutted for Wayne Srhoj against his old club. He switched off and played Smeltz onside for the opener. But that's what these finals are about. The small details. As Smeltz proved with his looping header later in the second-half.It's all coming together for the Glory at the right time. Smeltz is red-hot, Liam Miller will be stronger for his comeback and even the inconsistent Andrezinho appears to be happier playing in the big occasion. HEART CULTURE FAILED WHEN IT COUNTEDDeparting Melbourne Heart coach John van't Schip could be heard at halftime telling his players 'it's only a game, it's only a game'. Sorry. But this wasn't 'only a game'. This was a final on the edge, which would go to the team with the greater warrior spirit. Heart's players froze in the first-half and were overrun in the second. There was no inspiration from the visitors. Behich tried hard, but there was nothing coming from the spine of the team. When the game needed someone to take it by the scruff of the neck, Jacob Burns and Smeltz stepped up. Melbourne lacked the leadership and drive to get back after Smeltz's opener.

A-LEAGUE YOUTH TEAMS SHOULD LOOK TO 'STATESGreat start for Jake Adelson at Everton. The young Aussie, who signed from Blacktown City earlier this year, is in Everton's squad in Texas this week for the Dallas Cup. Everton are taking Ross Barkley with them, showing how serious they're taking the tournament. Given the timing and the Cup's prestige (PSG and Manchester United are also involved in the U19 Super Group) it would be ideal for A-League youth teams. I know the big American youth tournaments like the Dallas Cup and Disney Soccer Showcase would welcome an approach from Aussie clubs about taking part.

NO NEWS GOOD NEWS FOR GOLD COASTWhat's going on at Gold Coast United? Is no news good news? It was claimed Gold Coast would be gone last week. Yet, now Geoffrey Schuhkraft and his consortium are making noises about having a couple of week's extension to put their proposal together. It's not ideal, but we need to keep Gold Coast in. Why would the AFL be driving their presence so hard if there wasn't an audience to fight for?

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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