Versus: John Aloisi v Kevin Muscat

At the beginning of the season Brisbane Roar’s John Aloisi and Melbourne Victory’s Kevin Muscat were to coaches being earmarked as potential replacements for Ange Postecoglou. However a third into the season and both teams are struggling in the middle table with only a couple wins to their names and both are at risk of missing the finals. The Roar haven’t done that since 2009-10, and Victory haven’t missed the six since 2011-12. With the two prepared to go head-to-head this week let’s take a look at who’s doing the better job.

Players used
Brisbane have had a terrible start to the season in regards to player availability, their casualty ward currently has eight tenants, including the likes of Michael Theo and Thomas Kristensen. Which is no fault of Aloisi’s but it has led them to use 24 players already this season which is the most in the A-League. Only Matt McKay and Massimo Maccarone have started in every match. Jack Hingert has played in all 10 but has only started in eight of those matches. During the match, Aloisi has used 30 substitutions.

Kevin Muscat has had a couple of injuries including Mitchell Austin’s ACL tear but he has also missed the likes of Kosta Barbarouses, James Troisi, and Mark Milligan through international duty. However he has been lucky enough to only use 19 players which is second least this season. Lawrence Thomas, Jason Geria, Rhys Williams, Carl Valeri, and Leroy George have started in every match this season, while Jai Ingham has also appeared in every match but has only started four. Muscat has only used 25 of a possible 30 substitutions.

The Roar have struggled with form and injuries this season but the scorer of Australia’s most famous goal has only changed his formation once this season, sticking with the 4-2-3-1 for nine matches, the only match he tried something different with his formations was the Round 6 clash with the Victory which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Muscat on the other hand has already tried three formations, starting the season with a 4-5-1, using the 4-3-3 in the corresponding match. The 4-2-3-1 has been Muscat’s favourable formation using it six times.

Discipline doesn’t always depend on the players in the squad, it also depends on the coach and the style of play implemented. Fifteen of Brisbane’s 25 players have been booked this season, receiving a combined 27 yellow cards and one red card.

However 13 of Melbourne’s 19 players have been booked. Twenty-four of those have been yellow while Milligan and Austin have been shown red cards.

Whether it’s getting the Socceroos job or the sack, the main criteria will be the results of the two managers. These two could possibly be future Socceroos coaches but at the moment their form doesn’t suggest that’ll be happening anytime soon.

Brisbane are in sixth position after 10 games, with two wins, four draws, and four losses. They have scored 12 goals and conceded 14.

Melbourne are in seventh position after 10 games, with two wins, four draws, and four losses. They have scored 13 goals and conceded 16.

Coincidentally both of these sides wins have come in the same round (7 and 9).

So these coaches are pretty evenly matched however it can be debated Kevin Muscat has had the easier time since he hasn’t had to worry about a plethora of injuries.

But the real winner could be decided this week when the two close out Round 11.

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