The appointment of Ange Postecoglou as Victory coach paves the way for Kevin Muscat to take over at Victory
Melbourne Victory may be unhappy by being left in the lurch by Ange Postecoglou's departure to the Socceroos, but the situation clears the decks for the most natural progression in the A-League's short history, Kevin Muscat to become Victory coach.
While Postecolgou may have attempted to redefine Victory over the past 18 months, completely rebuilding the playing list, the name of Muscat still looms large over the club.
The only way in which Muscat could have stayed at the club as an assistant coach after the debacle of the 2011-12 season was if the man in charge was a large enough figure to stand outside the two-time championship winning captain's shadow.
Such was Muscat's omnipresence under the charge of both Mehmet Durakovic and Jim Magilton, than any sign of weakness and the spectre of Muscat ascending to the throne was put forward.
In fact, he even filled the short gap in between the sacking of Durakovic and the appointment of Magilton, winning the only game he coached.
To his credit, even in the depths of crisis, Muscat never made it about him. He kept his mouth shut and his mind focussed, knowing the influence he could wield if he wanted to.
Postecoglou's arrival was the perfect thing for a club legend who was not yet ready to take the big step. The new coach's standing in both the Australian football mindset and with Muscat himself meant that there was never ever chance of the assistant becoming the main event.
The contrast between Muscat the player and Muscat the coach is mainly in his pragmatism. As a player, he sought every opportunity to impose himself on the game, but as a coach he has played a long-hand, knowing that he would need considerable experience under someone like Postecoglou if he was going to be a successful coach.
If he had have taken the job after the Durakovic/Magilton debacle, he would have been faced with an enormous task for a rookie coach, completely rebuilding a team of players who he had shared so much glory with.
But now with Postecoglou having done all the hard work of getting the players together who can win a championship, Muscat has the opportunity to take what he has and run with it.
His leadership qualities are undoubted while he plays the media brilliantly. When he was captain, he walked the line between promoter and player perfectly and he has rarely made a misstep in his well-planned media appearances as an assistant coach.
While the A-League is doing very well in terms of courting positive publicity at the moment, the opportunity for arguably the biggest character in the competition's history to resume centre stage will have those at Football Federation Australia headquarters licking their lips.
All that is left is for Anthony Di Pietro, who is still smarting from the FFA's smash and grab raid on the coach they would hope to lead them to a new golden age, to do the most logical thing in the world and give 'Musky' the keys to the corner office. Over to you, Anthony.