Kevin Muscat is finished at Melbourne Victory

Kevin Muscat
It's time for the Victory legend to move on - a decision that is not only best for the club, but also for himself

Kevin Muscat's time is up at Melbourne Victory - and it appears it's only a matter of when the split will happen - as the chorus of discontent from supporters grows louder.

The Victory have only won two of their 10 matches so far this season and are languishing in seventh position - 15 points behind a rampaging Sydney FC.

Both of the club's wins have come on the road, in Perth and Wellington, and in five games at home, they are yet to clinch a victory and have only scored four goals in front of their fans.

Only 16,778 supporters attended Victory's 2-1 loss to Adelaide United at Etihad Stadium, an effort that was easily the club's worst of the season against a team missing arguably their best player in Danish winger Johan Absalonsen and Algerian playmaker Karim Matmour, who decided to depart permanently.

Muscat's men were undone by two pieces of poor defending and despite having the majority of possession, lacked ideas in the final third - particularly in the last 10 minutes when Adelaide were reduced to nine men.

Kevin Muscat Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC A-League 26012017

The game style employed by Muscat is repetitive and mechanic, and is designed on principles set out by Ange Postecoglou that plan B is always be more effective at plan A.

But plan A has been in operation for five seasons now and opposition coaches are starting to be able to shut down the Victory attack with relative ease.

Questions must be asked over the club's recruiting in the off-season, despite the success of winger Leroy George and the form of centre-half Rhys Williams.

Why has a foreign spot been wasted with the signing of defensive midfielder Matias Sanchez?

The Argentine only starts matches when Mark Milligan is absent and hasn't looked at all impressive when he has taken to the field.

Why wasn't a specialist left-back signed in the off-season?

The departure of Daniel Georgievski has hurt the club immensely and while Leigh Broxham is serviceable in the role, he doesn't offer much in attack.

To Muscat's credit he has tried youngster Stefan Nigro, who is a more attacking player, in the position but the 21-year-old was skinned by Reds winger Nicola Mileusnic for the winning goal on Friday night.

Why does the club still have a vacant visa spot?

Apparently the available foreign position is being saved for an Asian player who will be eligible for the Asian Champions League, but with Sanchez being only a bit-part player, it means Victory's foreign influence is restricted to only George and Besart Berisha.

Bringing back Milligan and Kosta Barbarouses to the club was hailed as recruiting masterstrokes, and while both are exceptional players at their best, it feels as if their return has added to the stale feeling at the club.

Everything all adds up to change being needed at Melbourne Victory, but parting with a favourite son and club legend is a hard thing to do.

Mark Milligan Kevin Muscat Melbourne Victory A-League 2014-15

The panel members on popular Victory podcast For Vuck's Sake called for Muscat's head for the first time after the Adelaide game - and you can see the supporter unhappiness on social media.

It's likely Victory will let Muscat see out the rest of the A-League season and the upcoming ACL campaign - unless the current situation implodes because of more poor results.

There is no doubt Muscat will leave a strong legacy at the club - having won two championships as a player and one as a manager.

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He has proved to be an excellent man manager, and while there is question marks over his tactical nous, you can't argue with the trophies he has brought to the club.

But it's time for him to test himself as a coach in another environment and prove that he can cut it at another team.

For Victory, it's time to freshen up the club and start chasing Sydney FC, because on evidence this season the gap just keeps getting wider.