Muscat attacks tall poppy culture, Victory signs new striker

The speculation surrounding Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroo future has spawned myriad conspiracy theories this week, but Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat believes there may be a simple explanation: ‘s tendency to cut what some people believe to be tall poppies down to size.
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The Melbourne Victory boss fended off questions about whether he was interested in succeeding his former club coach in the national-team job and instead questioned the critical culture of some in the game.

“I’m not going to speak for Ange, I think we’ve probably forgotten that we won the game 2-1,” Muscat said.

“Maybe, if I’ve got anything to say, we’ve got a great deal of enjoyment about trying to knock someone down, and failure, than we do from actually winning.”

The Victory boss, a former Socceroo captain and experienced international, has been touted (along with Sydney coach Graham Arnold) as a possible replacement for Postecoglou.

But he was keeping a straight bat when asked about his ambitions.

“At the moment, there’s no job to put the hat in the ring for,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of hysteria (but) I’ve got a great job here in Melbourne Victory, one I thoroughly enjoy and love.

“We’ve got a couple more games to be successful in and to get to another World Cup and we’re on track to do that.

“I’m on record previously, representing your country was the pinnacle of my career and hopefully one day I do get the opportunity. (But) at this point in time, I’m contracted and very happy.”

Victory announced on Friday that it had signed the prolific NPL striker Kenjok Athiu on a season-long loan deal from his club Heidelberg, the Victorian champions.

The lanky frontman, known as Kenny, is mobile and good on the ground as well as in the air and would certainly offer Victory a point of difference.

The 24-yea-old has scored 57 goals in 92 appearances over three years with the Bergers, having come to as an 11-year-old refugee from Sudan.

“He provides a huge physical presence, but is also really quick across the ground and is good with the ball at his feet – just what you want from a striker.”

“There’s no doubt it’s going to be a big step up for him moving into the professional ranks, but we couldn’t ask for him to have a better mentor than Besart Berisha, who I’m sure will take him under his wing,” Muscat said.

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