Melbourne Victory – Match Report vs. Macarthur FC (22/04/2022)

Melbourne Victory cruised to a 4-1 victory over Macarthur F.C. There was a brief period where the momentum swung in Macarthur’s favour. They scored a penalty and had another goal that would have tied the match ruled out by VAR. But other than that Melbourne controlled most of the game. Melbourne played a 4-2-3-1 while Macarthur lined up in a 3-4-3.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Ben Folami

  • Nationality: Australian 
  • Age 22
  • Date of Birth 08/06/1999
  • Current Club: Melbourne Victory
  • Career: Ipswich (Y), Stevenage 
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Folami showed a lot of exciting skills in this match and scored a goal, but I have some doubts about his ability to take his game to another level. Folami is a supremely talented dribbler. He has fantastic close control, and the ability to change direction quickly and dribble at speed. On several occasions he burst down the left-wing, leaving hapless defenders in his wake. But the thing is, those dribbles have got to lead to something at some point. Folami had countless exciting runs but all he had to show for it, in terms of direct shot contributions, was one shot and one key pass. True, his shot went in. But as the commentator noted it was his first goal in 6 matches and only his 3rd of the A-League season. He just does not generate enough shots from his dribbling to be a consistent goal threat.

He did not show a lot of creativity in the final 3rd. There were a lot of poor crosses, intercepted passes, or times when he chose to play a pass that didn’t keep the ball moving into dangerous areas. Folami does have a very good physical profile. He is quick, which allows him to get to loose balls quickly. He’s also 5’9, not exactly a giant but slightly above average height, and that helps him to shrug off challenges. He also makes good off-the-ball runs which allows him to receive the ball in space and make his trademark forward runs. There are certainly a lot of elements there to support a very strong game. But as I mentioned earlier, he needs to start converting these exciting runs into goals if he is going to take it to the next level. 

Rating: B1

Folami is certainly a fun player to watch. But I’m not sure that is quite the same thing as being a top player. It would be one thing to be turning in these types of performances if he were a teenager but Folami is 22. He certainly has all the tools to turn into a deadly player but his time to make that jump is quickly running out. If you were a team at a higher level and you bought Folami you would be taking a big gamble on your ability to help him cash in on his potential very quickly. If that gamble paid off it would pay off in a big way but, in my view, it would be a long shot. 

Nicholas D’Agostino

  • Nationality: Australian 
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 25/02/1998
  • Current Club: Melbourne Victory
  • Career: Brisbane Roar, Perth Glory
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred Foot: Right

I am not sure how well this comparison will track with the Target Scouting audience but D’Agostino reminded me a lot of current Vancouver Whitecaps and Canadian national team striker Lucas Cavallini (both for good and bad reasons). When pressing D’Agostino would frequently dive into wild slide tackles which were not always all that successful at actually winning his team the ball back. Nevertheless, he did put in a lot of defensive running. He also frequently dropped deep to get involved in buildup play, even though he did not look the most comfortable with the ball at his feet (this is also a classic Cavallini trait). There were a lot of times when he tried something ambitious, a dribble or a defence-splitting pass, and it just did not work. He had some trouble with the weight of his passes and he was tackled quite a bit. However, he did a good job of protecting the ball with his body and won quite a lot of fouls this way.

His dropping so deep did mean that sometimes he was not positioned in the box to take advantage of Victory’s attacking moves. However, he did show some good off-the-ball speed to get into the box when Victory was making quick upfield moves. D’Agostino did not receive a lot of service in this game but he made some decent runs that didn’t end with him getting the ball. He was also quick to react to loose balls and rebounds. His one big chance of the game was when he was able to get on top of a loose ball in the box and get off a dangerous shot. He is not the biggest striker in the world at just 5’7 but he plays a physical style that goes some way to making up for that. 

Rating: B1

D’Agostino is quite an effective striker in the A-League. But he doesn’t offer very much other than scoring goals and he doesn’t score quite enough goals to make up for that fact. At 24 significant improvements are unlikely. 

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