Melbourne Victory – Match Report vs. Western United (03/08/2022)

Western United defeated Melbourne Victory 2-1 in Australia Cup Action. Melbourne totally dominated possession and vastly outshot Western but luck was not on their side. Both sides played 4-2-3-1s.

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

Jake Brimmer

  • Nationality: Australian 
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 03/04/1998
  • Current Club: Melbourne Victory
  • Career: Nunawading City, Liverpool FC (Y), Perth Glory 
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder 
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Jake Brimmer played as a #10 in this match and generally looked quite effective. Brimmer is a little different from a traditional #10. His game is built much more around pressing and speed in transition than it is unlocking defences with his passing. The main loop of Brimmer’s game is to win the ball back high up the pitch, run into space and then either play a quick pass to a teammate or go for a goal himself.

In the A-League, which is a very transition-heavy league, this style of play is very effective. But his game also has some limitations. He is quite good at finding a teammate with short-range passes in transition but his attempts to split a defence open with longer-range passes mostly did not work out. He attempted a couple of Hollywood passes behind the Western United defence that was woefully overhit. These passes are difficult to pull off, and even the best players at this type of pass don’t have a very high completion rate, but I didn’t get the sense that Brimmer was on the verge of pulling it off. That said though, he was very good at playing quick passes in tight areas. He has very good movement and that allows him to combine with teammates and work out of tough situations very effectively. Brimmer was also quite effective at creating chances from set pieces. He was good at spotting opportunities for creative deliveries that created at least one big chance.   

Rating – B1

Brimmer won the Johnny Warren medal last season, which is awarded to the best A-League player every year. So by that measure at least he is the strongest player at his current level. At 24 he is probably as good as he is ever going to be and I’m not sure he’s quite good enough to play in a top 5 league. He could certainly make a move to Europe. There’s an army of Australian players in Scotland at the moment and Brimmer would not look out of place all in the SPL or a similar league. He would thrive in a team that does most of its damage in transition. He has also played significant time as a #8 and even as a #6 so he could play in a deeper position as well.   

Nishan Velupillay

  • Nationality: Sri Lankan
  • Age: 21
  • Date of Birth: 07/05/2001
  • Current Club: Melbourne Victory
  • Career: Melbourne Victory
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Nishan Velupillay played as a right winger in this match. He showed quite a lot to like but was a little bit inconsistent. He showed some good dribbling skill, with quick changes of direction and drops of the shoulder. He also has quite good physical traits which made him difficult for defenders to get a hold of. But his end product was a bit lacking. He took quite a lot of shots but they were all from relatively long range.

He was good at making the first dribble to get to the edge of the box but he was not able, in this match at least, to get a little closer to create better shots. He was also quite good at receiving the ball in dangerous areas but he was not always able to turn these advantageous positions into high danger scoring chances. His final ball also left a lot to be desired. He hit crosses too hard quite a lot and just failed to connect on passes quite a lot. If he were a bit younger then this type of play would be quite a bit more exciting, as generating shots at a decent senior level is usually a good sign for a youngster. But at 21 Velupillay is not a fresh-faced teenager.

Velupillay was also quite good defensively. He tracked back a lot and won the ball back higher up the field. This does raise the interesting possibility of him playing as a wing-back as he has the skillset that could make him effective there. That could be a road to a higher level that probably won’t be available to him as an outright winger.

Rating – B2

I think Velupillay will be a good A-League player but I would be surprised if he can hit a higher level than that. He might have a bit more upside as a wing-back.

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