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Stability pays off at Victory

Melbourne Victory won the A-League grand final on Saturday to become the first team to win the grand final twice and so its far its the only team to have won both the premiership and the championship.

If you were to go back to the pre-season cup then Victory won the treble and also the first team to do so and I think that the stability at Victory has contributed to this.

Out of the eight foundation coaches only Melbourne's Ernie Merrick and Central Coast Mariners' Lawrie McKinna remain and the Mariners have also been consistently good and are in Asia this year.

I was at the grand final and it was tense and I knew that whoever scored first would definitely win it.

Unfortunately Adelaide lost a player early in the match when Cristiano was wrongly send off and from then on they did not play well and Victory dominated a lot and I think they should have scored.

I think referees should take their time when making some of those big decisions especially in a final. Its not surprising that both red cards issued in the final have now been revoked.

After half time I think Adelaide came back stronger and could easily have been two up before the Victory scored but once Victory scored I knew that was it.

Its good to see Adelaide's recovery after the mauling two weeks before and I think in the end Victory deserved their second championship.

Its going to be interesting next year when the competition will have ten teams and already the Gold Coast team looks strong.

But I think its the continuity at Victory that will help defend the title. I am hoping that next season will not be like the season after winning the last championship when Victory even failed to reach the finals.

But Newcastle Jets fared even worse getting the wooden spoon a year after winning the title.

The disappointing bit though is that the team will have to wait a year to play in Asia. I think by then the squad will have changed but it also underlines the need to go into Asia in consecutive years.

If you look at the match footage you see that in both cases the referee was about to issue a yellow card but on consulting with the assistant he changed his mind to a red card. Maybe the referee was not entirely to blame as such but at the end of the he takes responsibility. Good the red cards were revoked.

With the first instance Don I actually saw the referee trying to get the yellow card from his pocket but later he must have changed his mind. But its always hard for the referees sometimes but lets hope it was a lesson learnt. I think red cards must be issued when the referees is in doubt esp. in a grand final situation and if he is very unsure better give a yellow.

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