Despite the backing of the City Football Group, Melbourne City have had an under-performing first A-League season as its new identity.
Even after qualifying for the finals, many believe City are filling the numbers and won't mount a challenge in this seasons A-League finals.
Many were expecting a more enjoyable brand of football from this club, but most have been disappointed, unless your a Victory fan of course.
After CFG bought a share of Melbourne Heart, the team has undergone a large change in identity and management. The club has new training facilities and access to some of the most advanced technology for sporting clubs across the globe through CFG.
Regardless of these advantages compared to other A-League clubs, City have rarely caused concern to their opposition. A minimum target for City this season would have been to make the finals.
Tick. Some people though are asking questions about City's form and how inconsistent they are. Out of the teams above them, they have beaten Victory, Adelaide and Sydney.
Yet have not beaten Wellington, Central Coast or Perth and have only beaten 10th placed Western Sydney once.
One talked about reason for this lack of consistency is the quality of marquee players. Robert Koren, a former EPL player is City's international marquee. He's 34. City's Australian marquee is Socceroos Josh Kennedy, who is 32 but injury prone.
David Villa also played 4 games as a guest marquee on his way to New York City.
All three have underperformed.
Villa scored 2 goals in 4 games, but wandered around the pitch waiting to get payed. Kennedy has struggled to acclimatise to the style of play in the A-League compared to the Japan-League, but is often offside and has missed numerous games to injury. City can't allow that from its marquee's.
Koren had one standout game against Newcastle where he scored a hat-trick, but apart from that, he has done very little.
One common 'excuse' for marquee's is the surprise in physicality and intensity of the A-League.
However, Koren has had plenty of time to adapt but his performances suggest he hasn't, which for a player of his experience is not acceptable. Has the only success story for an A-League marquee come from Del Piero?
Potentially, yes. He helped bring crowds to Sydney FC games, and scored goals while playing in an entertaining manner.
If City want to challenge for the title next year, they need to bring in younger, enthusiastic, skilful and entertaining players, like Harry Novillo.
He is probably too big for the A-League, considering his age and potential at Manchester City, but maybe someone like Marcos Lopes. He has the ability to entertain fans and win games.
If City can have him or someone similar, why not? They have the backing and the resources- they should bring in the best they can as marquee's are special.
They are there for skill, headlines, fan affection and ultimately want to win- just what Melbourne want.