Melbourne Derby: Can We All Please Calm Down and Leave Kevin Muscat Alone?

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IJanuary 24, 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22:  Kevin Muscat of the Victory leaves the field looking dejected following his red card during the round 24 A-League match between the Melbourne Victory and the Melbourne Heart at Etihad Stadium on January 22, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)
Graham Denholm/Getty Images

This just annoys me. And I do not say this in defense of the man, but I say this out of frustration and utter disgust.

All this talk about Kevin Muscat's harsh challenge on Adrian Zahra last weekend has gotten off the deep end. Everyone loves to demonize someone just for the sake of doing it.

It's akin to the authorities of Judea wanting to crucify Jesus of Nazareth for subverting the people to his teachings.

Muscat, the now-disgraced Melbourne Victory captain whose career is coming to a close, faces a similar condemnation, a modern-day crucifixion.

The FFA Disciplinary Committee is considering a lengthier ban for his actions on the young Melbourne Heart player.

And thus, I ask the question: Can we all just, for once, calm down and leave Muscat alone?

He will face his punishment, it's going to be a lengthy ban, end of story, done. No need to rub it in with all these doomsday accusations and similar trash that makes me, as a writer, laugh and gag.

Just like many who have seen this on YouTube, among other place, it was a simple challenge for the ball; it's not as if Muscat was trying to land a roundhouse kick at the back of Zahra's head.

He only got the man, and not the ball, and he paid the price with the red card.

And I have seen Melbourne Victory supporters also condemn this act. They must keep in mind that Muscat helped the Big V earn some silverware, something their rivals have yet to do.

Those in the Victory camp decrying this should not take Muscat's contributions to the club's success for granted.

As for Zahra, I think it is better for him to go through these knocks now, so that when he recovers, he will come back stronger than ever to help his club.

And I actually think these types of acts are good for the development of the first inter-city rivalry in the Hyundai A-League because it adds flavor to the derby between these two sides. It adds passion and energy, and a thirst for payback.

Melburnians—no, AUSTRALIANS need to be thankful for stuff like this because it adds fuel to these rivalries. You gotta give Musky credit for adding fuel to this rivalry because it needs it.

Who would want to see a derby that does not have anything controversial to add intensity and intrigue?

In conclusion, Kevin Muscat is one of the most aggressive tacklers Australia has ever produced. But it would be wise for everybody to leave this footballer alone for once.

After all, his career is coming to a close, and my guess is that we most likely will not see somebody that has contributed his share to the game of Australia—good and bad—ever again.

Be thankful that he added spice to the Melbourne Derby, put the positives from his career in perspective, and leave the man alone. You only make it difficult for yourselves if you don't.