Albury, New South Wales was an interesting choice from the FFA for Sunday’s match between Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory.
Head Coach Kenny Lowe, and his counterpart at Heart, John van’t Schip, were critical of the game’s governing body for organising the encounter in the country town in the scorching month of February.
No doubt it is a commendable goal to spread the footballing gospel to every corner of Australia, even if Fox Sports’ chosen narrative of Albury ‘crying out’ for the A-League somehow didn’t quite ring true.
Temperatures of over 40°C were never going to be conducive to a high-tempo, free-flowing game.
The wisdom of playing in such conditions certainly must be questioned. William Gallas raised the prospect – through heavy gasps for breath – of the heat being dangerous to players’ health in his post-match interview.
But he got it right when he said there could be no excuses for the way Glory played.
Melbourne Heart adapted better to the conditions and deserved their win.
The English Premier League winner made it plain: Glory don’t control the ball well enough. The Frenchman said that the team must do better.