Melbourne Victory midfielder James Troisi says the VAR controversy surrounding the A-League Grand Final win over Newcastle Jets has gone in one ear and out the other.
In defeating the Jets 1-0 in the 2017/18 A-League Grand Final, Victory secured their fourth Championship and in the process became the most successful team in A-League history.
But the manner in which they achieved this feat will be forever mired in controversy after Kosta Barbarouses’ goal that won Victory the title was offside and not picked up by the VAR.
FFA admitted that a technical failure in the system meant that the VAR did not have access to the camera views which would have enabled the offside ruling for the 9th minute goal.
Nevertheless, Troisi believes that Melbourne deserved to win the title regardless of the technical issues and the players have ignored the fallout from the controversy.
“We haven’t really focused or cared about it to be honest,” he said speaking to FourFourTwo.
“Because we know what we’ve done and how focused we were to get through. It was a mistake, but in saying that, that’s football.
“When the VAR wasn’t there, it would’ve just been the same. The goal was eight minutes in.
“Even if it was disallowed it doesn’t mean the outcome or the result would have been any different. There was still 80 or so minutes to play.
“In terms of making a big deal of it, it’s in one ear out the other for us. We don’t really care.”
Troisi said the outcry by fans and media has been exacerbated by the fact that Victory is the team that people love to hate.
“When you’re in our seat, and it’s a funny kind of thing, people don’t like Victory,” he said.
“It’s a little bit like that tall poppy syndrome - everyone tries to knock us off the top.
“We beat Sydney, we beat Newcastle and I don’t think it went as planned. We’re extremely happy with what we’ve done and what we’ve achieved.”
In terms of goals and assists the 2017/18 season hasn’t been as fruitful as other campaigns but the 37 capped Socceroo puts this down to the change in style Victory employed this season.
“The way I like to play, in terms of possession, passing it around and linking up with other players, it was very hard to do at times this season," Troisi said.
“But in saying that, I think we all learnt a different style of football. Not that we didn’t know it, we just had to fight a lot more, graft a lot more, and work harder.
“That’s something else that you take out of this season as well. In terms of physically, I am probably in the best shape I’ve ever been.
“In terms of the quality of football we played this season, it wasn’t fantastic, but we still managed to grind away and win the League."