Sunday, May 12, 2013

David Moyes has some win/loss ground to make up - importance of the coach, the $ and the club

The mid-performance managers have some of the most interesting stats, a high % of draws has pulled them up the win+draw ladder: see fan favourites Allardyce and Redknapp. However, Laudrup is the draw achiever.

Current Managers Win Rate % Loss rate % Win+Draw Draws
Michael Laudrup 31% 33% 67% 36%
Mauricio Pochettino 29% 36% 64% 36%
Chris Hughton 24% 42% 58% 34%
Brendan Rodgers 35% 32% 68% 32%
Nigel Adkins 21% 46% 54% 32%
Tony Pulis 30% 40% 60% 30%
David Moyes 40% 31% 69% 29%
Sam Allardyce 35% 37% 63% 28%
Paul Lambert 30% 42% 58% 28%
Roberto Martinez 25% 47% 53% 28%
Martin Jol 38% 35% 65% 27%
Harry Redknapp 38% 36% 64% 26%
Arsene Wenger 58% 17% 83% 25%
Andre Villas-Boas 52% 24% 76% 24%
Alan Pardew 35% 41% 59% 24%
Rafael Benitez 55% 21% 79% 24%
Alex Ferguson 65% 14% 86% 21%
Roberto Mancini 62% 18% 82% 20%
Paolo Di Canio 40% 40% 60% 20%
Steve Clarke 38% 46% 54% 16%

Monday, April 01, 2013

A-League Season Review


The first half of the season carried the Reds through to the finals. However, the key was the exit, for the second time, of the brilliant John Kosmina. Kosmina represents the inheritance of 'Adelaide past' and without him there is a question mark.

There are also some questions over owners, commitment and past owners that fans need resolved.

In the past all the way back to the NSL, attracting quality players has not been an issue. The squad for next season will tell us a lot. Of course Roar fans want Dario back but maybe he will return to Europe after an OK season here. Rocky Visconti should have returned to the Adelaide fold, but he like Roar's Fitzgerald sought glory over game time to be a string player at an already quality team. Don't get me wrong, Fitzgerald at CCM and Rocky and Bullwinkle at WSW will cement these teams' depth.


Mike Mulvey, like Ange before him, cheesed fans off with his appointment. However, you would have to say it was a good move. The second half of the season, let's say when 'Eric the Bored' left, was good and enetertaining. Giving Thomas B the captaincy was inspired and brought him back to life.

The other key moments were pushing Ivan Franjic up the field so he could play-make and bring much needed shooting from distance and the promotion of one of the Roar's best ever local finds - James Donachie. James has more than made up for the seasons of disappointment from Wollongonger Jurman. Donschie, with another local Jade North, was the critical addition to the Roar defence.

The Roar have never been able to capitalise on their advantages as a club. As the only team in Queensland they now have the biggest potential fan base of any club. And at their best, two seasons ago, they were many non-Queensland fans second team.

This spoilt position remands untapped.

Central Coast Mariners

Graham Arnold - from coaching Robbie Slater's Australian return at North Sydney's Northern Spirit, to the Socceroos to CCM - has proved a living treasure. At each of these opportunities, financials and owners have held him back. He is brilliant and can spot talent. One day he will get recognition. Young players, as with Ange, will go there so they can be sold to bigger markets, often mid season. Just don't whinge.

Melbourne Heart

The problems at the Heart started with the guidance they got at start up. Their marketing consultants miss-read the A-League opportunity. A-League Clubs are not (bar WSW) commercial opportunities. I hope they can sought out their sustainability. Heart have paid the price of rejecting Ange even when he begged to be a mere assistant coach. And now every club plays the style of soccer Heart dreamed of. Where to next? Few will go there as a promotion, so they need to develop their own from the massive Victorian playing pool. And to-date they have not been able to make use of the Dave Williams' genius and opportunity.

Melbourne Victory

Ange showed Sydney how to make best use of a huge number of players to choose from. Other coaches deal with Ange's genius by hurting his players - kicking their ankles and tripping them.  Next year, he will have so many to choose from that this will not be a problem.


Newcastle were pushed downwards by the rise of WSW, Victory and the late run of Sydney. Next season, ownership may have to be addressed again.


Bring in a club stallwald who believes in playing out from the back, not just does it because he thinks he should, and look what happens. And having Jacob Burns out didn't hurt.


Great to see Frank Farina back coaching in the A-League. Frank will have the league's biggest budget to weld next season, interesting to see what he comes up with. Like Brisbane and WSW, Sydney FC need a 30,000 seater to make the game look more attractive.

Western Sydney Wonderers

The birthplace of Australian soccer. Our cultural home. Setup and owned by FFA to protect against the ravishes of the landlocked AFL and moribund NRL. Just in the nick of time. A few seasons later and the Giants could have held sway.

Very astute to drop the idea of a team representing the west but playing at the SFS white elephant that has crippled Sydney FC.

Once the gimme deals on foreign players and other treats are gone, the FFA should be able to find a buyer to make WSW the A-League's first truly commercial club.


No soccer team needs owners who think they know more about the game than their coach.

Friday, April 06, 2012

5pm Sunday: 2nd Leg CCM v Brisbane

Rebel. Don't sit in the away bay.

CCM are struggling to find a buyer. They have been selling players to make the payroll. And if they don't find a billionaire soon, Graham Arnold will sign for Sydney FC. Hmm. Not a great reason to get a coach for fans.

And if only Sydney and Melbourne can afford coaches, do we have a competition?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A tale of 3 qualities

Group 1 - it isn't the players
Sydney, Victory, and Adelaide have not kept up with this year's step up in the A-League arms race. Sorry Robbie, Craig Foster got to it right. It isn't the Victory players - they have by far the best squad on paper. Sydney and Melbourne's coaches and tactics have not been good enough.

Adelaide and John Kosmina have shown it is not the platers. In Asia, they have shown what you can do in a very short time with the squad you have and that should be enough for Victory that was once the most sustainable club in the A-League.  It would be very interesting to see Adelaide v Tokyo.

But Victory and Sydney should not be stealing Ange or Graham, they need to find their own answer. Preferably Australian, but I suspect that Harry Kewell was on an effective track with an Argentinian. That flare would suit Melbourne.

Group 2 - now it is the players
At the other end of the table, Brisbane has by far the best attack in the league, 46 goals, and CCM the best defence, only 23 conceded. As pointed out by a commentator this week, Brisbane need Zwaanwijk, while CCM need Berisha. And Brisbane's game v Tokyo demonstrated clearly the salary cap caused golf in athleticism between the teams, Japan's players selected from across a sporting population were faster and stronger in playing the same style of game. To reach the peak, the A-League will need to be the sport of choice for Australia's best potential athletes. That is another revolution and a media vested interest away. Not that soccer doesn't have its own massive own goals - FIFA, lack of technology, media own goals, former player own goals...

This year Perth and Wellington have demonstrated the value of the salary cap. The tyranny of distance, an advantage when Perth outspent NSL teams for better squads and coaches, has been broken. The evening out factor of the cap, has brought the pressure of half the games involving massive travel to bear. But this year, improved playing styles and 'home fortresses' worked magic. It will be interesting to see Perth's owner follows through will a massive cut in the wages bill next year. If he does, I expect Perth to return to the also run category.

Group 3 - it is the club structure and direction
In the middle are Heart and Newcastle. Playing the style of CCM and Brisbane but club conflict taking their eyes off the ball. It will be interesting to see what happens in Newcastle next season. They have something, but... And Heart, clearly their coach wanted out at the start of the year, a new club whose marketing strategy was based on fantasy and didn't draw on the experiences of the A-League. Their next coach and, probably, a new partner could determine if they go on with it next year. Can they get both?

Gold Coast are in this group. But they are playing their last match today. They have trained up some great players for other teams next year.

1Central Coast Mariners FC25136637231445
2Brisbane Roar FC25127646262043
3Perth Glory FC2613494032843
4Wellington Phoenix FC2512493327640
5Melbourne Heart FC269983332136
6Newcastle Jets FC25105103536-135
7Sydney FC259793238-634
8Melbourne Victory FC26511103243-1126
9Adelaide United FC26510112643-1725
10Gold Coast United FC2539132640-1418

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Final derby for Gold Coast v Roar - 5:30pm Sunday 25 March

A match up that could have been so much more if Gold Coast hadn't boycotted the first derby and Gold Coast hadn't been so good - but not good enough in its first year. Gold Coast's 5-1 win 2 years ago probably finished the interest in the game. the sad reframe of 'at least we haven't lost to the Pheonix, at least we haven't lost 6-0' was redundant within days.

Regrettably, the bitterness of the Gold Coast campaign from its former coach downwards, has all been pyrrhic.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gold Coast 3 smash Perth 0

Come on Roar. The big train trip next Sunday.

Max Points at: CCM Brisbane Wellington Perth
18-Mar-12 48 46 40 40
25-Mar-12 51 49 43 43

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Newcastle 1 v Brisbane 2, CCM 1 v Adelaide 0

Brisbane could pay a heavy price for poor finishing against Adelaide. CCM now favoured to win.

Brisbane - gee - doing it the hard way.

Should have beaten a hapless Newcastle defence 6 or 7 -1 including Henrique missing a penalty. Mitch showed him how to do it a bit later. Brisbane fielded a weakened defence - why hasn't Hingert started before now?

Unfortunately, Brisbane had to survive a few Jurman howlers - including not jumping for the Newcastle's set piece goal. That was where Faran stole the show by calling on his coach to drag Berisha (as if that was going to happen).

Faran's disappointing season continued, losing his nerve in a 1 on 1. At least Henrique had his roll from one post to the other (did it cross the line?). Berisha showed us how to do right foot behind the left foot kick - and miss wildly. Mitch also missed 2 one-on-one's but his were harder.

Mitch man of match by a nose from Theo who did a brilliant double save.

Given Brisbane's massive goal difference, Perth now cannot win. CCM must still win to make sure next week as Brisbane play last on the Sunday v Gold Coast.

Wow here we are Gold Coast's last ever game. Train ride anyone?

Max Points at: CCM Brisbane Wellington Perth
11-Mar-12 40
18-Mar-12 48 46 40 43
25-Mar-12 51 49 43 46