Monday, February 22, 2010
Mr. Ten Per Cent Right - yet another update
The coach of the year award is little more than a professional popularity contest in any case. I personally would have given it to Vitezslav Lavicka, but the brief history of the A-League has shown how hard it is to carry on from a succesful season, especially when one loses a key player. Given Danny Allsopp's departure for the Gulf cash and Melbourne's lengthy injury list this term, Ernie Merrick's achievement in guiding Melbourne into the top two is worthy of respect.
But not for Foster. Apparently Lavicka "built a team around John Aloisi", which is something of a surprise for thousands of Sydney FC fans who were under the impression that the Brosque-Bridge partnership up front solidified into Lavicka's automatic first choice. And if he had possessed a "19-goal-a-season striker", he would apparently have won the league by 20 points. The mind boggles. Are the other coaches allowed their if onlys as well?
Branko Culina was apparently incapable of "interpreting" Lavicka's football when Sydney posted a lucky home win over the Jets early in the season. To an impartial observer it might have appeared that Sydney were poor that afternoon and Newcastle deserved a point, but clearly Stephan Keller's long balls were philosophically far superior to Iain Fyfe's.
But enough of that. Wherein lieth the 10% this time?
Well, it is certainly true that there is a dearth of ideas in the A-League; even the competition's most ardent defenders would find it hard to argue otherwise after three seasons of underwhelming football. But, as always, it is a mistake to equate "A-League coaches" with "Australian coaches".
Let us look at the coaching recruitment in the league this season. First coach down was Frank Farina, to be replaced by a Fox crony and former member of the national team setup. At the end of the season, Lawrie McKinna endured his long-anticipated kick upstairs. Into the hot seat came...a Fox crony and former member of the national team setup.
And what of the two new franchises? A former A-League coach, and an assistant at an A-League club (that in itself was a bit of an innovation).
In the dugout, the A-League is simply a closed shop, and it is partly this which has made it such a dreary spectacle in recent years, I feel. Such a mates' club (and coaching merry-go-round) is not unique in world football, of course, but the phenomenon of promotion and relegation at least ensures some new blood gets a look-in occasionally. In the A-League, it just doesn't happen.
If Foster and others hazarded a look below Australian football's top tier, they may just find coaches with progressive ideas, coherent philosophies, and the ability to read a game and make necessary changes in real time.
Yes, but will they have a passport issued somewhere other than the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand and therefore meet Foster's exacting standards ?
Yeah its there for all to see in the VPL. Get real. This place has remained a football backwater for the 30 years I've been following, with negligible improvement, primarily as a result of the Anglo coaching dinosaurs that have infected and simply won't die at all levels of the game. Thank god we're finally ridding ourselves of this Anglo scourge, the sooner we get good continental Euro coaches the better.
With this and your nonsense about Corica I am having severe doubts about your understanding of football
Haha. Learn to read and comprehend before blogging: Fozzies article said that Lavicka built a team around Corica. YOU LOSE!!!
...And all the while, Lavicka nursed an ageing Steve Corica through the year, got the best from John Aloisi by forming a team around him...
Especially if you're going to be critical, name yourselves or shutup you gutless shits.
Right back at you. You don't agree with Mike, but it doesn't mean you have to keep on being so arrogant and antagonistic about it. Show some respect and you might get some back.
What is it with the contemptuous attitude among the anti-Anglo coaching/Fozzie supporter brigade?
I said it before season 1 and I will say it again, "marquee" coaches are more important than marquee players at this stage of the leagues development.
I also believe that "marquee" coaches can also raise the types of players brought into the country more than any local coach (though the ultimate aim should be highly skilled local coaches).
Having Merrick win that award is a slap in the face. Or was it an award for the most whiny coach?
Wil: As I said, the coach gong is essentially a popularity contest and getting your knickers in a twist about it as Foster does is, well, unnecessary. But Merrick did a pretty decent job this season.
I'm full of admiration for Lavicka, he's the best coach we've had by a long shot, but quality Euro coaches aren't exactly a dime a dozen. Vitja happened to have prior dealings with the new SFC co-owner, hence the facilitation of that deal, but that sort of opportunity mightn't come along all that often.
Will be interesting to see how van't Schip goes with the new franchise next season - he's got some good players in the squad already, and a very able deputy in Milicic.
Grrr...they had 20 good minutes at the end of a game we dominated. We all know if the situation is reversed the headline reads "Sydney not good enough for brilliant Newcastle"
Anyway apart from that small gripe, good article. I've just given up on Fozzie. I used to think he was a good analyst that struggled to get his point across properly, but...
It's a pity, but Foster seems to have lost all credibility with people who really know their football.... no matter which side of the technical 'n' tactical debate they fall in. The reason Foster gets up so many noses is that he is clearly capable of so much more, but it seems he's chosen to become a didact who is incapable of arguing in any shade of grey.
Without wanting to cast aspersions on all his followers, it seems a good portion of Fossie acolytes are extremely naive...
And it will never come along if you don't try and just settle for Graham Arnold et al.
And it will never come along if you don't try and just settle for Graham Arnold et al....
Or you could look locally, but go beyond the usual run of Fox analysts/NT failures or past A-League coaches.
That was rather my point in this piece.
How many of our coaches are doing that?
[Its not rhetorical, it is an actual question.]
Sorry for rambling, I'm tired.
Hilly: Yeah, fair question of course. For a few of them it's a lifestyle choice to be more or less part-time (AFAIK this is the reason why Phil Moss hasn't left the Manly gig yet despite a few A-League offers), but there are some more ambitious coaches out there.
I hear you. Coaching is not the only issue.
For me the old boys club goes well beyond coaching to the plumb FFA jobs.
Our sport is up against a professional sporting organisation that rivals US gridiron and baseball - ion the AFL. Sometimes the FFA tries hard but they are out of their depth. And there have been own goals - the women's team's fighting the Chinese team forcing the A-League season launch out of the headlines.
There is a lot riding on winning the rights to the world cup - well everything. Without that and the socceroos qualifying every 4 years - and earning $10m each time - the FFA will simply run out money to keep proping up the A-League.
The chaos at Gold Coast and the Roar have their roots in the FFA's processes - a side that could be expected to attract 15,000 to 35,000 has been decimated for a team that attracts 4,000 to a semi final.
The coaches can't carry the can for all the league's woes.
Anyone else picked up on that, or am I out of line here?