Tony Sage has this week shown that he lives up to his name by ignoring some of the absolute rubbish that has been bandied about Perth following the Perth Glory’s unlucky loss to the Brisbane Roar on Sunday. One writer barely out of short pants, and with a limited knowledge of football judging by his article, even had the gall to question Mr Sage’s business acumen.
Many questioned Tony Sage’s motives when he bought into Perth Glory, but since he took over the sole ownership of the club his motives cannot be questioned and as with a business the club has been on an upward curve. That is if you look at the big picture rather than on a week to week basis.
How many successful businesses make their long term decisions on a weekly basis? That is what makes some of the bleating of the past twenty four hours so pathetic, and reflect a total lack of understanding. All it has done is show that there are some, I was going to say supporters, but that would be a misuse of the word, so let us say some people, out there who simply do not like Dave Mitchell as coach. That is fine, but do not hide behind wanting his sacking claiming its good business. Be honest just say you don’t like him. You may not like a player, a coach the guy who sits next you, that is fine you are entitled to feel that way. But does he deserve the abuse that he has had to endure?
Before you answer, you may want to look at the facts, which Tony Sage has wisely done.
Dave Mitchell took over the reins from Ron Smith in November 2007 and the club was bottom of the league five points adrift of Wellington Phoenix. He was granted a contract until the end of the season. By that time he managed to overhaul Wellington to finish second bottom on goal difference. That earned him another year at the club.
2008/09 saw a rebuilding process, which showed signs of encouragement, however things were far from right, and the Glory finished in the same position, while Wellington were one place above them. Had Amaral stayed fit in this season who knows things could have been different, but they weren’t.
2009/10 Dave Mitchell finally has more control over his squad and is still working on a year by year contract, which no other coach in the A league has had to do, all having been given the security of two years or more. In this season the vibe at the club starts to change and so do results on the park. Perth Glory make the finals for the first time in their A League history. They finish 5th, while Wellington Phoenix finish 4th one point ahead of them.
No doubt by now you are wondering why I keep mentioning the Wellington Phoenix. The reason is a fairly straightforward one. As when Dave Mitchell took over Perth Glory was five points behind them, so it is a good benchmark to see where the club has come since then and compare the two. Ricky Herbert took over the reins at the Phoenix at the start of 2007 and so was well into the job by round eleven.
If we look at the league table as it stands today both teams have played 9, won 3, drawn 2, and lost 4, both teams are on 11 points, just 4 points off second place.
If we look at the two managers’ records since Round 12 of the 2007/08 season when Mitchell took charge at the Glory they read as follows:
Ricky Herbert Played 67 Won 22 Drawn 20 Lost 25. Points accumulated: 86.
Dave Mitchell Played 67 Won 24 Drawn 14 Lost 29. Points accumulated: 86.
Interesting reading don’t you agree? Why is it therefore that Ricky Herbert is lauded and Dave Mitchell is lambasted? It all seems a little unfair when you look at the statistics.
Tony Sage has no doubt done his home work and looked at the overall picture and not knee jerked and for that he deserves to be commended.
Lady luck has not shone on the Glory in the last two games, they played the top two teams and lost, but this season is thirty rounds, and we are not even a third of the way through. It is a tight league and you will not win every game, player’s performances will dip, and Glory have had a few performing below par, but no doubt the coach has seen that too and he will make the changes.
Wearing a Glory shirt or scarf used to mean that you supported the club, it’s time that it meant that again.Too many people are constantly criticizing each and every aspect of Perth Glory. Sure the club has not yet returned to the heights of old, but these are different times where all the clubs have money, and it’s a better league than the NSL. Tony Sage knows what he is doing, and it’s time that the people of Perth supported him, the coach, the players and the club.
The A League season is not a sprint, it is a long distance race, and all that matters is where you are at the end, and rest assured Perth Glory will be in the finals.