Amazing to hear on one Perth radio station that listeners were texting the station to say that Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell should be sacked.
How quickly people forget that the club was sitting rock bottom when he took over and he now has them sitting in the top four. Perth Glory needs stability; you cannot keep changing the coaches and hope that it will bring success.
The two most consistent clubs in the Hyundai A League are Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners, the only two clubs to still have the same coaches from season one, is that a coincidence?
There are certain people who feel that Perth Glory should have a Western Australian coach, sadly I fear that day is still a long way off. Firstly because there is still way too much politics in the game in Western Australia and a Western Australian coach is likely to factionalise the game, something an outsider will not do. However there are a few candidates locally who are above this and would make very good coaches. Which leads me into the second reason why a Western Australian coach is not the answer, and that is experience. Do we have any one with adequate coaching experience to deal with agents, have contacts overseas, and deal with the media? These are all now very much part of a coach’s job description, and again if you analyse Dave Mitchell’s performance he has done well on all fronts.
He has brought in good players from overseas and Socceroos, he has also admitted when the team have been lucky in recent weeks and criticised last week’s performance. Teams that win championships do so by picking up points when they play badly, no team can ever play superbly every week, sometimes you have to scrap for points, finally the Perth Glory are doing this.
Take a glance across the Nullabor, Sydney FC, currently sitting top of the league, not playing particularly well, but getting results. Sydney will be in the mix come season’s end. Once again they have gone for an outsider as a coach; remember season one when they won the league Pierre Littbarski? Vitezslav Lavicka has no history, no agendas, and he can do the job based on his beliefs and feelings. It is not an easy job when behind the scenes there are people within the club, manoeuvring to take over your job, but so far he is doing well. This was one of the contributing factors to Terry Butcher’s demise and John Kosmina after him. They too have factions wanting a local man in the role, but sometimes it is better to avoid that option.
Sadly many Australian A League clubs have vipers in the nest, trying to poison the coach and manipulate their ‘man’ into the top jobs. As owners with little football knowledge in some cases they need to be very careful, if their clubs and the A league are to survive as these people will ultimately destroy clubs, just as one bad apple can destroy the fruit bowl.
Despite the precarious nature of the job, being a coach in Australia has to be better than being one in England. In the late 1990’s the 72 Nationwide League clubs fired 135 managers in three seasons. Of those sacked only 50% found another job in football Management!