The Band-Aid Boys
The short-term deals of John Kosmina and Jim Magilton show both Victory and Adelaide boards have lost confidence in their own decision-making.
With the appointment of John Kosmina and Jim Magilton at Adelaide Utd and Melbourne Victory respectively on short-term deals, both clubs appear to have lost confidence in their own decision-making at board level.
Taking Adelaide first, upon first inspection it is perhaps understandable that United have been shaken by the Rini Coolen debacle, which saw him depart at a time when he was barely into his much-lauded four-year deal.
Their knee-jerk reaction has been to hold back from another long-term appointment to avoid another costly mistake
But what do they expect to learn about John Kosmina that they don-t know already? The guy is a legend among the football fraternity in South Australia, and has already had a successful coaching career at the club in the recentpast.
What more can they find out? He-s either the right man for the job or he isn-t.
The tentative appointment of Jim Magilton at AAMI Park is even stranger.
Victory are expecting a short-term impact from a guy who knows nothing about the A-League or any of its players. Sure, he might put the fear of God into a few people as he shakes things up in the immediate future, but it-s not exactly a vote of confidence from the board to bring him in for just six months.
How can a club plan effectively for next season when they don-t know who will be coaching them? You can't tell potential signings who will be coaching them next season. And you can't sell the quality of coaching to attract any foreign players because you don-t know which coach you are selling to them.
The incumbent coaches on short-term deals will be scrapping for results and trying to do everything they can to earn contract extensions for themselves.
This inevitably results in tried-and-tested veterans being selected as the expense of younger players who might be on the fringes chomping at the bit.
How often have we seen young players thrown into the breach make an immediate impact? Matt Leckie and Mustafa Amini spring to mind as examples. But would these guys have been selected if their club coaches at the time were under the pump?
This phenomenon is not just about Adelaide and Melbourne. Look west to Perth to see another good example, where Ian Ferguson is fighting for his coaching career.
The average age of their squad is 26.5. Compare to this to their recent opposition in week 15, Melbourne Heart. Their progressive outlook saw their team with an average age of 22 for their outfield players against Perth Glory recently.
Clubs need to be sensible about their coaching appointments. That does not mean sitting on the fence and seeing how things pan out though. That sort of coasting through and crossing fingers can be equally damaging.
Don't underestimate the mental drain that constant media speculation regarding the coaching position can have on a playing squad.
Fans want to see decisive action taken by their clubs. Removing Coolen and Durakovic were moves welcomed by both sets of supporters. It-s just a shame that the neither had the courage of their convictions to take the next step and back their new appointments more decisively.
Band-Aids can stem the bleeding, but they can-t mend things that are broken.
The opinions in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FFA.