Jim Magilton's gamble
Jim Magilton is a very nice guy, but I can’t agree with the way he has expressed himself over the last week.
Jim Magilton is a very nice guy, but I can-t agree with the way he has expressed himself at the Victory over the last week.
Before I write why, let me make it clear I met with Jim when Gold Coast played Melbourne Victory in Tasmania, at a function and am not after his job. On the contrary I wish him all the best when it comes to turning results around at the club.
But when it comes to talking about a clean-out and putting the broom through the playing roster, putting the blame on the players, with two games to play, it leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
I don-t think it-s fair on the players to generalise and then expect them all to play and put 100 per cent in for the two upcoming matches.
If they didn-t give 100 per cent because of that, whether that reaction would be through fear or anger, it wouldn-t be fair on the competition as a whole, especially when it comes to the home game and the performance the fans would get to see.
In terms of my approach to situations like the one Magilton finds himself in, I prefer to lead from the front and take responsibility myself rather than putting it on the players, because it always takes two to tango and I wouldn-t be calling for a clean-out.
Of course I could be wrong; Victory might win the next home game 6-0 and then and his tactic would have worked.
If, as some are speculating, Magilton was unhappy with the squad he has found himself with, then that-s really no excuse for Melbourne-s performance
He took the job and he knew what he was going to get (I believe he would have watched some video before he took the job) and what he got was some quality players. There is nothing wrong with Harry Kewell, Archie Thompson and Ante Covic, so I can-t believe he would be unhappy with what he got as a playing list.
The other issue I have is the claim that there might be something wrong with the culture at the club and in the A-League.
Melbourne Victory are one of the flag-bearers of Australian football, they have always had everything - facilities, support and money. There has never been a problem there, especially when a former school teacher in Ernie Merrick was coach, and not many A-League clubs have had problems with discipline.
So for Magilton to come from The Championship and the Irish leagues where there is a different culture, where the players like to have a drink together to bond and say the culture here needs to change I think is wrong. I believe the culture in the A-League is good where it is at.
Now to switch tack, I think the finals race just became a lot more interesting and I am beginning to see Perth Glory as the dark horse.
Not because Perth are a great side - at their best both the Mariners and Brisbane Roar are better sides than them, but from what we saw after round one of the ACL, both sides appear to be struggling to compete in both competitions.
For the Mariners it was always going to be tough - having to play in 20 degrees, then -20, then 40 degrees would be tough on anyone.
That they had to is no one-s fault either, that-s just a case of coping with the competition. However, the outburst from Graham Arnold over this one showed also that he is a bit nervous about what the next few weeks hold.
I think the Mariners are better positioned than the Roar though because a lot of these players have been in this competition before and they went away to China then to Perth, which is not an easy trip.
As for the Roar though I don-t think things look that bright. They played at home and still struggled to beat Adelaide, who unlike Perth are not the form team of the competition and also received a football lesson at home from Tokyo.
The combined schedule of the Roar and Mariners certainly will give Perth and Wellington, for that matter their chances and whoever finishes third on the ladder out of those two should have a huge advantage come the finals and could have a big chance at winning the grand final.