The media vs Melbourne Victory
I'm on the bandwagon - If Jim Magilton can't save Melbourne Victory's over-hyped season in just 10 games, he's clearly the wrong man for the club.
I for one cannot comprehend how Melbourne Victory can contemplate hiring Jim Magilton on a permanent basis. It's not like 10 games trying to coach someone else's squad isn't long enough for him to save Victory's season - or to stop the entire Australian football media casting their judgement on a man they knew nothing about just a couple of months ago.
Let's face it, Magilton's had to get acclimatised to a new country, a new league, a new club and an entire squad of players he knew little about - and yet nothing-s changed! It makes you tear your hair out!
Let-s look at the facts: Melbourne Victory sacked an ultra-successful coach in Ernie Merrick and promoted his assistant to the top job in good time for the league-s biggest club to sign new players and have a full pre-season. Mehmet Durakovic was given the task of rebuilding a team that had achieved much but certainly needed updating.
It-s a great sign for Australian football when our clubs promote an Aussie coach and give him the opportunity to prove himself against all these highly paid European “professors”, and Durakovic took that chance with both hands.
He secured the biggest signing in Hyundai A-League history in Harry Kewell and assembled an attacking line-up that was set to blow the opposition away.
Yes, Durakovic either forgot or just didn-t understand that his priority was to build a midfield or strengthen his defence, and that mistake cost him his job and Victory their season, probably before it even started.
But any manager worth his salt should be able to join a club in chaos halfway through a season and turn them into title challengers.
I mean, the expectations of the Victory fan base and the assembled Australian football media must be met. We-re nothing like the voracious English tabloid press, or the rabid turnstile coaching appointments of continental clubs.
OK, so Magilton isn-t able to sign new players and has to work with whatever dysfunctional, underperforming and ageing squad he was left with, but that all the proof I need to make a snap judgement.
Some might argue that he-s trying to make the best with what he-s got and should actually be given a full season to implement a strategy and imprint his own coaching style on the team - but give me a break!
How much time does he need? Surely, 10 games with someone else-s squad is enough to prove that his stereotypical British football style is antiquated and throws the league back to a time when British coaches perpetuated their national obsession with long-ball tactics. Everyone knows that's how the British play football - just look at the Premier League!
I mean, OK, he holds a UEFA Pro Licence, unlike some current A-League coaches, and yes, he got his first education as a player at with Liverpool FC, one of the world's great clubs, but do we really want a coach with that sort of background in the A-League?
Australian football can learn so much more about technique and strategy from Europe. Rini Coolen, Franz Straka, Viteslav Lavicka - who can say they haven-t enjoyed watching the teams of these footballing entertainers? And look at the great legacy they have left for their clubs and the competition as a whole.
In fact, why not appoint an Australian coach? Adelaide United have certainly benefitted from re-hiring John Kosmina, Branko Culina has a great record of no real success at any A-league club he-s coached.
Or why not poach Ange Postecoglou or Graham Arnold? A third coach in one season is the sort of consistency a club like Melbourne Victory should be searching for.
Or perhaps Victory should think outside the box? Craig Foster is obviously just waiting for the right opportunity to put all his coaching expertise into practice.
No, Jim Magilton is the wrong man for Melbourne Victory. I don-t need to watch him build his own team or afford him the patience to have more than half a season with a team already wracked by doubt to know that.
Note: To be clear, the author wishes to express that his tongue is firmly in his cheek.
These are the views of the author and should not be construed as the views of FFA and the Hyundai A-League.