Time for for Brisbane to move on
Brisbane might not like me for saying this – but, in this country, to be giving older players three or four-year contracts is madness.
The way things have been going for Brisbane Roar lately, I think their upcoming AFC Asian Champions League campaign could be the turning point, as long as they qualify.
Mike Mulvey-s in a similar position to Frank Farina at Sydney FC. He-s inherited a team he had no control over and now he-s got to make important changes. Until he can start bringing in a few players that are his, for the way he wants to play, it-s too early to pass judgement or be too harsh.
There is a bit of work to be done domestically to try and turn things around, which isn-t going to happen overnight. But sometimes when you have that distraction, a change of scenery, it can spur you on and get you that confidence back.
Brisbane Roar aren-t a bad team; they-re still a team of champions but I think there are a few things recently that haven-t been handled in the best way.
Brisbane might not like me for saying this - but, in this country, to be giving older players three or four-year contracts is madness.
Last year they signed all those players on long-term contracts at the same time, and now Jade North. The A-League hasn-t been established long enough, it doesn-t have the culture, history or money to work this way.
I-m a strong believer in players having to continually earn their contracts. Keep them keen, keep them performing, and by doing that you-ll get a player that-s hungry. They may argue with this but I can guarantee you that Roar team hasn-t been working the way it was two years ago when it was winning titles.
And I don-t think you can blame the players. It-s not a conscious decision to switch off. But when you look at the way Brisbane have dealt with things after coming off the back of a lot of success in the past two years, I think they-ve been left standing still.
This progressive, forward-thinking club still might think they-re working in that manner but so far it-s been proven that tying the older players up to long-term contracts hasn-t been the right thing to do.
I have no problem with younger players signing these deals because there-s value for the club. But Brisbane do not have enough competition for places to hand out that kind of job security. They need new players to get results the pressure will be on Mike Mulvey.
Most importantly, Brisbane need a striker. Berisha-s been playing a lot of the games this season half-fit because they don-t have another striker to provide back-up.
Sure they brought in Julius Davies, who might have a great future, but they need things to happen now. Then there were the two Asian players - one gone home, one-s still here, but neither of them ever looked like playing. That was one huge error, which I don-t know was a club decision or Rado's.
I-m hoping they-ve got a longer term plan for Mike. Any coach needs a minimum of three years to have a plan and for the club to see if they-re getting close to that.
They-re giving players these long contracts but uncertainty-s still hanging over the coach. If I-m had a manager saying I-d love for you to come to my club, the first question I-d ask is, “Are you going to be the manager next season?”
I-m sure Mike will do a good job; I just hope he-s given the time he needs. I won-t touch on what a coach shouldn-t and shouldn-t do because I-m not a coach - but as a player I was always at my top level when I had pressure and competition because I knew that if I didn-t perform I knew I was out the door.
To be frank, I think, as a club, Brisbane have been ducking and diving a bit. Sometimes you get things wrong, you make a mistake - admit it, get on with it. They-ve got to move on and change things.
You see many teams struggling domestically and then go on great cup runs - look at Adelaide last season. Sometimes it-s just a distraction, the players don-t feel so much pressure and that can help at home and without thinking you get into a run of results and confidence comes back.
If they can qualify for the ACL, it will be a good distraction and I think there-s every chance they can make the finals. And Mike-s still got an opportunity to keep his players working and training and that-s only going stand them in good stead for next season.
But Brisbane need to make something happen in this transfer window. Because if they don-t qualify for the ACL, the pressure will only increase.