The A League has more foreign managers than Telstra.
More foreign bosses than a? (choose your own punch line)
SBS senior and junior football analyst unite as this season there will be more foreigners in charge of A League clubs than ever before and only one Australian born coach out of all the 11 teams competing in season six of the A League. Okay so Ricky Herbert is a Kiwi coaching the New Zealand based Wellington Phoenix but according to the Asian Football Confederation and the Football Federation Australia theNix are considered Australian. Confused? You should be. Australia is part of Asia and Wellington is part of Australia.
So this season more than any we will privy to a whole bunch of different excuses when your team loses. Nothing like bringing in experienced European excuses for Australian football fans to learn from.
And then best and funniest excuse maker of them all is Newcastle Jets boss Branko Culina. Who famously said during a press conference after losing to Sydney FC last year:
"I don't care what their coach says and the fact that he's on $500,000 and I'm on 50 bucks or whatever it is, but if that's what the foreigners are going to bring to this game, let's have more local coached,” Culina said.
But just last week it seemed that Culina has changed his tune on the foreign invasion. Culina was quoted as saying that he believed that coaches with experiences overseas are a valuable asset to the A-League:
'Like there's a need for quality overseas players, there's a need for quality overseas coaches as well," Culina said.
"If they're quality, at the end of the day, that's what we want for the game.”
Then came a well know German trick called the backhanded compliment. On one hand saying that foreigners can help make the league better and on the other hand he was saying that they could struggle:
"One thing I do know of foreign coaches is that they are used to working with different conditions and resources and if they're not provided with those resources maybe the impact may not be as great."
I agree with Uncle Branko as he was known while he coached Sydney FC. How will these the Experienced European excuse makers deal with football being the number four sport during the NRL/AFL and Union seasons? And what about being number three behind Cricket and Netball during the summer seasons?
Other problems the foreign legion will have to face are the majority of A League games being played on substandard pitches. Also they will also have to deal with smaller size squads, as there are no reserve squads just youth league. You can also argue that the best old players and young players are already playing in overseas leagues. Over 130 Australian born players ply their trades in leagues all across the world. Also the support staff is minimal compared to other professional clubs.
So to the new coaches:
Its Czech Mate said the very smart university educated editor of your favourite football website:
After Vitezlav Lavicka took Sydney FC to a historic double wining the Premiers Plate and The Championship North Queensland Fury got in Franz Straka showing that when it comes to Australia’s football progression it’s mostly about trends and copying others and hoping that it works twice.
Franz Straka coaching record according to the keeper of all the secrets Wikipedia
Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side said another University educated football writer:
Two new Dutch coaches join the ever growing Dutch Mafia: The first to come was the new Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip. How do you go from being an assistant coach of the Dutch national team and Ajax and then coach a club like Melbourne Heart? Who for their first ever match in the A League have a projected crowd figure of 5000 people for their opening game?
Also the name if John van 't Schip was born in Australia I’m sure he’s school mates would have Aussiefied his name real quick:
John can’t Shit, John can’t skip, and John’s van’s shit
According to the keeper of all the secrets Wikipedia from 1997 to 2009 John van 't Schip has this coaching record:
Ajax (Youth coach)
Ajax (Assistant coach)
Netherlands (Assistant coach)
Ajax (Assistant coach)
Ajax (Interim coach)
What about us Aussies?
Graham Arnold is the only Australian born coach in the A League. He will bring with him fresh ideas like these decisions he made during the failed Olyroos 2008 Beijing Olympic campaign:
A) Mat Simon being picked ahead of Nathan Burns, Brice Djite and Dario Vidosic.
B)Choosing Jade North as one of the over-aged players and playing with a back five with three central defenders after playing with a totally different formation in qualifying.
C)And my favourite from the Olympics campaign: using Nikolai Topor Stanley as a make shift striker.
With Nick Mrdja, Daniel Mcbreen and Mat Simon as your strikers expect the ball to move from the ground to the air very quickly. And what a waste of talent prepare for Argentine midfielder and Messi’s former BFF Patricio Perez to get neck pains.
So why go overseas for your coach? One theory is that Australian players don’t respond well to local coaches. Especially since Pim Verbeek said training in Europe is better that playing in the A League. Well fuck you Pim Verbeek ! New Zealand A League coach Ricky Herbert and A League players like Shane Smeltz and Leo Bertos showed the world that drawing against Italy is better than getting smashed 4-1 against Germany.
And the number one coaching tip for season six is?