Postecoglou out to make Victory winners

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    There was remarkable symmetry in Ange Postecoglou sitting at AAMI Park, talking of resurrecting Melbourne Victory from decline.

    Eighteen months earlier, the Melbourne venue was where his Brisbane Roar were given the harsh reality check they needed to become an Australian sporting juggernaut.

    On September 12, 2010, at AAMI Park, Postecoglou’s Roar drew their footballing line in the sand after a 3-0 defeat by Melbourne Victory.

    Beyond it, they were to break records, make and win finals, dominate the A-League like no other team, and re-establish two-time NSL championship-winner Postecoglou as Australia’s most sought-after coach.

    That day Postecoglou’s Brisbane dominated the first half, failed to capitalise, and were torn apart by Ernie Merrick’s Victory in the second.

    For both clubs, it was a turning point.

    The Victory – the self-proclaimed biggest club in Australia – never really hit those heights again in an up-and-down season.

    They did reach the finals, then unravelled completely on and off the park.

    The Roar, coquettish and pretty in patches under Postecoglou’s command, were about to become the A-League’s glamazons.

    After that defeat, the Roar would not lose another game for their next 36.

    They would set a record unbeaten streak for any top-flight Australian football code, win back-to-back grand finals, and earn superlatives no other club team in Australian soccer has received.

    Yet as a second Roar grand final win loomed, Postecoglou was edging towards the exit door, and towards the Melbourne Victory job he took over on Thursday.

    The Postecoglou to Victory moves started in mid-March.

    The Victory flirted with signing Postecoglou the previous season once they’d sacked Merrick, but had given up hope of luring the ex-South Melbourne star back to his hometown.

    Their man was Northern Irishman Jim Magilton.

    Brought in on a short-term deal until the end of the season, former Southampton and Ipswich player Magilton managed only two wins in 12 matches, yet had the Victory’s command in his thrall.

    Magilton thought he was on a promise.

    He was making plans. He spoke as if he was going to be in charge next season.

    When questioned if he had the fulltime Victory job, Magilton seemed almost surprised it was being discussed. To him, there was clearly no doubt about it.

    In early March, club chairman Anthony Di Pietro, key Victory officials and Magilton appeared at a fans’ forum together, spoke of their plans for the future and were on the same page.

    Two weeks later things had changed.

    “We’d become aware that Ange was looking for a new challenge, and the possibility of that challenge being in Melbourne was an attraction to both parties,” Di Pietro said.

    “It was quite sensitive and difficult at the time. From our perspective it was leaving Ange alone to do what he needed to do at Brisbane.

    “We dealt with Ange’s management.

    “Once both parties agreed and when Ange was interested in the challenge, we took that up with Ange’s management.”

    First indications Magilton was on the outer at the Victory came in late March.

    Magilton met with a lawyer at the Brighton Hotel, in Melbourne’s bayside.

    A few days later, on April 1, a statement was released by the Victory saying Magilton was heading back to Britain after refusing to be part of a shortlist to interview for the job.

    By that night, wild media speculation had former Chelsea great Gianfranco Zola linked to the job.

    But all along, Postecoglou was being pursued. Effectively, it was a shortlist of one. The job was his if he wanted it.

    Two things were pivotal in making it all happen.

    One, the Victory had not committed to Magilton in writing. His short-term deal ran until the end of the season.

    A board which had got so many things wrong in its tenure had got this one spot-on. The goalposts had moved heavily in their favour.

    Secondly, Postecoglou had not signed a contract with the Roar the previous season.

    The three-year deal agreed was in principle only, and had been made with Football Federation Australia as they attempted to offload the club – eventually to Indonesia’s Bakrie Group.

    “At the end of last year the club changed ownership and the FFA took over and I came to an agreement in principle to extend my time at the Brisbane Roar for another three years,” Postecoglou said.

    “But I didn’t sign a contract at the time, mainly because the club didn’t have owners at the time and I wanted to be sure that the new owners fitted in with my philosophy.

    “When the Bakrie Group came in we had discussions with them about formalising the arrangement and that was progressing quite well. But ultimately I decided towards the end of the year, the time for a new challenge had come.”

    With Magilton there was always a question mark whether he could rebuild the Victory.

    With Postecoglou, he’s proved he has the answers. To the questions, to the critics, to how to fix the Victory.

    He says he doesn’t want a carbon copy of the Roar. He wants the Victory to be the next big thing.

    “I want to create something new, exciting, something hopefully better.

    “You don’t want to be doing what’s trendy now, you want to pick the next one. You want to be playing the kind of football that’s successful next year and beyond.

    “That’s my challenge as a coach.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (49)

    • April 28th 2012 @ 8:11am
      JoeyjojoShabalooYeahhhBoyyyy said | April 28th 2012 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      Glad Magilton is gone.

    • April 28th 2012 @ 8:32am
      pete4 said | April 28th 2012 @ 8:32am | ! Report

      Postecoglou will bring MV structure and new purpose to the club. Will definately be interesting to see what he can do with their current squad…

      • Roar Guru

        April 28th 2012 @ 11:23am
        Philip Coates said | April 28th 2012 @ 11:23am | ! Report

        What will be more interesting is the new players he signs. Victory have at least 5 open spots – gone are Milligan, Lazardo, Vargas, Pondeljak, Solazano. He might have 6 or 7 spots depending what happens with Kewel and Carlos and even more if players like Brebner, Kemp, Celeski, Allsopp are encouraged to move on.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 9:28am
          phutbol said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          Brebner and Carlos were mentioned last night in Ange’s TWG interview as being uncontracted. Allsopp and Archie specifically mentioned as being contracted and not going anywhere. If Kemp is out of contract I’d be surprised if he is retained.

          Kewell is wanted by Ange subject to ‘commercial’ arrangements between H and MV.

          so looks like up to 8 new faces potentially.

          Hopefully 9 if they get rid of Muscat as well 🙂

    • April 28th 2012 @ 10:01am
      jbinnie said | April 28th 2012 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      Guy – In your attempted comparison of the two situations that Ange finds himself 18 months apart you have omitted to mention one very important factor, that being the management structures at both clubs when Ange started his road to fame & fortune.
      Two years ago the Roar management structure was a desert, the club was next to broke,the identity who had started the club & ran it as a “one man show” ,had disappeared out of the football scene, leaving a group who had to start to try & unravel the remains of the organisation. The FFA were watching closely & were soon forced to step in with advice & finance. The coach at the time had to leave for reasons that occurred outside the game. In other words the club was total shambles.
      Enter Ange,a youngish coach who had been out of a job for a while & coming to this rudderless ship must have been a dream come true for any man with ideas & aspirations. He had obviously not wasted his time in his forced absence & very soon he began to make his mark both on and off the field,but can you start to imagine his joy at the fact that there was no one to stand in the way of his ,what many described, revolutionary ideas. The things he introduced were straight out of the “what’s happening at the high levels of the game” curriculum & of course the results attained speak for themselves.
      In the meantime the club had been procured by a new business group & like successful business men they would start to set up their own upper management structure, the first crack in the “heaven sent” arrangement enjoyed by Ange.
      Now back to Victory.Ange has moved from one extreme to the other & the coming months are going to be very interesting as he attempts to work his magic in what one would have to assume is a tightly controlled management structure, given the size and potential of the HAL’s largest,in all facets of business, franchise. So,no “desert’ in which to operate, but a number of high profile ego’s that will constantly have to be “massaged” into allowing him freedom to operate.One little statement made by the chairman rang a bell with me & that was when he said words to the effect that “AP would be charged with improving the playing side of the club”. What happens if it is not only the playing side that needs to be improved???. The future will tell us of course,& for the sake of the HAL, I do hope Ange is successful. jb

      • April 30th 2012 @ 10:57am
        JimmyMac said | April 30th 2012 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        … and herein lies the filling of the enormous gap in what’s being discussed in the media. nice work, jb.

    • April 28th 2012 @ 10:33am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 28th 2012 @ 10:33am | ! Report

      Intriguing article Guy—asking a lot of questions what the squad will be like next season… Ange’s preference has always been working with young mobile talent.. It seems to me he is being asked to stay with the big names and make them perform like young mobile talents.. Well if anyone can do it, it will be Ange.. His man management skills will have to be spot on this year, if he is going to get the best out of the incumbent squad.. One thing that wont change in his approach—getting a keeper who is comfortable on the ball and who can play out from the back with both feet. Whether Covic is his man or not who can do this remains to be seen..

      • Roar Rookie

        April 30th 2012 @ 12:51pm
        ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

        Harry Kewell may not fit into Ange’s playing style and will need to do a lot more legwork, but Harry fits in with the marketing plan so I don’t think even Ange will be able to drop Harry if he is not playing well in the style of things.
        This would have been explained to Ange I’m sure.

        But will be interesting to see iif the MV board buys someone like Romario, Ronaldo or Balotelli and Ange is told he has to play them no matter what.

        This is a bigger club in a commercial sense and he will have to tow the line.

        I’m sure if Harry stays, he will have lots to say about how the team should play and where he should play, so will be interesting alright if he decides to stay and how Ange handles him.

        The FFA will be asking Harry if he wants to go back to West Sydney and that might suit him better if the money is right.

        None the less, I think Ange’s move to Melbourne is great for Victory and will attract a lot of the old Melbourne/South Melbourne support to boost the numbers if they start to play some more attractive football and get some more success.

    • April 28th 2012 @ 1:09pm
      stu said | April 28th 2012 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

      just returned from overseas and sadly missed the GF along with the AP departure from BR. Catching up on the comments made ny impression is that AP may not want to live up to the bigger picture he has painted for a successful team and club. my reaction seems more to AP happy with taking over a club with out pressure on him, gain success at a-league level and before the pressure really mounts, seek out another down and out club to start the cycle again. If AP was true to his stated beliefs he would carry through to the next level and build towards ACL success. happy to be corrected in this and understand some family pressures may apply but can’t really understand why the outcome has not met the expectations.

    • April 28th 2012 @ 1:11pm
      striker said | April 28th 2012 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

      what i love about Ange is that he wanted to go to Mthe elbourne Victory because he knows that a strong Melbourne Victory is good for the A-League in terms of crowds and TV ratings, he has done so much to lift the credibility of this league.

      • April 28th 2012 @ 2:07pm
        JoeyJoJoShabalooYeahhhBaby said | April 28th 2012 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

        Or maybe Ange took the job so he could keep his family in Melbourne and earn a big fat pay cheque.

        • Roar Guru

          April 28th 2012 @ 4:00pm
          Fussball ist unser leben said | April 28th 2012 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

          Ange did not return to Melbourne for the money.

          It has been widely reported that the Bakrie Group (owners of Brisbane Roar) offered Ange a $6 million for a four-year deal to head, not only head Brisbane Roar’s coaching operations but, the Bakrie Group’s entire football department.

          MVFC is reported to be paying Ange $1.5m for a 3-year deal as Head Coach.

          • Roar Rookie

            April 30th 2012 @ 12:55pm
            ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

            I’m pretty sure Sydney FC offered Ange more money as well and he decided to go back to Melbourne.
            There you go – that’s a glowing endorsement of MV, he sees them as a bigger challenge!

            Graham Arnold has been offered a 50% pay rise to move back to Sydney and he is expected to announce his decision this weeek.

            • June 11th 2012 @ 10:53pm
              james said | June 11th 2012 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

              yea and he rejected them. haha.

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