Over the past few weeks there have been some good-natured jibes launched in my direction from north of the border.
Ange Postecoglou must have felt a wave of relief when Besart Berisha converted the Grand Final winning penalty against Perth Glory on Sunday night.
As Suncorp Stadium erupted and, having already made his decision to leave the club at which he transformed his reputation as a coach, Postecoglou was grateful to have capped his time in Queensland with such success.
Remarkably, there was a moment towards the end of the 2009/10 season where the Roar’s revolution almost never happened.
As the club floundered under Postecoglou following Frank Farina’s acrimonious departure, the board’s conviction in their decision began to waiver.
In the end they stayed the course, but it serves as a good reminder to Melbourne Victory who’ll announce Postecoglou as their new coach later today what it takes to achieve success: not just making the right decision, but also then having the conviction to stand by it.
So is appointing Postecoglou the best move for the Victory?
The one minor argument against Postecoglou’s appointment is the cost.
In hiring a man who has just won back to back A-League Grand Finals, the Victory are buying high.
The two time A-League champions aren’t paying for value though, but as close as they can get to guaranteed success (Sydney FC’s interest in Graham Arnold is working on a similar line of thinking).
While a massive task awaits the former South Melbourne boss as he returns to the city he first made his name as a coach in, so poor were the Victory last season, a positive step forward in performances next time around shouldn’t be too difficult for Postecoglou.
Firstly the 46-year-old will bring a defensive organisation to the team that was greatly lacking under Mehmet Durakovic and Jim Magilton.
Players like Matthew Foschini who were left exposed in one on one situations time and time again under Magilton will benefit from the team having a cohesive defensive structure.
Whether Postecoglou will find a squad at AAMI Park capable of effectively playing an attacking, possession-based game is another issue – remember players don’t just need technique but also speed of thought and positional intelligence to implement this approach at the highest level.
Being appointed in the role so early will give Postecoglou time to make these assessments and put in place the first steps on the way to success.
Even though the A-League is transient enough of a competition that the Victory could improve significantly next season, the size of the undertaking the league’s biggest club is about to take on must not be forgotten.
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