The Roar
The Roar


Assessing the contenders for the Melbourne Heart manager's job

John Kosmina will return to Adelaide United (AAP Image/Bryan Charlton)
Roar Guru
29th December, 2013

Melbourne Heart’s board have let John Aloisi go, and so far this season we’ve already seen Ange Postecoglou, Graham Arnold, Alistair Edwards and Alosi all leave the A-League, and we’re not even halfway through the season yet.

But good game to Farina, Merrick and Gombau, who were all early favourites to be the first to go.

All the best to Aloisi. I think a stint as an assistant overseas would be ideal, as another A-League club may be wary about taking him on.

On Sunday, the Heart announced John Van ‘t Schip as interim coach – keepin’ it fresh, Heart. It will stabilise them until season’s end and get them playing good football again.

They’ll be looking for a new coach, you would assume for the next A-League season.

Let’s run through some contenders (with their previous clubs in brackets): Gianfranco Zola (Watford), Andre Villas-Boas (Tottenham), Malky Mackay (Cardiff City), John Kosmina (Adelaide), Ante Milicic (Wanderers) and Holger Osieck (Australia).

The first three are probably outside 1000/1 odds to be appointed, but the world is becoming increasingly global and it might provide Villas-Boas with the perfect hideout from the English press.

Zola got a rough time at Watford and now they’re well outside the playoffs.

I’ve read elsewhere that Aloisi was on about $200k a year – don’t feel so sorry for him now, do you? This is probably incorrect, but also within the ballpark.


In the Premier League, Roberto De Matteo is reportedly on £150,000 per week as Chelsea have to legally pay out the rest of his contract.

Villas-Boas is probably on something similar, so I doubt he’ll come to the A-League.

Mackay had Cardiff playing good football as they won the Championship in a canter. They weren’t in the EPL relegation zone and they aren’t half bad, but he was sacked after months of outward “I hate you” by the owner Vincent Tan – this is the owner who booed his own players after their draw against Sunderland.

So I think Mackay would want to be as far away from Cardiff as leisurely possible.

Melbourne is a city with international appeal and many managers may seek the warmer climate, lackadaisical media pressure and overall experience that is coaching in Australia compared to, say, Millwall in the English second division.

Spanish, German and Dutch coaches are in fashion, so if the Melbourne Heart go overseas you’d expect it to be from one these powerhouses.

Middlesbrough, my English second division version of MHFC, recently appointed Mourinho’s assistant at Real Madrid. The Heart could take a similar gamble by going for an assistant at a top club.

Then again, they did just fire an experienced young coach.


Kosmina is probably the favourite, and he’d be a fairly ‘safe’ choice, with his experience in the league. Derby day would be intense – Muscat and Kosmina throwing chairs at each other, brilliant.

When Van ‘t Schip first left the manager’s job was between Aloisi and Milicic, who’s now at the Wanderers. Milicic was the assistant to Van ‘t Schip and had more experience than Aloisi.

Munn also has his phone number. Milicic would be set up in Melbourne and knows the club. It might be a bit early in his development, but it would be a justifiable choice.

Holger Osieck was rumoured to be sniffing out the Melbourne Victory assistant position – he’d be keen to get back into football and redevelop his reputation.

Whoever they appoint should walk straight up to Munn and Sidwell and ask for 100 percent control of transfer of players. There are claims that Kewell was thrust upon Aloisi by the board for commercial reasons.

They should ask for professional facilities, as they currently train at La Trobe Uni, and to be allowed at least the same time as Aloisi was allowed.

For now, Van ‘t Schip has to do his best to make the finals and keep Heart competitive.