Who is under more pressure: John Aloisi or Kevin Muscat?

Chris Matthews-Darby Roar Pro

By Chris Matthews-Darby, Chris Matthews-Darby is a Roar Pro

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64 Have your say

    At the beginning of the season, Brisbane Roar’s John Aloisi and Melbourne Victory’s Kevin Muscat were being earmarked as potential replacements for Ange Postecoglou.

    However a third into the season and both teams are struggling, with only a couple wins to their names, and at risk of missing the finals.

    With the two prepared to go head-to-head this week, let’s take a look at who’s doing the better job.

    Players used
    Brisbane’s casualty ward currently has eight tenants, including the likes of Michael Theo and Thomas Kristensen. This is no fault of Aloisi’s but it has led him to use 24 players already this season, which is the most in the A-League.

    Only Matt McKay and Massimo Maccarone have started in every match. Jack Hingert has played in all ten, but has only started in eight. During the match, Aloisi has used 30 substitutions.

    Muscat has had a couple of injuries including Mitchell Austin’s ACL tear, but he has also missed the likes of Kosta Barbarouses, James Troisi, and Mark Milligan through international duty.

    However he has been lucky enough to only use 19 players, which is second fewest this season. Lawrence Thomas, Jason Geria, Rhys Williams, Carl Valeri, and Leroy George have started in every match this season, while Jai Ingham has also appeared in every match, but has only started four. Muscat has only used 25 of a possible 30 substitutions.

    The Roar have struggled with form and injuries, but the scorer of Australia’s most famous goal has only changed his formation once this season, sticking with the 4-2-3-1 for nine matches. The only match he tried something different was the Round 6 clash with the Victory, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

    Muscat, on the other hand, has tried three formations, starting the season with a 4-5-1, using the 4-3-3 in the corresponding match. The 4-2-3-1 has been his favourable, used six times.

    Discipline doesn’t always depend on the players in the squad, it also depends on the coach and the style of play implemented. Fifteen of Brisbane’s 25 players have been booked this season, receiving a combined 27 yellow cards and one red.

    However, 13 of Melbourne’s 19 players have been booked. Twenty-four of those have been yellow while Milligan and Austin have been shown red cards.

    Whether it’s getting the Socceroos job or the sack, the main criteria will be the results of the two managers.

    Brisbane are in sixth position after ten games, with two wins, four draws, and four losses. They have scored 12 goals and conceded 14.

    Melbourne are seventh, with two wins, four draws, and four losses. They have scored 13 goals and conceded 16.

    Coincidentally, both of these sides’ wins came in Round 7 and 9.

    So the two are pretty evenly matched, however Muscat has had the easier time since he hasn’t had to worry about a plethora of injuries.

    But the real winner could be decided this week, when their teams close out Round 11.

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    The Crowd Says (64)

    • December 13th 2017 @ 6:38am
      Waz said | December 13th 2017 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      I think this is a simple one to answer – Kevin Muscat.

      John Aloisi has just signed a new 3 year contract so there’s no way they would fire him. yet.

      • December 13th 2017 @ 1:57pm
        Choco Muffin 911 said | December 13th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

        Aloisi has proven here and at MH that he can’t coach. The style Roar plays is awful and that has nothing to do with injuries. I simply don’t go to watch them anymore. Bring in Broich as coach.

        • December 13th 2017 @ 4:50pm
          steve said | December 13th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

          Thomas Broich should still be playing. Was clearly still the Roar’s best player last season. JA just isn’t a good coach. Havent seen anything that would make me think otherwise.

          • December 13th 2017 @ 4:53pm
            Waz said | December 13th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

            Broich still hasn’t recovered from his second ankle operation. The rest of your post is found but Broich, it was just time.

    • December 13th 2017 @ 7:19am
      Lion said | December 13th 2017 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      This doesn’t tell the full story..
      Aloisi had the farcical delay with the arrival of Tin Tin (aka Beautheac) and the injuries have been to key players most notably Kristensen. Plus disruption to his centre backs big time which sees Pepper in a makeshift role. In terms of new forwards coming in, Skapetis has yet to adjust to the A League and show the promise he showed in pre-season and Gamiero has made cameo appearances only as yet. MV play in a much smaller stadium with more supporters and in terms of the 12th man have a much bigger advantage over Brisbane. No surprise that Roar’s worst performance has come at the away home fixture in front of 5,000 last weekend. As a general comment I would say that when Ange was managing Roar, the standard of football improved across the A League. With Sydney now dominant, the overall standard and appeal of the game has dropped. Which is a foretaste of the what we can expect from the National team if Arnie gets the gig. I would take JA over Arnie any day. Muscat is savvy, but the number of cards for MV v Roar speaks to the way they are coached. I would not want to see JA, Muscat or Arnie lead my beloved Socceroos. Paul Okon is the man.

    • December 13th 2017 @ 8:04am
      Nemesis said | December 13th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      From all I’ve read and what I’m observing, there is no longer any pressure on Kevin Muscat. His time at MV is over. His contract expires at the end of this season and, given what we know about coaching & player contracts, when you leave it so late the relationship is over, or one party holds huge power in the negotiations.

      The only unknowns are:

      a) does Muscat resign (most likely, after a heavy loss in the Melb Derby); or
      b) does Muscat get sacked (as above); or
      c) does the Board recognise the huge contribution Kevin Muscat has made at MV & allow him to maintain his dignity & leave when his contract expires; although his dignity might suffer more from finishing bottom of the Table with only a handful of wins for the season.

      • Roar Pro

        December 13th 2017 @ 8:09am
        George K said | December 13th 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report


        What was your tipping point when suggesting that Muscat was finished?

        You seemed pretty hesitant 3 weeks ago that there was a crisis at victory under Muscat.

        Cheers 🙂

        • December 13th 2017 @ 8:18am
          Nemesis said | December 13th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

          MV line-up was severely disrupted for the opening 6 matches with 3 key players (Troisi, Milligan, Kosta) out for the opening 2 matches; then back for 2; then out for 2. Add to that Berisha’s silly suspension, so the core team structure was disrupted.

          But, now the full group (albeit 2 injuries, but every team gets injuries) has been back for 3 consecutive matches & nothing has improved.

          Having said that, over the 10 matches, in my opinion MV has only been comprehensively beaten once – by the Jets. Never in the game apart from the opening wonder-strike by Kosta.

          All the other matches, the opposition has been pretty rubbish also, apart from CCM who played great football & really should’ve won the match.

          But, forget the opposition. Muscat’s job is to prepare the MV team & the MV team is a rabble. Losing for me is not the issue. If the MV team were playing well, but not picking up points (e.g. like CCM) I’d be satisfied because, over the next 17 matches, if you have a team that’s playing decent football, you’re going to win more than you lose.

    • Roar Rookie

      December 13th 2017 @ 8:34am
      Stevo said | December 13th 2017 @ 8:34am | ! Report

      “Losing for me is not the issue. If the MV team were playing well, but not picking up points (e.g. like CCM) I’d be satisfied because, over the next 17 matches, if you have a team that’s playing decent football, you’re going to win more than you lose.”

      non sequitur.

      So ‘playing decent’ but losing and not picking up points is going to translate into a some kind of winning run in the future? Maybe what it says is that a team is not playing decent football and a turn around is not on the horizon. The future could be many things.

      • December 13th 2017 @ 8:39am
        Nemesis said | December 13th 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        You follow a team that’s been mired in mediocrity for its pathetic 6 years of existence, so I wouldn’t expect you to understand.

        Yes, if MV were playing the type of football CCM is playing then I’d have no issues. CCM only has 2 more points than MV, but they’ve got a system that suggests they will win more than they will lose over the next 17 matches.

        But, as I said, I don’t expect you to understand this concept since “winning the MelbDerby” is the only benchmark your club & its fans aim for each season.

    • December 13th 2017 @ 8:37am
      chris said | December 13th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      Neither is under pressure in losing their jobs.
      They will both be there come end of season.

      • December 13th 2017 @ 12:33pm
        Waz said | December 13th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        No joke, but someone literally said that the week before Mulvey got fired. Never say never, especially in Brisbane

    • December 13th 2017 @ 8:44am
      Post_hoc said | December 13th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      Muscat, will be gone. I have never seen what people saw in him, I have never rated him as a coach. I think he inherited a lot from Ange. People have told me, clearly the players see something in him, they sign for him, they leave and they come back. Reports that players even take pay cuts to play for him. All well and good but I just never saw what he was about, never saw the x factor about him.

      Aloisi, to me is a great tactician, between his coaching gigs when he did punditry I enjoyed listening to him break down the game, his vision etc. The issue for him is can he get this across to his players, time will tell but I believe the future is brighter for any team under him than Muscat.

      When Muscat leaves Victory, it will be interesting what happens to him, would be interested to see if another club will take a chance on him, I wouldn’t want him at Wanderers that’s for sure.

      • December 13th 2017 @ 9:30am
        Nemesis said | December 13th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        Graham Arnold has been Coach of SydFC for 4 seasons – exactly the same period of time Kevin Muscat has been coach of MVFC.

        Muscat: Premiership, Championship, FFA Cup
        Arnold: Premiership, Championship, FFA Cup

        Comparison of H&A performance in ALeague for 4 completed seasons

        Muscat: 184
        Arnold: 189

        Goals Scored
        Muscat: 187
        Arnold: 183

        Goals Conceded
        Muscat: 138
        Arnold: 121

        Significant difference? I don’t see any, but, at the end of this season, it’s likely Arnold will end up significantly ahead. But, based on completed seasons & trophies there is no difference between Arnold & Muscat.

        • December 13th 2017 @ 9:49am
          punter said | December 13th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          Only difference is Mucat’s trophies are 3 seasons ago & Arnie’s last season, plus this season, MV treading water & SFC only has got to about 3rd gear against WSW, the rest of the games outside of CCM (where we were stuck in reverse) we have won games in 2nd gear & sometimes 1st.

          As they say a week is a long time in football & trophies 3 seasons ago, both Raneri & Mourinho both sacked as reigning premiers.

          • December 13th 2017 @ 9:57am
            Nemesis said | December 13th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

            Absolutely. That’s why Muscat won’t get his contract renewed.

            I don’t know if you were following SydFC in 2015/16? But Arnold was a complete failure in 2015/16 just 12 months after Sydney lost the Premiership & Championship to MVFC.

            His team finished 7th with just 8 wins & Goal Difference of 0. Luckily he wasn’t sacked after that season of utter failure.

            • December 13th 2017 @ 10:18am
              j,binnie said | December 13th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

              Nem – Careful my old mate, the incomparable Sir Alex Ferguson had a similar entry into the EPL going to a widely reported “FA Cup win” as the saviour to his career at Man U.
              Then some 20 odd years later ,a retirement.
              What a lot of people don’t appreciate is that during that long spell he was asked, and tried ,in the national team role as coach ,and very quickly walked away from that job.
              Like another well known coach nearer to home did he find that type of management job a little “underwhelming”? Cheers jb.

              • December 13th 2017 @ 12:37pm
                Waz said | December 13th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

                jb. Good point. I remember Fergies first season, I was working in England at the time, and Man U came to my adopted team Forest in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, a game I attended. After an awful start it was strongly expected Ferguson would get the Bullet if he lost that game, they won 1-0 and went in to win the cup … but they could easily have lost that day. It was close.

            • December 13th 2017 @ 12:01pm
              punter said | December 13th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

              Yes Nem, I was following them back then & unfortunately you have it completely wrong in regards to Arnie nearly being sacked.
              Yes they were poor in the A-league, especially in the back half of year, but they showed some great potential in the ACL that year (you could see the brilliance of Ninkovic even then, he struggled in the A-League in his 1st year).

              • December 13th 2017 @ 12:44pm
                Nemesis said | December 13th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Ok. So Arnie has been a failure in 1 HAL season out 4 at Sydney. But, Sydney persisted with Arnold despite his season of complete ALeague failure.

                So far, Muscat has not achieved the same level of failure in Aleague at MV.

              • December 13th 2017 @ 2:33pm
                punter said | December 13th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

                Let’s not forget Arnie’s success at Central Coast Mariners, he is the most successful coach in A-League history;

                2010/2011 runners up in both to the all conquering Brisbane Roar
                2011/2012 Premiers
                2012/2013 champions
                2014/2015 runners up in both
                2015/2016 Poor season as you mentioned
                2016/2017 Premiers/Champions
                2017/2108 FFA cup & current leaders.

                Kevin Muscat has not had the poor season, but he is a fair way behind as yet;
                2014/2015 Champions/premiers
                2015/2016 FFA cup
                2016/2017 Runners up in both.
                2017/2018 struggling

        • December 13th 2017 @ 9:57am
          Post_hoc said | December 13th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

          I don’t get Arnie either. I get the recruitment, but not the coaching. I see someone like Okon who can get kids playing well, punching above their weight. I see that as good coaching. I think Sydney FC have got their recruitment right, not sure how they do it below the salary cap, will be interesting to see how they do as contracts come to an end, 2 years seem to be the limit for most teams before they get raided for players.

          I suspect holding onto O’Niel and Brillante will be hard,

          • December 13th 2017 @ 11:54am
            punter said | December 13th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

            Have a look at what Arnie did at Central coast with kids like Sainsbiry, Ryan, Amini, Ibini, Caceres, Fitzerald, McGlinchey & some very old pros like McBreen, Hutchinson, Bojic, Kwasknic, Simon & a couple of old experienced players who played at a high level, Stervoski & Zwaanswik & Wilkinson.

            As for over the cap, that’s someone crying over a 5 nil lost.

            • December 13th 2017 @ 2:38pm
              Fadida said | December 13th 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

              Agree re Arnie’s quality Punter. He is the supreme team builder. His teams are magnificently solid and hardworking, resilient and hard to beat.

              No comparison with Aloisi.

              Will it translate to NT level?

              • December 13th 2017 @ 3:01pm
                punter said | December 13th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                No, I don’t think personally this is what Australia wants or needs, you & I have very similar views on how Australia should play.

                I have watched a lot of SFC & though both bewildered & understanding of the criticism of Arnie, SFC plays some wonderful football, but Arnie is afraid of letting them of the leash too often when leading (and of course our good friend Matty).
                We have our varying views on Ange, but one thing right or wrong Ange clearly sees a view on how we should play & may forsake results for this, Arnie does not. We are still growing as a football nation & still very much in our youth & need a coach to further that development, whereas Arnie is more for the finished product.

              • December 13th 2017 @ 3:33pm
                Fadida said | December 13th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report


            • December 13th 2017 @ 4:27pm
              Lionheart said | December 13th 2017 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

              he hasn’t shown any fancy for youth at SFC. Why is that?

              • December 13th 2017 @ 5:04pm
                Fadida said | December 13th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

                I think he prefers his players”ready”, often holding onto his trusted soldiers too long

        • December 13th 2017 @ 10:08am
          j,binnie said | December 13th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          Nemesis – How true. Games are not won or lost by coaches it is players who do the “performing”, and, in the end analysis ,it is they, the players, who must be held to account as to the team’s position in the comp. ladder.

          The media, and probably coaches themselves ,have over the years ,elevated their tasks into a somewhat “mythical level” where their importance in the overall input greatly exaggerates the real effect they have out on the field on match day.

          This form of adulation has it’s downside of course, three or four defeats in a row has ,in today’s game, almost unleashed a “Sherlock Holmes ” type of investigation into a coach’s performance, not unusually, having as it’s outcome, with more and more coaches becoming available each year , the dreaded words—–
          “We thank you for your endeavours and wish you well in your next career move” (The chairman’s mantra)

          Isn’t it all a bit tiring, if a team loses 4 or 5 games on the trot surely the “investigation” has to be into the standard of players being used, and, if the coach has signed most of them only then should he be “court -martialed” as to why..

          Listing trophies won as a measure of coaching success simply point to a club, or coach, having a better group of players in any given year.

          We are constantly told by “experts” that to compete in a given season a club needs 23 players, that being the case should 3 or 4 injuries at any given time affect a team all that much?.
          Before the re-actions to that comment start there are no Messi’s or Renaldo’s playing in the HAL.

          Aloisi and Muscat are in the firing line at the moment . In 10 weeks time it could be 2 others being “sentenced”, but surely that situation reflects more on the players than the coaches themselves.
          By “pushing their own barrow” over the years ,it is they,the coaches, that have created the status quo. jb

      • December 13th 2017 @ 2:41pm
        Fadida said | December 13th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

        Aloisi is a fine pundit. As Gary Neville found out at Valencia this doesn’t naturally transfer into coaching. Aloisi has always lost far too many games, his teams soft and easy to beat. The antithesis of GA

        • December 13th 2017 @ 3:01pm
          punter said | December 13th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

          Alosi needs a Matty Simon!!!!

          • December 13th 2017 @ 3:34pm
            Fadida said | December 13th 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

            No one needs Matt “the Axe” Simon!

            • December 13th 2017 @ 3:38pm
              punter said | December 13th 2017 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

              Haha, agree.

            • December 13th 2017 @ 5:51pm
              Waz said | December 13th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

              You mean Matt “the spittoon” Simon.

              Elbows has a new nickname ?

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