Josep Gombau out as Wanderers coach

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By Stirling Coates, Stirling Coates is a Roar Guru

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    The Western Sydney Wanderers have announced the immediate departure of coach Josep Gombau, following the club’s disappointing seventh-placed finish this season.

    The club released a brief statement, saying:

    The Western Sydney Wanderers today officially announced that Josep Gombau will leave the club, effective immediately.

    Following a review of the season the decision has been made to appoint a new head coach for the 2018/19 season and beyond.

    The club would like to thank Josep for his time with the Wanderers.

    The 41-year-old Spaniard took charge of the Wanderers this season, following the departure of inaugural coach Tony Popovic to Turkey, but didn’t join the team until Round 5, interim coach Hayden Foxe having started the season in charge.

    His career at Western Sydney got off to a rocky start, with the team scoring just two goals in his first five matches at the helm – a stretch that saw them lose three games and draw twice.

    A run of three wins in four games seemed to have the side back on track, but in reality, they never really got going.

    They didn’t win more than two games in a row all season, and eventually missed the finals for just the second time in the club’s history, after a 3-2 loss to Adelaide last weekend.

    There were rumblings of discontent among the playing group for much of the season and, just three days ago, Gombau was forced to deny unrest in the dressing room.

    Gombau’s first foray in Australian football was a two-year stint coaching Adelaide United. The Reds finished sixth in his first season, but in his second year they won the inaugural FFA cup and reached the A-League semi-finals.

    He managed Australia’s u-23 team in between his time in Adelaide and Western Sydney, while also serving as an assistant to the Socceroos.

    Prior to coming to Australia, he had managed Hong Kong side Kitchee for four years, while also serving as a Barcelona youth coach for six seasons.

    The Wanderers are yet to name any candidates for the now-vacant manager role.

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • April 19th 2018 @ 11:21am
      kangajets said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

      I’m not surprised

      But I don’t think he ever had the players he needed to play his style

      Does the merry go round of coaches continue ?

      I can see it now , Gombau to coach southern expansion fc in 2019

      • Roar Rookie

        April 19th 2018 @ 8:36pm
        Waz said | April 19th 2018 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

        The “merry go round” that took Ernie Merrick to Jets???

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:22pm
          kangajets said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:22pm | ! Report

          Good choice by Ernie to get off in Newcastle . Better weather then Wellington 😁

          Previous choices for the jets were A league rookies in stubbins Miller and jones .. so it was probably time to get back on the merry go round .

    • April 19th 2018 @ 11:23am
      Buddy said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

      Well I have maintained for months on here that he did not appear to be the right person for the club. I am not talking about his coaching ability, nor do I deny his quality in turning Adelaide around. I have always referred to his people skills, man management and adaptability as well as his lack of ability to engage with supporters. something was just not quite right.

      I hold the current board responsible for the appointment. It reflects badly on them that they made such a poor choice, seemingly following the whims, fancies or whatever was being written in the media at the time.

      I enjoyed listening to Tony Popovich on the panel last night at the MV game. I confess it has me wondering whether he might just have been holding something back?

      • April 19th 2018 @ 12:54pm
        kangajets said | April 19th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

        It appeared when wsw played at Newcastle and lost 4-0 in December that the players were not buying into his ideas .
        I also felt he didn’t have confidence in the players either
        It was just a bad fit all round.

        He either needed time to bring his people or they should have kept Haydon Fox

        If Popovic comes back , will the fans accept him , considering the timing of his previous exit ??

      • April 19th 2018 @ 1:50pm
        reuster75 said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

        Agreed this has to be a failure at board level, you’d like to think they did their due diligence on Gombau before appointing him but this decisions makes you think not. If it’s true that a lot of players were unhappy with him then the club should’ve sacked those players and allowed Gombau to sign ones better suited to his style. Adam Peacock made a good conversation on fox football podcast this week in liking the problems at WSW to when Fergie left Man utd in the sense that Popovic like Ferguson WAS the club in a lot of ways and so replacing went beyond just hiring a new coach. WSW like all teams bar Sydney FC (who have stated they will hire someone similar to Arnold) need to decide what their vision is in terms of playing style then set about recruiting players and coaches to suit that philosophy. This enables them to do succession planning as well – the league will for a long time to come continue to lose it’s best players and coaches to overseas teams so having a set playing style makes it easier to cope with those losses.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 3:34pm
        Will said | April 19th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

        What’s worse is fact that the FFA paid a part of his salary to let him go from the Olyroos gig explains alot too.

        He was originally appointed Olyroos coach for a reason so i was surprised why the FFA did not push harder for him to stay?

        He was not the right fit given his work takes time to gel, I dont think hes man-management skills are bad as they were made out to be.

        Most of the Adelaide players enjoyed his work so maybe it was the unusual circumstances that forced this to happen?From Popa to Gombau there is a bit of a culture change.

        Hopefully he’s not lost to the Australian game because his previous work at Adelaide showed he can coach playing brilliant attacking football.

    • April 19th 2018 @ 2:19pm
      Midfielder said | April 19th 2018 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

      With The Nix, SFC and probably PG all needing new coaches next year.

      Popa to PG

      Okon to Drive Bys

      Gummy to SFC

      ????? to Nix

      • April 19th 2018 @ 4:14pm
        reuster75 said | April 19th 2018 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

        Gombau won’t go to SFC as according to Hann Berger who is their technical director – “Whoever is selected must be somebody who fits with the culture and football philosophy we have at the club – and not somebody who wants to come in and change all of that”. Gombau would want to change things so that rules him out. Okon to WSW would be interesting as it seems he has a similar philosophy to Gombau??? I would say the WSW job is Poppa’s if he wants it.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 19th 2018 @ 4:20pm
          Waz said | April 19th 2018 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

          Ray Gatt tweeting it’s not going to be Poppa, plus another coach “biting the dust tomorrow” – presumably Kenny?

    • Roar Rookie

      April 19th 2018 @ 3:39pm
      Waz said | April 19th 2018 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

      Truly a bizarre situation.

      The timing of Poppas departure meant that any replacement had to work with Poppas squad and preparation – any coach coming in was going to have to deal with that but a coach with the polar-opposite football philosophy like Gombau was really going to struggle.

      So the Board should have let him have the close season to make it work, judging him on this season is harsh. The only way this makes sense is if Poppa now returns to wanderers, but why take him back when he walked out on the seasons eve??

      • April 19th 2018 @ 4:47pm
        Buddy said | April 19th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

        Waz, I honestly thought he was a strange choice in the first place. It seemed as though WSW listened to the media about best choices and decided that really was the best idea! I was in Melbourne for the first game against Mel City, or as HF was handing over and everything looked wrong in relation to his demeanour, the way he addressed the players, his early “run in” with Riera etc. I was sitting just behind the platerbenches and although I couldn’t hear exact conversations, they didn’t look to be happy ones. I have no reason to think anything changed in the intervening period. His team selections showed a lack of foresight and planning. The second derby was just ridiculous and smelt very badly of him trying to show who’s the boss and punishing those who had not bowed before him. As late as last week his selections against Adelaide were naive to say the least. What the side got away with against Brisbane was never going to repeat against Adelaide; they were a very different proposition and required a different approach which at the very least should have included Thwaite. There are plenty of arguments to say he needed time and a chance to get his own squad but I just don’t buy into any argument that suggests there needs to be a complete overhaul due to a change in manager. It was bad enough seeing 6 ex Adelaide players at MC at the start of the season. By the end, things look quite different and the experiment pretty well failed.
        As for a replacement: well if the board appointing are more skilled and experienced there is some chance they will make a good decision, but evidence suggests otherwise!

      • April 19th 2018 @ 7:22pm
        fadida said | April 19th 2018 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

        Agree Waz

    • April 19th 2018 @ 4:26pm
      Nemesis said | April 19th 2018 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

      I’m a fan of Gombau, but this sort of decision is pretty standard in the normal football world where a failed season is treated seriously & not just an early end-of-season vacation.

      Also, listening to WSW fans, I’d also say Gombau’s philosophy would not be suited to theirs. I don’t know a lot of local coaches, so can only go on the people I see. Marco Kurz’s style would be ideal for WSW. He likes attacking football, but he’s also willing for his players to “get stuck in”.

      Gombau might be perfect for Brisbane Roar, or Wellington Pheonix.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 19th 2018 @ 4:47pm
        Waz said | April 19th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

        “I’d also say Gombau’s philosophy would not be suited to theirs” …. I’d agree with that although the few I know seemed to be warming too him. I like Gombau too, hope he stays in Australia (Perth might be perfect)

      • April 19th 2018 @ 5:10pm
        Redondo said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

        I’m betting on Gombau to end up at Southern Expansion and Sydney FC to try for van Marwijk to really annoy Foz.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 7:24pm
        fadida said | April 19th 2018 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

        Agree on Kurtz. He looks a better version of Popovic

      • April 20th 2018 @ 2:09pm
        WSWMember said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

        Nemesis, all the fans & members I know are shocked at the decision to sack Gombau. He deserved a full season with the players of his choosing. Also, no one wants Popovic back – he screwed us big time on the eve of the season & he does not deserve a second chance.

        Did anyone see the Kalac interview (I think on Fox from memory) where he says Popovic is open to an approach from WSW & that Kalac & Popovic come as a pair? Dreadful spruiking for his old job back – they must think that WSW are a bunch of idiots.

    • April 19th 2018 @ 5:16pm
      Paul said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

      Gombau was the Stephen Bradbury choice after
      Milicic said no, and
      Schuster piked.

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