It was a tough three rounds of football for the coaches in the A-League.
Remarkably, there were not any teams that won all three games and none that lost all three. Marco Kurz is the best coach in the A-League, while Tony Popovic is an astute manager and so is Ernie Merrick despite the Jets missing out on the finals.
1. Marco Kurz (Adelaide United)
United claimed seven points of a possible nine. United managed to get a point against Melbourne City away from home, while they managed to beat Melbourne Victory and fight back from a 3-2 deficit against the Brisbane Roar away from home. It would be a shame to see Kurz lost from the A-League as he is such a good coach, so I would definitely be strongly considering him if I was the Wellington Phoenix.
2. Tony Popovic (Perth Glory)
The Perth Glory did well to claim six points out of a possible nine points on offer. Despite winning the Premiers Plate, the Glory continued to play some decent football. It was a surprise to see the Glory play their best side against the Wellington Phoenix in the final round of the regular season, as it appeared as if Popovic played all his cards before the final series when he could well have rested at least some of the Glory players.
3. Ernie Merrick (Newcastle Jets)
The Jets got six points out of a possible nine on offer. The Jets scored eight goals in three games, despite being scoreless in Round 25. It was great to see the Jets get back to some of their best form in Round 26 and beat Sydney FC in Round 27 despite being outplayed. Merrick has assembled a team with a good mix of players in his squad.
4. Warren Joyce (Melbourne City)
City claimed four points from a possible nine points. Joyce managed to change the team in Round 27 and help City move up from sixth place on the ladder to fifth place. City scored a total of seven goals in three games, even though they were goalless in Round 25.
5. Steve Corica (Sydney FC)
The Sky Blues only lost one game of the three, claiming a win and a draw the other two. They beat an undermanned Perth Glory in Round 26 so that doesn’t count for much, but they did outplay their opposition in Round 27 against the Newcastle Jets, yet somehow lost the Game 2-nil; that would be a concern for Steve Corica.
6. Kevin Muscat (Melbourne Victory)
The Victory claimed six points from nine, but they had narrow wins over the Central Coast Mariners and the West Sydney Wanderers. That would be a concern for Kevin Muscat as the signs are looking ominous for the Victory.
7. Mark Rudan (Wellington Phoenix)
The Phoenix lost to the Glory and Roar away while they managed to beat Melbourne City in Round 26. The Phoenix will now have to play on Friday night as opposed to Sunday night because Mark Rudan changed the team in Round 27. It could either be seen as a genius move or the antithesis; that will be judged on by Phoenix’s performance in the final series.
8. Alen Stajcic (Central Coast Mariners)
The Mariners claimed a rare victory in Round 26 over the West Sydney Wanderers, but the Mariners failed to turn up in Round 27 against Melbourne City, however, they were competitive in Round 25 against Melbourne Victory losing 2-1.
9. Darren Davies (Brisbane Roar)
The Roar beat the Wellington Phoenix and were fairly competitive against Adelaide United, but were annihilated 6-1 by the Newcastle Jets. Once again it was difficult to find positives for the Roar, but Davies did avoid the wooden spoon as far as the coaching ladder is concerned for the three rounds analysed.
10. Markus Babbel (West Sydney Wanderers)
The West Sydney Wanderers managed a draw in the derby, but they lost to the Central Coast Mariners and the Melbourne Victory. The Wanderers’ form would be of big concern to their manager as they have not shown any improvement late in the season.