An opportunity for Adelaide

The sacking of Rini Coolen wasn’t a surprise – now Adelaide have the chance to plan for the future.

The sacking of Rini Coolen wasn-t a surprise. Obviously things weren-t right at Adelaide United and something had to change.

I-m not going to bag Coolen because it-s managing a football club is tough job but unfortunately it wasn-t working. Whether or not the players weren-t buying into his training or philosophy I don-t know, maybe they were – but if so, there are even more changes needed at the club.

I have heard some rumours about the way things were at the club in recent months but without knowing all the facts it-s not for me to air these in public. What I will say is that, given the long-term, big-money contract Coolen had, the Adelaide board should certainly have been a lot more stringent about the power they gave him and should have monitored more closely the money that was being spent.

Is Kossie the right man for the job? It-s a big question. I don-t know what his contract is but I don-t think he-s a long-term answer.

I-ve been at clubs where players or coaches have come back after some time away, and it doesn-t always work. There is always a reason they left in the first place and more often than not, those old problems can hang around the second time back in the job.

I-ve also been through coaches getting sacked mid-season a couple of times as a player but I was lucky enough to have been playing regularly. It can lift the squad; some players might think, “I haven-t been playing for a while and the new man-s come in – maybe I-ve got a chance to get a game.”

It will probably give Adelaide a lift for four or five weeks but Kossie is a Band-Aid solution. I don-t think he-s there for the long-term.

Some people have raised his lack of an A coaching license as a cause for concern. Qualifications are very important but will they have much outcome on the way he coaches the team? Should he have been allowed to take the job without an A license?

The coaching badges are a lot of money for what is basically a choice of 10 jobs. Our coaches should have them, and FFA should be enforcing these requirements – but equally it doesn-t matter what badges or qualifications you-ve got, you-re still going to manage your team a certain way, you-re going to get them to play a certain way.

It-s like any job; you need to go in with a philosophy, with an idea about how you want to run the place.

This is an opportunity for Adelaide United. Whether or not they bring through a young coach who-s got those qualifications, Adelaide can use this time to plan for the future. I don-t think Adelaide know where they-re going to be at in three or five years- time, and that-s something they seriously need to think about between now and the end of the season.

The game is constantly changing. In five years- time, I won-t have the same outlook as I do now or the players at the time. We need to change as well – we need players and coaches that are part of those changes.

Would I be interested in the Adelaide job…? Nah. Don-t get me wrong – they-re a passionate bunch and a great set of fans but if I-m going to get involved at a coaching level, it-s five years away. I-d like to have a look at how things are done, have a look in Europe.

Take Tony Popovic at Crystal Palace, assistant manager to Dougie Freedman. They-re both new to coaching but they-re being help by Lawrie McMenemy, a bloke who-s been in the English game for 50 years. In five years- time, the best qualified person for the next national team gig will be Poppa.

I talk to Kevin Muscat a fair bit, and him and Mehmet Durakovic are in a similar situation at Melbourne Victory but they don-t have anyone that can guide them or help mentor them as they get experience in a top job.

If Kossie does well, fine, but is he the man that can make Adelaide a better club? And not only a better club, but a club and coach that can produce, promote and educate good young players?