With coach sacked, pressure falls on Wanderers’ players
THEY say all good things come in threes, and also that when it rains it pours.
For coaches in the A-League both statements ring true.
We're three weeks into the new year and we've got our third club heading into a weekend of football with a new manager in charge.
Markus Babbel is the latest manager looking for a new job after the Western Sydney Wanderers' decision to part ways with him earlier this week.
Like Ernie Merrick and Marco Kurz before him, Babbel fell victim to an underperforming side that couldn't get the results when they mattered most.
After a promising start to the season, winning their opening three matches and going unbeaten through the first four rounds, the Wanderers have since won only one of 11 games.
When your goalkeeper has been your best player all season there's something wrong and that's how it's been for the Wanderers this season.
Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer came out this week and said he had faith in the playing squad and that the results this year weren't a reflection of their ability.
Like with the Victory, there were whispers the Western Sydney players weren't happy with their training workload.
Now with Babbel gone, that excuse goes with him.
With the bye this weekend, interim coach Jean de Marigny has two weeks to prepare his troops for their Round 17 clash against the Central Coast Mariners, but it's not on him to perform miracles - it's on the playing group to perform.
We heard Mitchell Duke speak about the frustration in the playing group after the Wanderers' loss to the Glory last weekend. Well Mitch, it's time to take that frustration out on the field.
It's now on every Wanderers player to pull up their socks, dig in and save their season.
They owe that to their fans, and the board that has put their faith in the squad.
For the board their next decision is a crucial one - finding a new manager.
It's a decision they can't rush into and one they can't take lightly.
They need to find the right man for the job - a man who can not only take them back to competing for trophies, but winning them.
For mine, the man for the job is Dragan Stojkovic.
He has been there and done it as a player, leading his country to battle at World Cup, and he's been there as a coach, winning titles in the Japanese J-League.
He's played under some of the best managers in the world, such as Arsene Wenger, and would bring an attractive brand of football to the A-League.
Stojkovic knows Australian players and the Australian game and I believe he's the man that can turn the Wanderers' fortunes around.
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