Friday, January 6, 2012

Victory sack Durakovic - let the merry-go-round commence!

Mehmet Durakovic has been fired as manager of A-League side Melbourne Victory, with the club enduring its worst ever start to a season. The team, who splashed out - big time - for Harry Kewell during the offseason, languish in eighth position in the ten-team competition, with only perpetual strugglers Perth and Gold Coast sitting below them.
Durakovic was never likely to have a lengthy career at one of the league's most successful and high-profile clubs. Although his resume boasts numerous Socceroo appearances and stints in charge of the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Victory's youth setup, he simply didn't have the profile - or personality - to be successful at a club like the Victory. While technically adept, he couldn't command the team's attention or respect like former coach Ernie Merrick.

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The usual suspects are likely to be trotted out as candidates for the job. Branko Culina, recently fired from Newcastle, and former Brisbane Roar boss Frank Farina are the chief names associated with the position now, but that's because they're suspects for every single available A-League job. "Bigger" names like Roy Keane, Iain Dowie and Graham Taylor have also been rumoured to be in the running again, but the Victory's tailing finances probably make the first two long-shots at best.

Graeme "My coach is my friend" Arnold and Ange Postecoglu are probably the best coaches in Australia, but are unlikely to be available for - or want - the position. There will be a groundswell behind local boy and former captain Kevin Muscat - who, although put in temporary charge of the club, is said not to be a candidate. In many ways it's a pity that John Kosmina was recently re-employed by Adelaide: although his arrival would have infuriated Melbourne supporters - and later, the Victory board, given his propensity for rubbing owners the wrong way - he is a talented coach who gets results from unbalanced squads.

The best man for the job could well be Aurelio Vidmar, the former Adelaide coach now assisting Holger Osieck at the Socceroos. Whether he would be interested in taking over former rivals Victory would be questionable, but given Melbourne are likely to appoint a caretaker manager he could be swayed by the end of the season.

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