Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nick Theo Gone After Long Winless Streak

Newcastle United Jets have confirmed the sacking of Nick Theodorakopoulos as coach of the struggling A-League club.

The demise of Nick Theo, something of a cult figure amongst Australian Football fans, shows nobody is safe in this new A-League. A successful coach of both Wollongong Wolves and Parramatta Power in the old NSL, I gained a lot of respect for him as a pundit and football intellectual during the World Cup when he helped SBS's coverage. I looked forward to seeing what he could do with the Jets, who made the finals in the annaugral season.

Unfortunately, 13 games without a win is a long down period. The question is though, is he really the one to blame. His roster was beset by injuries. They played a number of games in which they outplayed teams for most of the game, but had some bad luck. A couple of bad decisions by officials have cost them players in future matches (How Ryan Griffith ended up with an extra week i'm not sure. I hope it's some rule about extra yellow cards or something.)

Most of all, he inherited an overly useless club management that have completely failed in supplying the support required for him to successfully manage his side. The goal-keeper fiasco is a perfect example, where they have not been allowed to sign a 2nd keeper due to legal copmlications over the first. I'm not convinced that Ben Kennedy was fit for the game against Melbourne, and if they had another keeper on the roster he certainly wouldn't have played after the knock in the pervious game.

At the end of the day though, someone must bear the blame for such a long poor run of form. You can't sit below a team as bad as the NZ Knights on the ladder after 7 games and not start looking at the problems. The Jets are a quality team with quality players, in a region screaming out for quality football. Maybe, just maybe, Nick Theo should take some of that responsibility.

That's a fans perspective of course. A great shame. Maybe there's a spot over in Adelaide for you Nick?

No comments: