Rado moved aside, Mulvey in and everything in-between.Posted: December 19, 2012
While Brisbane haven’t exactly set the league alight this season, im sure I wasn’t alone in being completely taken aback by yesterdays late afternoon press release outlining Rado’s ‘promotion’ to Technical Director, and the appointment of Mike Mulvey as the teams 5th head coach since it’s inception- and it’s 3rd in 2012. Since there’s quiet a few layers I’ve tried to break it down into Rado, the club and Mulvey while trying not to go too long.
I guess I’ll start with the Rado part, and with the most obvious question here: Is this a legitimate promotion or was Rado pushed? The first thing id say here is I don’t consider this a promotion for Rado, imo the head coaching role is more important than the technical director. We have heard some rumblings coming out of the camp in the past few weeks that the players aren’t entirely happy about the way Rado does certain things which likely played a part in his removal from the coaching job. He’s also made some on field adjustments which haven’t reaped the rewards everyone was hoping for. Despite all that I still expected him to be given more time to find his feet as a head coach.
The other thing I’ll say is that while the club may consider it a promotion, there can be no doubt that the poor results on the park have lead to this decision. The CEO yesterday outlined that Rado will be the technical director for the entire Bakrie Group’s Footballing interests –essentially the role Ange turned down in March-, aswell as working on Brisbane’s youth development program, so there you go. It’s a good role for Rado though am im sure he’ll do a good job in it and it’s a role he’s probably very well suited to with his background in education.
Moving onto the club, they reportedly spoke to the leaders of the playing group (Smith, Stefanutto, Theo, Paartalu) about the situation and while we don’t know what they think of it since they’ve been silent on the matter, obviously they didn’t convince the board to change their decision. The one thing that Dobson stressed more than once in the press conference today was the motivation and hunger was a key reason behind the decision to appoint Mulvey. He was talking about his hunger to get an opportunity and to prove himself as a coach, but it does lead one to think that their was a problem between Rado, the playing group and their motivation which is something Rado questioned after the Heart game. Wether that’s related to Rado’s hunger as a coach and their needing to be a new voice to motivate the players or their hunger to play for Rado is the question I guess.
Now that’s all out of the way, lets look forward to the new boss in Mike Mulvey, what he brings to the table, what to expect from him tactically and what are the expectations on him. The first thing to state here is that Mulvey has no long term future with Brisbane right now- he’s currently an interim manager until the end of the A-League season and I assume the ACL campaign.
So essentially Mulvey has 16 games to make his case for the job on a permanent basis- but what are the minimum expectations? For mine, finals football should absolutely still be the priority and while it’s tough to see Brisbane closing a 15 point gap to Central Coast or Adelaide on the table to secure another home decider, the playing group is still more than good enough to get into the top 6. If they do make the finals, given the one off nature of the games they could do some damage once there if they’re in form at the time. If Mulvey can lead Brisbane to the finals and a reasonable ACL campaign the job should be his, but there’s plenty of work to do between now and then.
So what sort of coach is Mike Mulvey, and what does he bring to the table? Well in his previous jobs he’s shown a willingness and ability to work with younger players both in his time at the QAS, and down at Gold Coast. While at the QAS he obviously worked with some of the brightest talents in the country, including a young Tommy Oar, while at GCU under his tutelage they won two NYL titles and saw a batch of players come through including current Roar winger Ben Halloran. He also has some experience coaching in the women’s game, most recently with Melbourne Victory. At senior level in the men’s game however his only experience is from that short stint down the coast where he won 1, drew 3 and lost 3 in 7 appearances.
Between himself and Dobson they expressed a desire to maintain, and improve upon the style of football which has been successful in recent times and on the surface Mulvey seems to fit that criteria. His Gold Coast side was a good attacking side that used width and pressed high up so that seems to be a fit. Although it is a small sample, he typically played a 4-3-3 that wasn’t too dissimilar to the way Brisbane have operated way back to the Farina days so I don’t think there will be mass changes, just a little tweak here and there. Hopefully his tweaks have a more positive effect than those of Rado. It’s a big challenge for him though as there are far greater expectations here than there were in the final days of Gold Cost United.
The final point id like to briefly discuss here is the playing roster, and what changes he may be able to make in January for the finals run in, and the Champions League. As mentioned before on here there isn’t a lot of room to move without players departing and I think it’s far too soon to speculate on players moving on now that there’s a new manager. The recent speculation about Paartalu, Nichols and Takahashi departing for various reasons in January will no doubt continue however. But more to the point, could we see some of the younger players in the squad like Nick Fitzgerald, George Lambadaridis, Anthony Proia and James Donachie get a chance at regular 1st team football? Time will tell I guess but for now its time to get behind the new boss, regardless of how you feel about the change, and focus on the important matter of getting 3 points against Perth on Friday.