Is your A-League squad manager safe or under the pump in 2021-22?

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As A-League fans await the annual barrage of purchases in the weeks leading up to the new season, the quality of the curated playgroups becomes the focus.

Experts try to identify, based on recruitment, retention and the overall balance of the squads, which clubs are likely to have a serious tendency to move towards an A-League title.

However, it’s the guys with the clipboards and beads of stress on their forehands who can lose the most if the off-season moves made at their respective clubs don’t produce what the fans are asking for.

While some A-League managers are likely to enjoy another productive season, others will no doubt be under the pump, either from false expectations or from a frustrated fanbase fundamentally sick of recent failures.

Some of the men in charge will enjoy a charmed ride, others will crash and burn, while a few will remain in some sort of uncertainty as the ups and downs of the recently unpredictable A-League seasons continue and their stress levels rise and fall accordingly. .

So, where does every A-League manager stand as we head into a 2021-22 season that may start as late as October 30, should the reopened borders and continued impressive vaccination rates allow it?

Champions Melbourne City seem unconcerned, with Patrick Kisnorbo still on the wave after presenting the club with its first championship. Naoki Tsubaki and Craig Noone have left, but the arrival of Mathew Leckie adds even more depth to an already polished team. It’s a safe bet that Kisnorbo will have another successful season in the lead.

The same can be said of Steve Corica. It seems to be stable if she goes for Sydney FC; a handful out and a handful in and Max Burgess looms up as a great signing. It is hard to see Corica under pressure at a club that is assured of finals in 2022.

It might be a little tougher for Nick Montgomery on the Central Coast, with the Mariners looking like a great opportunity to pursue their brilliant 2020-21 season. Serious talent has departed and after the bar Alen Stajcic set last season, Montgomery may have stacked the cards against him, barring some stunning late signings that could rejuvenate hopes of a repeat appearance.

How will Staj’s departure affect the Gosford side in 2021-2022? (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Warren Moon did a great job in Brisbane last season to guide the Roar to the final and with five solid recruits in the form of Nikola Mileusnic, Matti Steinmann, Luke Ivanovic, Jordan Holmes and Juan Lescano, the outgoing players appear to have replaced well.

After his impressive first season as A-League boss, I would suggest that Moon has earned some credits in the bench and should avoid any pressure on his position, even with a less than perfect start to the campaign ahead.

Carl Veart brought in Adelaide United in his first season in a game of the grand final, losing significant talent at halftime and bringing George Blackwood and Isaias Sanchez back into the fold. Along with Nick Ansell as key signings, it seems from the outside that the Reds may need a little more to seriously threaten the title.

Still, Veart has earned the respect of the supporters and Adelaide fans could be quite forgiving given his fundamental need for more tools at his disposal.

Macarthur FC made it to the final in their first season and was also just a game away from the decider. Ante Milicic exceeded expectations and based on the talent pooled for the Bulls’ second overturn (despite significant losses by at least two Spaniards), it’s possible that an even higher position could be achieved this time around.

With Ulises Davila, Daniel De Silva, Tomi Juric and Craig Noone added to an already impressive squad, anything short of the top four would be a disappointment.

Wellington Phoenix lived away from home for almost the entire 2020-21 season, playing well and narrowly missing the final. Ufuk Talay was impressed but hopes his outgoing stars, of which there were many, will be ably replaced by Callan Elliot, Nicholas Pennington and Gary Hooper.

Talay has played on the board with fans but would want nothing less than a solid start to bolster the work he put in last season.

Wellington Phoenix manager Ufuk Talay

Should Talay Get Wellington Back To The Finals This Season? (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Many were able to discuss the successes and failures of Carl Robinson’s first year at the helm in Western Sydney. However, it will all be for naught when the sheer weight of talent the Reds and Blacks have amassed for the 2021-22 season kicks off its campaign.

If Robinson can’t send the Wanderers to a top six with a star-studded midfield and new names like Ramy Najjarine, Tomer Hemed, Terry Antonis and Dimi Petratos, he’ll be on the plane back to Wales quite frankly on day one. . of the low season.

Richard Garcia’s coaching future could be at stake in Perth this season. A host of talents have been lost and defensive midfielder Brandon O’Neill, ex-Sydney FC, looks to be the best and only significant signing to date. With seven regular starters left the club, Garcia is arguably the coach under the most pressure when things start badly for his Glory squad.

And so, John Aloisi returns for a third coaching crack in the A-League, this time at Western United. Frankly, I fear for his chances. The ex-Socceroo has shown little in previous postings and despite the signings of veterans Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Neil Kilkenny and Jamie Young, much of the young blood that arrives remains unproven. A few tense press conferences seem certain as Alosi fights to bolster his team.

A change seems as valuable as a holiday in Newcastle, with new Jets manager Arthur Papas taking charge of a refreshed and almost unrecognizable playgroup. Newcastle have released 15 players, signed 11 new ones and Papas’ will no doubt finish the season come what may based on the task given to him.

Like Papas, Tony Popovic will have some sort of freestyle at Melbourne Victory. After their worst season ever and massive changes to the roster, Popovic couldn’t reasonably be put under pressure well into the season.

Although he has a great team to work with and with an undisputed lineage as a manager, the Victory fans will still be demanding.

Most likely someone will be fired before Christmas, a few more will come at the end of the season, and a handful will have glorious seasons en route to the top four. Knowing who each will be is next to impossible and that’s something we all love in the A-League.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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