Football 3 years ago

What's wrong with Adelaide United?

  • What's wrong with Adelaide United?

What the heck has happened to Adelaide United?

It's one of the A-League's big questions.

Winless after seven rounds, a team touted as contenders is in tatters.

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Why? Former Reds coach John Kosmina reckons there's more at play than poor play.

"You have got to look at why the club hasn't stabilised and how they can be so good one year and so bad the next," he said on Tuesday.

"They need to look at the recruiting. I think they need to have a look at a whole lot of different things."

Kosmina has coached Adelaide in two stints - one of six men to manage the Reds since 2007. None has a 50 per cent winning rate.

Only two delivered silverware - Kosmina, the 2005/06 premiers plate; Josep Gombau, last season's FFA Cup.

Gombau walked away as coach suddenly in July, with Spanish great and fellow Barcelona boy Guillermo Amor taking over in what Kosmina described as "probably only a minor change".

But the new coach entered the new season with no chief executive: Michael Petrillo unexpectedly quit in early September.

His replacement as football manager Ante Kovacevic arrived just before the new season; Petrillo's replacement as chief executive, Grant Mayer, wasn't announced until October 27, three games in.

Players dismiss the off-field changes as a factor in the club's worst start to a season. They blame themselves.

"In key moments of games, small things are letting us down," midfielder Jimmy Jeggo said.

Seven rounds in, only three Reds are on the scoresheet - Pablo Sanchez twice, and Sergio Cirio and Craig Goodwin.

"They seem a bit disconnected in the attacking sense," Kosmina said.

"When things aren't going quite right, they don't go right, the passes are half a ball width off, or the timing is just half a second out.

"They have just got to weather that storm."

But the storm also blows the other way: Adelaide have copped 14 goals in four consecutive losses.

Adelaide have sorely missed captain Eugene Galekovic's goalkeeping expertise all season because of knee surgery - his 21-year-old replacement John Hall has made 14 saves but conceded 15 goals.

Top-end signings Iacopo La Rocca and Eli Babalj are also unsighted because of respective foot injuries while frontman Bruce Djite has missed early games with a groin strain.

And while midfield spark Marcelo Carrusca has strangely gone missing in matches to the point he started last game on the bench, there's also a man many Reds fans wouldn't have thought they'd miss so much: Nigel Boogard - the central defender who defected to Newcastle.

"Boogard hasn't been replaced," Kosmina said, noting Osama Malik's struggles to replace him in the pivotal defensive role.

"There is a lot of weight that has gone on to Ossie Malik's shoulders and I don't know if Ossie is ready for that just yet."

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