Something is not All White
How can we kickstart NZ football?
It is clear after the two games against Mexico that the All Whites have some serious problems regarding both team management and player management.
Enough has been said about Ricki Herbert so I will not comment too much on this.
However, I will say this, even though some of his decision-making is unfathomable, his comments 'Is there anybody better?' and 'It's a really difficult job' are hard to disagree with.
The calibre of coaches and managers within New Zealand are not international standard, which will mean we have to pay big money for a manager from overseas.
This poses the issue of New Zealand Football efficiently spending what little money they have. Do we really want to pay $350,000-plus for a guy to coach for five games a year and four of them are against other Oceania nations? In this regard, Ricki Herbert seems more viable and it may well be a poor decision to let him in go.
His player knowledge is second to none. Being in the role eight years has meant he has had a fair look at the majority of players available to the All Whites and trusting his judgement is something we should respect. Let us not forget it was him who approached Winston Reid, Rory Fallon and Tommy Smith to play for the All Whites (maybe this has something to do with the lack of credit he is on about?).
However his policy on youth development leaves little to be desired with no young New Zealand lads coming through to the first team while he reigned at the Phoenix.
Marco and Kosta both had to leave the club in order become regular starters.
With his contract now over, it would be good to bring in a caretaker coach to groom Neil Emblem to be the one to lead them to 2018 World Cup.
However, New Zealand Football needs to get its act together and sort out the backroom staff first. They have somehow escaped all of the criticism and have been happy to let Herbert take it on the chin.
The build up to the playoff games was terrible with only three matches this year holding any real significance.
We could have had Sir Alex Ferguson managing the side for the Mexico games but overall it would not have made a difference.
Why bother going all the way to the United States to play second-rate club sides?
We would have been better off having a kick around versus the Phoenix and an ASB Premiership Eleven than hosting a game against an opponent here, in our own backyard.
I keep hearing how hard it is for New Zealand to get a decent international game at home but am yet to see any viable attempts. Why not co-ordinate with the Australians to play the travelling team as a warm up before the Aussies face them? It might only be second stringers but it's better than what we have now.
So where to from here? Honestly, I feel that is a question that should have been answered in 2010.
In essence it is this:
1. New faces both, in coaching and in administration. We have become a stale team that has been stuck in the mud for four years.
I would suggest initially having more training camps to get the team to gel first, instead of just throwing them in the deep end as a squad of blokes who don't all know each other's game.
2. Get a few more internationals during the year. It doesn't have to be the top teams, just enough to maintain, or possibly even attract public interest. You can't expect passionate support for a team that plays once in a blue moon.
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