NEWCASTLE TO SIGN A-LEAGUE COACHING LEGEND
May 26, 2017
There are reports that Newcastle Jets could sign A-League coaching legend Ernie Merrick.
The manager did the double with Melbourne Victory in 2006/07 and 2008/09. He was pushed out in 2011 as the last foundation coach. He has picked up the Coach of the Year award twice but there are fears about his recent history.
Merrick joined Wellington Phoenix in 2013 but has failed to make his mark. In his debut season the club finished ten points off a finals spot. They place ninth in the standings, 24 whole points from the winners Brisbane. They rose to the fourth spot the subsequent year but it was not still enough, considering his calibre.
Last year, Wellington finished with minus twenty goals’ difference. With only seven victories, they struggled to clinch the ninth spot. Merrick resigned after the first eight games this season.
The Jets have suffered with regards to their managerial role. After releasing Mark Jones, they are now set to bring in Merrick even though they hope for a much better fate than Wellington. Newcastle have other issues aside the coaching role as several off-field issues trouble the club.
The Jets have a poor players’ roaster in recent years unlike those Merrick managed at his former club. Only a few brilliant and dedicated players have played at Newcastle and this is something the incoming coach, if employed, would have to deal with. Wellington have had much more decent players like Ben Sigmund, Albert Riera, Tom Doyle, Blake Powell, Shane Smeltz, Alex Rodriguez, Kwabena Appiah and others.
Merrick would need to build his own team from start if he wants to achieve anything memorable at the club. And the A-League salary cap is another issue he would have to navigate. They have Andrew Nabboutand Roy O’Donovan. There is serious work ahead if the club decides to take the leap of faith and employ Merrick. They would need to cleanse the squad and work their way up as well.