Northampton Town v Notts County - Sky Bet League Two
Northampton Town v Notts County - Sky Bet League Two

No Wanderer: Harry told to Kewell his jets

Mark Bosnich says Harry Kewell isn't ready for the Western Sydney Wanderers job because experience and charisma are the keys to rebuilding the side following the axing of Markus Babbel.

The Fox Sports analyst said Kewell will need to wait for his chance at a big Australian club and that former Nagoya Grampus and Guangzhou R&F manager Dragan Stojkovic is the perfect candidate for Western Sydney.

"I don't think he's got the necessary experience," Bosnich told The Daily Telegraph.

"Harry (Kewell) one day will make a really good manager but this moment in time they need an authoritative figure with more experience."

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Kewell’s time as Notts County manager last 14 games. Photo: Pete Norton/Getty Images
Kewell’s time as Notts County manager last 14 games. Photo: Pete Norton/Getty Images

 

 

Raised in the Western Sydney suburb of Smithfield, Kewell never played professionally in his home city. He began his managerial career in 2015 in England, where he has led the Watford under-21 team and League Two sides Crawley Town and Notts County.

Describing the Wanderers' downfall this season as "heartbreaking", Bosnich said an Ange Postecoglou-style manager is needed to set the agenda for a new project.

"It is so important for any club whoever you choose has experience or charisma," Bosnich said.

"To make sure he is the one that sets culture at the club and defines how the club will move and he is the one that motivates his players. This is one of the biggest clubs in the country.

"The perfect candidate is Dragan Stojkovic, he was a wonderful player. He won the J-League and worked with Aussie players, he can speak English and has great experience in Asian football.

"His philosophy is to play an entertaining and attacking brand of football. With him, there's no messing around."

Former Red Star Belgrade legend Stojkovic has a storeyed playing career having captained his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He won the J-League and Japanese Super Cup with Nagoya Grampus in 2010 and 2011 as a coach, spearheaded by Socceroos striker Joshua Kennedy. He most recently was Guangzhou R&F's longest serving manager having stepped down this month.

The Wanderers finally ran out of patience with Babbel, who had won just 10 from his 41 games in charge.

As Babbel became the third manager to be sacked in as many weeks, Socceroos legend Kewell has had his name thrown in the hat for almost every vacant position in the A-League.

But Bosnich believes he isn't ready, suggesting the project that lies ahead for the next head coach is too big a task for an inexperienced coach.

 

Markus Babbel was living on borrowed time. Photo: AAP Image/Mark Evans
Markus Babbel was living on borrowed time. Photo: AAP Image/Mark Evans

 

The biggest criticism of Babbel was a lack of identity on the pitch. Week after week there appeared to be no signs of improvement and an unwillingness to recognise a specific playing philosophy.

Players were played in unnatural positions with Nicolai Muller missing from his favoured right-wing and Kwame Yeboah's place in the front third still a mystery.

The next appointment is "crucial" and Bosnich believes the next manager needs to find a group of players that fit the passionate criteria to play for a team like Western Sydney Wanderers.

He made his feelings clear throughout the season about the dwindling level of effort of Babbel's squad and says a number of players need to be shown the door.

"You've got to get a special kind of player to play for Western Sydney," Bosnich said.

"(To understand) what it means for the people and be willing to die for the cause.

"I haven't seen that for some time at the Wanderers."

The Wanderers are side languishing in ninth place on the A-League ladder.

After enjoying sustained success under foundation coach Tony Popovic, the Wanderers have now sacked two managers in two and a half seasons with Josep Gombau lasting just six months.

Assistant coach Jean Paul de Marigny will take over as interim head coach with Labinot Haliti as his assistant.


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