John Aloisi expects Melbourne City FC’s owners to back coach John van’t Schip but thinks they will continue to struggle in the Hyundai A-League unless they develop an ability to handle defensive pressure.
City was on the end of a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Wellington Phoenix last Sunday in New Zealand.
It continued their poor start to a campaign which started full of hope after the majority takeover by Manchester City.
Aloisi was in charge of the club last season when they were still Melbourne Heart and paid the price for a bad run of results when he was sacked mid-season.
There’s been similar speculation surrounding van’t Schip giving City’s troubles but the ex-Socceroos striker believes the club will show faith in the Dutchman.
“The A-League is a strong league and it’s not easy to get results. They (City’s owners) won’t just make changes quickly and for the sake of it,” Aloisi told www.a-league.com.au.
“I’ve watched every game they’ve (City) played this season and it’s pretty obvious they need to make sure they get their defence right.
“They play periods where they dominate the game, they might go up or aren’t able to punish the opposition but there’s also periods in the game where you have to be able to defend and soak up the pressure and they haven’t been able to do that.
“Until they can get that right they will continue to struggle.
“You only have to look at their record, 19 goals in eight games is very poor. If they are going to go anywhere this season they need to fix that.
“It’s not just the back four, it’s the whole defensive set-up that’s something they have to get right.”
With just one win for the campaign and huge struggles in defence, there’s been suggestions van’t Schip will make a host of changes to his side to try and spark a response.
Marquee man Robert Koren has yet to feature due to injury while Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy will link up with the squad in the New Year.
Asked if a host of personnel changes was the solution to City’s woes, Aloisi said: “I think it’s more than that.
“I don’t think it’s one or two individuals, it’s more the defensive set-up. I’m sure John van’t Schip is working on it and trying to fix things up.
“Sometimes you do need to make changes to try and shake things up. If he thinks it’s the right thing to do, he’ll do it. But it probably needs to happen fast for their season.”
Aloisi is keen to return to coaching again but has no time-frame on when that will be and is enjoying his new role in the game as part of Fox Sports’ Hyundai A-League coverage.
He has been super-impressed with the quality of the competition over the first two months
“The top four or five sides are now starting to break away which you don’t expect so early, maybe one or two,”Aloisi said.
“I see Sydney FC getting even better. They’ve picked up a lot of points but I see them improving a lot more.
“(Melbourne) Victory are the form side along with Adelaide and Perth have shocked everyone because no one expected them to be top.
“They’ve [Perth] got a lot of experienced players, good individuals and they are proving a lot of people wrong. With a start like that you expect them to make the finals.”
Like most observers, Aloisi has been surprised by Western Sydney Wanderers FC’s struggles but doesn’t believe it will be long before they show their true potential.
“Wanderers showed the other night in the first half against Sydney FC how they can play,” he said.
“The front four the other night were exceptional. (Romeo) Castelen coming inside, (Nikita) Rukavytsya was outstanding, Mark Bridge that was his best game this season and Tomi Juric up front so I think the Wanderers will be there in the finals at the end of the season.”