The news every Wanderers fan has been waiting for, The club has finally decided to relieve Carl Robinson as Manager of the Men’s side. The Wanderers have been incredibly disappointing since stealing Robinson form the Newcastle Jets just before the start of the 2020/21 season. But most Wanderers fans were willing to give him this season to prove himself with a squad he built not just inherited. But this season has been largely the same as the last, Boring in attack, bad in defence and the Wanderers fans have had enough.
But even the fans know that Robinson wasn’t the only problem when it comes to the Wanderers, hell he wasn’t even the biggest problem. The problem is still there, and the problem is the man who made the decision to sack Robinson, the Clubs CEO John Tsatsimas. You talk to any of the ex-players and coaching staff, and you’ll hear the same story. The toxic culture at the club starts from the top down. Stories of Youth players with promising futures just quitting football all together because of how toxic it is behind closed doors.
Just look at what former Womens team manager Dean Heffernan and former Men’s assistant coach Patrick Zwaanswijk have said about Tsatsimas in recent times.
Add to those tweets Zwaanswijks alleging that some promising youngsters from the academy had left the club and football altogether due to their treatment by Robinson. When you look at what former Wanderers player have said about the sacking its clear for everyone to see that Robinson was part of the problem, but clearly not the major problem. And that doesn’t extend to club owner Paul Lederer.
When you see the way Zwaanswijk, Heffernan and Asian Champions League winning Goalkeeper Ante Covic speak of him, he clearly is a man who is passionate about the club, but for me, the longer he stands by and watches what is happening to his club, he eventually becomes the problem. Only he can remove Tsatsimas from the CEO position, but until he does this, the problems for the Wanderers will only get worse. As Covic has said in the past “But it goes a lot deeper – it doesn’t just start with issues with the coach. Make of that what you will.” and “There’s something fundamentally wrong – it seems like the club has lost its soul. It’s not the club I remember. The identity and culture I recall aren’t there any more”.
The appointment of Mark Rudan(formerly a Sydney FC legend) has also thrown into question what the club are doing. Hes been given the job on an interim basis and is not guaranteed the job past this season, which for me is incredible. For everyone looking in from the outside, the appointment of Gary Van Egmond as assistant coach under Robinson was seen by many as the next interim manager, so when they go and find someone else to fill that role you have to think that whoever is in charge has lost all sense of the job. Even the appointment of Rudan is an odd one. You would think a side that is playing a boring and ineffective tactical style would want someone who can bring an entertaining style of play to mix it up. Rudan is very much similar in style to Robinson so it’ll be interesting if he can play the style of football that Wanderers fans will want to see.
One thing is for sure though, the next Sydney Derby on March 5th, with Mark Rudan in charge of the Wanderers and a likely under pressure Steve Corica, there will be lot of tension in the stands, and plenty on the line, not just bragging rights for this one.