Wellington hasn’t ever been seen as a proponent of ‘modern’, attacking football, but with two consecutive finals appearance, this didn’t seem to be a huge problem. A Ricki Herbert side was always strong defensively, physical and organised, and most importantly, produced results. That was, until recently, when the new owner Gareth Morgan recently discussed his desire for the side to play a more entertaining style.
“The important thing is we want a style of football that the club is known for and we will essentially hire coaches that give us that style,” he said. “So in other words the style of football will be determined by the club, not by the coach.”
As an excellent article by Brett Taylor notes, Morgan’s comments are somewhat unfounded. “For starters, Mr Morgan,” he memorably states, “you probably will win the league by being the best defensive team.”
The result is that Herbert and the squad are torn between two styles of football – the pragmatic system, and the supposed ‘Total Football’ enforced by Morgan, and there’s been a distinct and alarming drop in form since the controversy emerged.