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A-League

Bozza's Question: Why are the Wellington Phoenix Even in the A-League?

Bozza has given up on the Phoenix.

by VICE Sports
26 December 2016, 5:14pm

Youtube

For years, the Wellington Phoenix has provided the A-League with its greatest political football. An Oceania Confederation team in Asian Confederation league.

Sure, the Aussies were wanting to help out Kiwi football, but with the Phoenix failing to supply any on-field quality this season - back to the mean for Wellington after some bright spots under ex-coach Ernie Merrick - pundits are quickly losing patience.

Leading the chorus against them now is legendary former Aussie and Manchester United keeper Mark Bosnich.

"Again, the mind beggars with them, I really don't know what to say about them," Bosnich said, on Fox Sports Australia's live panel following the Phoenix's 2-2 draw with the Newcastle Jets yesterday.

Highlights of the Wellington Phoenix's 2-2 draw with the Newcastle Jets yesterday. Source: Youtube.

"We had all that thing, keep Wellington in the A-League, last year and everyone got behind them all of a sudden it's dropped off. "At the moment, for me, they're offering the A-League nothing."

The Phoenix currently sit a distant ninth, out of the ten, on the A-League ladder - with only the utterly woeful Central Coast Mariners beneath them. Since former boss Ernie Merrick resigned three weeks ago, the 'Nix have only beaten the Mariners, with two 2-2 draws as well..

Bosnich says the Phoenix have got the cattle to compete, but a lack of consistency and general on-field dynamism have put them in his "very frustrating" category.

"They've got Barbarouses, Finkler, [Roy] Krishna, players like that and it's basically for me, I want to see a bit of consistency and for them to actually threaten the top four, instead of just struggling around the fringes all the time," he says.

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"For me, regardless of the political side of why they are in the A-League, let's put that aside for one minute, they should be up there like they were two seasons ago making a difference.

"They are not making any difference whatsoever and they've very frustrating."

The Phoenix's last trip to the A-League playoffs was in the 2014-15 season. At one point that season, they topped the league - with Aussie striker Nathan Burns in Johnny Warren Medal-winning form.

Bosnich's fellow panelist Mark Rudan has been linked with to Phoenix's vacant coaching position, as has Auckland City boss Ramon Tribulietx also in the mix.

Tribulietx, who has led Auckland City to regular appearances in the World Club Championships, got a resounding endorsement from Herald on Sunday football writer Michael Burgess last week.

"Perhaps the most enticing thing about the 44-year-old is his potential," Burgess wrote.

He has brought a professional mindset and set up to Auckland City, but how good could he be with all the resources of a fully professional club behind him, and working with full time players? The sky is the limit."

Anything different to the current situation certainly appeals to Bosnich, and 'Nix fans.