Winning the A League – How Important is Playing Style?

Gareth MorganWellington Phoenix

The Phoenix have a solid record in the A League, finishing in the top 6 for the last 4 years, and finishing in the top 4 for two of those seasons. Looking forward we want to establish a record of winning the competition, the relevant question is how best to do that.

Spending mega millions on superstars is simply not an option that Welnix would look at – besides there is no A League precedent to prove such a strategy is effective. To lift our chances of victory is the reason we have commenced our Football School of Excellence and we’re looking to expand that initiative over coming years – we see a pipeline of young players coming into the club as one realistic way to boost our playing resource and provide support to our senior players.But also under discussion has been whether we need to adjust our playing style in order to force our way to the top of the League.

Within the ownership group there are suggestions that we would have a better chance of winning the A League by moving to a “total football” approach. Of course such a transition would not be easy nor immediate – it requires a lot of work by coaches and staff.

It’s a given that such a style appeals to the fans, but the issue is whether it’s a feasible route for us reaching the top of the competition.

It’s not a question about changing players or coaches, the question being asked is whether the style that has given us a solid history in the A League, is a style that will enable us to win the competition.

It’s a fun discussion so feel free to contribute.

You can listen to my interview with Tony Veitch on the subject here


The view of former All White Skipper & commentator Danny Hay’s is here


And Ricki Herbert’s perspective is here

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Winning the A League – How Important is Playing Style? was last modified: December 15th, 2015 by Gareth Morgan
About the Author

Gareth Morgan

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Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist and commentator on public policy who in previous lives has been in business as an economic consultant, funds manager, and professional company director. He is also a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist. Gareth and his wife Joanne have a charitable foundation, the Morgan Foundation, which has three main stands of philanthropic endeavour – public interest research, conservation and social investment.