Western Sydney Wanderers coach Josep Gombau started has his new Hyundai A-League club rather shaky, with a belting by Newcastle Jets following a first win over Central Coast Mariners.

The Football Sack looks at how some past coaches began in the first five games at their club and see whether it’s all doom and gloom if they get off to a slow start.

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Ange Postecoglou (Brisbane Roar & Melbourne Victory)

He didn’t get off to a flying start in the 2009-10 season when he took over at the Roar from Round 11, going on to pick up just one win and draw from his first five matches.

That season wasn’t overly inspiring for Postecoglou as he went on to record five wins, nine losses and three draws in total from 17 games in charge.

Keeping the faith proved a masterstroke for Brisbane as Postecoglou led the club to a Grand Final win in 2010-11 after going on to lose just one game for the entire campaign.

His achievements also extended into the next season not only by winning the grand final once again but the incredible feat of going undefeated for 36 straight matches which stands an Australian sporting record.

He jumped ship to Melbourne Victory in 2012-13 and made it to the preliminary final before taking up the offer as head coach for the Socceroos national team.

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Mehmet Durakovic & Jim Magilton (Melbourne Victory)

Durakovic made his A-League coaching debut at the Victory after a long playing career in the NSL but his switch to a head coach role quickly turned sour.

His inaugural season in 2011-12 lasted just 14 games delivering just three wins, six draws and five losses in total.

He got off to a slow start with just one win, three draws and one loss and never got the winning form to happen; eventually gettting sacked following a trio of losses in a row.

In his place came Magilton who did equally as bad and failed to lift his new side up the table.

He was winless from his first five games and only managed two wins in the 12 games he was at the Victory, forcing the club to move him on and call in the back-to-back championship coach Postecoglou for the next season.

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Tony Popovic (Western Sydney Wanderers)

The first coach for the Wanderers in their debut season, who spent a considerable amount of time there to help shape their identity, beginning from the 2012-13 season.

In his first five matches, he had the two wins in Rounds 4 & 5 after suffering a draw and two narrow losses.

He then took his side to first place on the table particularly due to an impressive back-end of the season.

From the Round 16 win against Wellington Phoenix the Wanderers didn’t drop a point until a draw with Sydney FC and only copped a single loss in that period.

They created history away from the A-League with first place granting them qualification to the AFC Champions League.

No other Australian club had done it before, but the Wanderers took out the ACL trophy in a gripping encounter with Saudi Arabia powerhouse Al Hilal.

Popovic clinched the premiers plate for finishing first in 2012-13, but failed to obtain more silverware despite making it to every finals series except in 2014-15.

After five seasons at the Wanderers, he headed overseas to Karabukspor in Turkey but didn’t last long before departing.

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Guillermo Amor (Adelaide United)

Amor was coach of a Reds team who completed arguably the greatest A-League recovery from a form slump.

Amor was left with an almighty task of salvaging the 2015-16 season after being winless from his opening five games, suffering two draws and three losses.

The pressure continued to build for Amor until his team finally picked up a victory in Round 9.

Suddenly his season hit a turning point and remarkably not only did Adelaide go from bottom to top of the ladder and pull off the premiership, but they went one step further and did the double with a 3-1 win over the Wanderers.

Amor had an almost identical start in his next season, however couldn’t repeat the 2015-16 heroics and led to him departing the club, replaced by current coach Marco Kurz.

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Tony Walmsley (Central Coast Mariners)

The Mariners were going through an important transition as they searched for the right replacement for championship winning coach Graham Arnold.

They would’ve loved to have held on to Arnold given they went through an extremely tough period raising questions about their future in the competition.

The man at the helm was Walmsley who first took over in Round 20 in 2014-15.

It was never going to be easy for him joining a club in the bottom half of the table, he only a one win and draw from his first five games. A sluggish start meant he couldn’t pinch a finals berth.

The 2015-16 campaign was a complete disaster at Gosford as the Mariners slumped to last place and never looked a chance of getting clear.

Just three wins for the entire season made them vastly less competitive than the Arnold era, leaving the club no choice but to show Walmsley the exit door.

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Reference:

All stats and facts sourced through Ultimate A-League: http://www.ultimatealeague.com/

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Liam Watson is covering Melbourne Victory this season while completing Media and Communications at La Trobe University.