Has Gombau done enough to retain his role?

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Josep Gombau hasn’t exactly overseen a successful campaign during his tenure at Wanderland and the eccentric Spaniard’s only hope of winning the hearts and minds of fans lies in securing a top six position.

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Football fans are fickle by nature, and they’ve set a very simple ultimatum for Gombau. If he leads the Wanderers into the finals, irrespective of how the outfit fares from there, then he’ll be quickly forgiven for a season of inconsistency and hardship.

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On the other hand if they slip up in any one their three remaining games and therefore fall short of the mark, the likelihood is high that Gombau will be ushered out of the role before the 2018/19 A-League campaign even begins.

Considering the size and passion of the fan base in question it seems a fair judgment to be handed down to the coach who has only steered the Wanderers to six wins since taking the reins in Round 6.

Gombau urged players and supporters this season to remain patient while he attempted to implement a possession based, attacking style approach to the beautiful game. However in the cutthroat world of professional football it all boils down to results, and unfortunately for the Catalan coach positive results have come few and far between.

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In October Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas revealed the Wanderers had been inundated with interest in the coaching role left vacant by Tony Popovic. Gombau was picked from the crop, however with such high numbers looking to fill the position it begs the question whether there is an available coach out there who may better suit the club’s needs.

Only twice under Gombau have the Wanderers secured back to back wins, and after suffering a hefty three nil loss to Melbourne City last round they have now conceded seven more goals than any other team currently within a finals position.

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The outfit must once again return to Melbourne this Saturday to face a resurgent Victory.

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The Wanderers defensive frailties are expected to be exposed again by Kevin Muscat’s side, with Besart Berisha and Leroy George combining this season to become the league’s most prominent attacking duo.

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The pressure on Gombau to make good on his promise is exasperated by the fact fans of the Red and Black have endured one of the most dysfunctional and eventful season’s in the club’s six year history.

The shock departure of Popovic, the punishments dealt to the RBB and the possibility of not making the finals for just the second time in the club’s history has left fans in a state of frustration.

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A coach with the right demeanour is sorely needed at the Wanderers, and as Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick has shown time and time again, finding the right fit the job can literally spark a complete turnaround for a club.

Three games now determine Gombau’s future at Western Sydney and obtaining results against Melbourne Victory, Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar will be far from an easy feat.

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Rowan McClatchey
Rowan McClatchey
Bachelor of Journalism student from the University of Wollongong, covering Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2017/18 season.

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