Well, it was beginning to feel like a TV soap opera where script writers just weren't moving quickly enough to kill a mundane character amid groundswell opinion they were fast losing traction with the plot.

That's what it has felt like this summer, watching coach Darije Kalezic make a slow and painful exit from the Wellington Phoenix this week.

Everyone was convinced Swiss-born, Bosnian-raised Dutch national Kalezic was surplus to requirements except for the franchise wallahs who had myopically picked him out of European obscurity for their A-League campaign to forget.

For what it's worth, there's a reason why he missed out to Ernie Merrick in 2013.


Kalezic had cut loose his assistant, Rado Vidosic, just before Christmas so ex-Socceroo son, Dario, a player, understandably left in a sympathetic huff.

After a 4-0 flogging away at the hands of Western Sydney Wanderers last month, he had the audacity to declare his players weren't up to A-League standard.

Yes, that was true to some extent but it also became blatantly obvious his recruits weren't from any accelerant classes either.

Furthermore, it became frustratingly obvious on the park that Kalezic had more acts and scenes in his team's play than William Shakespeare's body of work. The inconsistencies from game to game suggested the side was devoid of any game plan.

But my preoccupation now is with what happens next?

In many respects, the footsteps of ineptness in the appointment of Kalezic must be traced back to the dimly-lit corridors of those who are presiding over such matters.

What were the protagonists on the panel thinking?

No, on second thoughts, keep it to yourself because it could be highly contagious.

The franchise appears to be guilty of taking its Yellow Fever brigade for granted. In fact, how many codes, never mind soccer clubs, can boast having fans peeling off their shirts in the dying minutes of freezing temperatures?

Okay so the jiggling beer bellies aren't exactly what you want to see while having dinner or supper but the orchestrated passion of support is unrivalled.

Transparency in any activity that demands public interest is imperative for the franchise board.

It's one thing to bring exemplary entrepreneurial skills to the table but it's totally another when the need arises to appoint a coaching stable.

It shouldn't be considered a liability to seek the opinion of independent sources before rubber stamping who should be the next coach.

Appointing Auckland City FC coach Ramon Tribulietx as the next Wellington Phoenix mentor is a no brainer. Photo/Photosport
Appointing Auckland City FC coach Ramon Tribulietx as the next Wellington Phoenix mentor is a no brainer. Photo/Photosport

The successful candidate — and I reiterate, as I have done for several years, it is Auckland City FC incumbent Ramon Tribulietx — should be given the time and space to work his magic.

That is, no interference from boards on issues, such as home-grown quota on players, or any other political agenda from previous regimes.

It seems the franchise is adept, fiscally speaking, but seems to stumble at the production line. Vociferous calls from Australia to ditch Phoenix have fallen on deaf ears so far but it's a worry because A-League presence is crucial to development in New Zealand.

If Phoenix still can't get their act together, they need to pass the chalice to another franchise for the future of the sport to be in good hands.

Frankly the current crop of players shouldn't become smug about their places in the squad because you can count on one hand those who actually deserve to be there.

Sure, the coaches have to shoulder a share of the blame because the individuals bring myriad skills to the park and the onus is on the mentors to plait them into something productive.

However, the basics of ball control, passing to each other and turning adept crosses in the attacking third are player prerequisites. So is the innate ability to know where to run in anticipation of an impending pass even before someone executes a passage of play.

Enticing a pedigree coach with a glittery CV from some far-flung parts of the world isn't a guarantee for success either. Ditto signing up adroit players.

Like it or not, the academy philosophy is beginning to churn out players who have the potential to step up to the A-League stage, such as Sarpreet Singh, Logan Rogerson, Liberato Cacace, goalkeeper Keegan Smith and James McGarry. In fact players of that ilk should play the remaining matches of the last-placed side.

The future template for Phoenix must entail a muster of homegrown talent with hybrid imports grafted on to maintain a sense of identity every time they run on to the park rather than elevating the status of marquee imports to try to justify their lucrative pay packs and slotting in "locals" around them to appease disgruntled fans.

Quite often that results in coaches chucking developing players out of position just to fulfil quota obligations with time off the bench.

Frankly players such as captain Andrew Durante, Michael McGlinchey, Mathew Ridenton, Tom Doyle, Oliver Sail and Alex Rufer have to take more ownership as homeboys to provide that platform so Kalezic's successor can find imports to bolster positions around them.

That doesn't mean bringing in a Roly Bonevacia-type midfielder to titillate the Nix faithful with individualism. For the record, the Dutchman seems to be able to distribute the ball quite well without drawing fouls in the Western Sydney Wanderers' equation this season. Why couldn't he do it with the Phoenix?

Too often players are guilty of mistaking cronyism for establishing cohesiveness on the park.

That sort of carry-on leaves astute fans scratching their heads in frustration, wondering why someone made a stupid pass when two other unmarked players were left begging for the ball.

For what it's worth, Tribulietx won't need time to adapt to the Kiwi culture and environment because the Spaniard is in his seventh year at Auckland City.