The chairman and owners of the Wellington Phoenix have to lift the half slip of transparency on the franchise soccer team if they want to prosper, according to former Wales boss Bobby Gould.
"Who buys the players when they come in and who selects them?" asks Gould of the beleaguered Kiwi campaign in the A-League. "What is the situation with the Phoenix? Who's bringing the players in?"
Simply watching snippets of video footage on players, he says, isn't a foolproof way of selecting them.
"You have to see what he does off the ball, on the ball and what he does when the ball's nowhere near him," says Englishman Gould who is holidaying in Hawke's Bay.
The 71-year-old retired English top-flight player-coach from Portishead, outside Bristol, alluded to how as Coventry City manager he once sought a no-nonsense defender and the name of Stuart Pearce cropped up.
"I went and watched him play in a lower league game and bought him the next day for, like, 22 thousand pounds."
Pearce went on to play for Nottingham Forest, West Ham and England.
Gould says that sort of prerogative gave him the chance to establish a working relationship with players.
"It doesn't seem like that at the moment [with Phoenix]. People at the top of the club have to bond together because they all have to want to make the team successful."
It's imperative, he says, for coaches to create "a balance and a brain" that will help mould a template.
"What systems are you going to play? Are you going to play a passing game?"
Gould says it's about how many times a team infiltrate the opposition's third to create scoring opportunities.
"Do you go with long balls or the passing game or are you just getting caught in between?" he asks, adding putting the ball into the net is what it's about, no matter how.
The Phoenix have gone through a turbulent phase and are now unable to score goals, he says before they lost 4-1 to leaders Sydney FC at the Cake Tin last Saturday to remain rooted at the bottom of the ladder with just one win and three draws from 11 games.
"If you don't put the balls into the defensive teams' area then you just aren't going to score goals."
When he was at the helm of Wimbledon in 1988, Gould says 84 per cent of their goals came from set pieces — freekicks, corners and throw-ins.
"That's because you're in control, when the ball is dead," he says, drawing parallels with American Football where premeditated moves are converted into points from stops and starts.
"That's the same for any good team," he says, alluding to table-topping Manchester City in the EPL who have 17 wins on the trot.
"They work with everything with [coach] Pep Guardiola from freekicks to throw-ins so that way you can put the ball into the area you want it to go."
Phoenix, he says, need to look at who is putting the balls into the oppositions' penalty zone.
Gould, who was West Ham striker under the tutelage of the late Ron Greenwood, says the mentor turned crossing balls into the stock exchange area into an art.
"Ron initiated whipping the balls into the near post where West Ham were going to head it or attack it."
Gould says Phoenix have a dearth of quality balls into that territory to cause rivals problems.
If Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic champions a "direct" philosophy then he must pick personnel who will do justice to it.
"If he wants to go more direct in the attempt to score more goals that they aren't scoring then he has to endeavour to do that.
"He must control that in training, in coaching, during the week — if he wants to see that [on match days] to know his plans are working."
Gould says Kalezic should always be in control to avoid a scenario where he and departed assistant coach Rado Vidosic were "not on the same page". Vidosic's son, Dario, also followed his father out of the franchise.
"I signed [goalkeeping son] Jonathan [Gould] for West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City. If you believe in somebody is it nepotism or do you believe in that individual?"
Dario has missed out on opportunities, he says, but the transfer window will give Phoenix another chance to realign.
When he was the "manager" in Great Britain he was in control of the entire club.
"It seems now that so many areas, like purchasing or bringing players in, is not the control of the one person who will select the team.
"If I'm the manager and I want a player I make the an agreement with the chairman or director of football but he's my choice so I either pick the player or drop him.
"These days now it seems as if it's not the manager's choice, so I would find that really difficult."
Gould says that is surfacing in the EPL as well, including Chelsea who have Italian coach Antonio Conte at the helm.
Having retired, Gould has a taken a step back for a different view.
"Sometimes you can look and say I could have done A, B or C. You look at the EPL and see Sam Allardyce and you've got Roy Hodgson coming back into the game," he says of the Everton and Crystal Palace managers.
"It's quite intriguing when you sit it out and you're not involved, you know, you do have an opinion so that's what I feel," says the former talkSPORT radio presenter known in media circles as "The Gouldfather".
Gould feels the disappointment of the All Whites failing to qualify for next year's Fifa World Cup in Russia and considers them unlucky.
He wishes the Phoenix all the best and suspects all they need is a win to find some momentum.
Gould the coach
■ 1981: Chelsea (caretaker).
■ 1981-83: Bristol Rovers.
■ 1983-84: Coventry City.
■ 1985-87: Bristol Rovers.
■ 1987-90: Wimbledon.
■ 1991-92: West Bromwich Albion.
■ 1992-93: Coventry City.
■ 1995-99: Wales.
■ 2000: Cardiff City.
■ 2003: Cheltenham Town.
■ 2009: Weymouth.
■ 2012: Wanderers.