Marooned at the bottom of the A-League, the club's administration have done the right thing by getting rid of their lame-duck head coach
By Guy Hand
John Aloisi's exit was a lot like his coaching tenure.
Winners were few. Squandered opportunities. Plenty of explaining to do.
Blood on their hands or not, Melbourne Heart's decision to sack Aloisi was merciful and right. He will one day be thankful the tough call was made.
To continue on would have rendered him completely unemployable as an A-League coach or assistant in the future. Now, he still has one.
This was a ship which wasn't going to turn around. The penny doesn't just drop for teams that don't win in 17 matches, carrying a coach with a 62 per cent losing percentage. That is an iceberg struck, water pouring in.
Aloisi's post-match explanations of defeat after defeat had become repetitive and desperate. To the public, he'd become a dead man walking. Do you seriously reckon he still had the players?
It brought to mind John Cusack in the 1980s movie Say Anything. Straining to hold his ghetto blaster above his head, a song from the heart at full pelt, pledging his undying commitment.
Depending on your view, it was either wonderfully romantic or creepily stalker-like and needed ending.
Heart's hierarchy finally decided the latter was the better. It was a choice far better than their initial appointment of Aloisi over Ante Milicic - now an assistant at high-flying Western Sydney Wanderers.
Speaking to any number of Heart players in their first two seasons, one thing became very clear - the esteem that Milicic was held in by the squad and the below-the-line work he did with players to improve their game.
Finding someone to say a good word about Tezza was never difficult.
Not that Aloisi - who was elevated from the youth team job - wasn't a decent bloke either. It just wasn't to be at the Heart, and probably never was the right fit considering his inexperience compared with the better-credentialed Milicic.
Aloisi will coach again. Along with his strong pedigree in the game, he is a decent man. Anyone who has spent time with him says he does possess the tactical nous required. Getting the message across proved his undoing at Heart. At the very least, he is now far wiser than 18 months ago about what the job entails.
A little Ange Postecoglou-style time in the media - and you can be sure SBS for one will be in touch - may help widen his horizons, crystallise his vision, and help him better sell his message when his time comes again.