No festive cheer unless results start to improve
UNLESS results start turning around quickly, coaches Kenny Lowe, Tony Walmsley and Guillermo Amor could have a pretty miserable Christmas.
Perth Glory, Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United occupy the bottom three spots on the A-League ladder with the Reds (third from bottom) already six points behind sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix.
All three have only one win this season, with the Glory and Mariners having lost six times in this campaign and Adelaide five.
This time last year Perth was sitting pretty on top of the A-League table with Andy Keogh scoring goals for fun.
Twelve months on, Keogh has gone and Lowe's men are bottom, and the next win looks a long way off going on the past two performances against Melbourne City, when they lost 5-1 and last week's 1-0 defeat to Adelaide.
The Glory looked bereft of ideas in both games in defence and attack, and that shows in its record this season.
In eight games the team has only scored seven times, while conceding 14.
There is no doubt the salary cap drama, when Perth was fined $269,000 and banned from taking part in the finals last season after being found guilty of exceeding the salary cap by about $400,000, has affected all concerned out west.
The likes of Keogh, Danny Vukovic, Scott Jamieson, Youssouf Hersi, Danny de Silva and Rostyn Griffiths - all players who are difficult to replace - have gone.
It is quite clear where the Glory needs to improve and there has been talk Keogh could return in January when the transfer window opens, but I think Lowe and Co. need much more than that.
With games to come against Central Coast tomorrow, followed by Melbourne Victory and the Western Sydney Wanderers, it could be a miserable festive season for Glory.
Central Coast, meanwhile, has impressed in attack under new coach Walmsley, but defensively the Mariners have been poor.
You cannot expect to be in the top half of the table when conceding 21 goals in eight games.
Manchester-born Walmsley has pledged to continue his attacking brand of football, and, going forward, his team has looked good on occasions.
However, as Kevin Keegan found out a few years back when his attacking philosophy probably cost him the English Premier League title when managing Newcastle, sometimes you have to defend, and until Walmsley fills up the holes in his leaky defence then he too could be facing a tough time at Christmas and into the New Year.
The surprise packet of the three clubs down the bottom is Adelaide.
Most (including me) expected a seamless transition from Josep Gombau to former Barcelona star Guillermo Amor when Gombau surprisingly upped sticks in July.
But one win and five defeats have shown it is not that easy to carry on a winning formula.
The Reds have been surprisingly short of goals so far this campaign despite playing some neat football.
There is no doubt Adelaide needs a potent goalscorer, and in next month's transfer window the coach should set his eyes on a decent striker.
Get that and the Reds could be looking at a more profitable New Year.