Wellington Phoenix co-owner Gareth Morgan has conceded today that his criticism of New Zealand Football and offer of Ernie Merrick as coach following their two losses to Mexico last month now make him feel awkward and embarrassed as his own team’s winless streak extended to 11 games.
“I really feel a bit silly over everything I said now,” Morgan admitted on Radio Sport’s Crowd Goes Wild show this morning. “Like when I said we needed to infect the footballing establishment with excellence. Well given my team hasn’t been showing anything closely resembling excellence for some time, it makes going to Phoenix games a bit awkward for me now.”
Morgan went on to say that, “And that whole thing about one style of football to rule them, it’d probably be useful if I could at least get the Phoenix playing a style of football to win at least one game this season. I’m a little embarrassed about that. Here I was lambasting New Zealand Football about picking failed rugby players when my own team keeps snatching draws and defeat from the jaws of victory in much the same manner as they’ve always done.
“That’s before we even get to that story about how statistically the Phoenix are getting walloped by the other teams. I mean we rate in the bottom three in the league for shots on target, goals to shots, duels won and pass completion rate,” Morgan added. “It’s made me realise that before I start blasting New Zealand Football for playing a crap style of game with the All Whites, I should probably fix the style of play that the team I own is playing with.”
When approached for comment, New Zealand Football appeared to be unavailable, with only raucous laughter being heard down the phone line.