Opinion: Wellington Phoenix fix one mess but create many more with Darije Kalezic departure

The Phoenix have won four of their 21 matches this season. Photo credit: Photosport

OPINION: The Wellington Phoenix have done it again.

With their problems mounting like dirty dishes in a dining room, the tablecloth has been jerked clear, and coach Darije Kalezic has come crashing down.

Rock bottom of the A-League, with just four wins in 21 matches, it's no surprise to see the 47-year old shown the door.

A brief statement confirmed the club and Kalezic were "not able to find a mutual agreement on how to proceed forward, and because of this, have decided to move in separate directions."

Kalezic's time at the club has been miserable. His team has given up multiple goal leads, chewed through keepers, struggled with low crowds, played confusing football and made poor signings.

His reign included the rumoured bust-up with assistant Rado Vidosic, who subsequently packed his bags and took son Dario with him.

Crucial forward Roy Krishna and his contract saga added to the tension in the capital, and while that was resolved positively, it was another unwelcome distraction. 

Whether Kalezic deserved another season is up for debate. On one hand, his dreadful record and disinterested squad made it seem like parting ways was the only option. On the other, perhaps he could have turned things around with a proper pre-season, some new players and a little bit more time.

However, football is a sport that lacks patience, and encourages reaction.

The days of a young Marco Rojas strutting his stuff on the wing, of David Beckham and the LA Galaxy visiting the Cake Tin, and the famous penalty shoot-out win against Perth seem a lifetime ago.

The club is starting to burn out, with the ashes of previous success whisked away in the Wellington breeze.

Watching the Phoenix struggle is the norm, giving ample opportunity for pundits across the ditch to sharpen their knives, and start cutting away at the licence extension the club's clinging onto.

The instability isn't helping. Ernie Merrick, Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre have all passed through in recent times, before moving on to greener pastures.

While General Manager David Dome says they haven't started to talking to any replacements yet, the drums are beating for Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx.

Coaching licence complications could affect his potential appointment, but there doesn't seem to be many clear options aside from him. That leaves another lengthy trawl through Australia, or a hunt across foreign lands for an experienced charge.

The sooner they find their man, the better. A player cleanout is needed, a clear direction needs to be laid out, and the passion needs to return.

The Phoenix are endangered, and to make matters worse, it doesn't seem like anyone cares anymore.

A new coach has to be the spark they need, otherwise there may not be too much life left.

Henry Rounce is a sports reporter for Newshub.