New Melbourne City Head Coach Erick Mombaerts has teased the prospect of a sweeping metamorphosis of his new club’s style in his first appearance at the helm of the club.
Mombaerts was named as Melbourne City boss last Thursday and touched down in Melbourne over the weekend; fronting the media for the first time as the City gaffer on Monday.
The Frenchman, who has signed a three-year deal with City, has previously steered Paris Saint Germain, Toulouse FC, Le Havre AC in his homeland, as well as taking charge of the French U18 and U21 sides.
Most recently, however, Mombaerts coached at partly City Football Group (CFG)-owned Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos and then worked as an advisor within the City Football Group on establishing a blueprint of the group’s playstyle for distribution amongst its clubs.
In his introductory press conference, the 64-year-old made clear his intentions to leave an immediate mark on the way that Melbourne City goes about their football; emphasising the importance he placed upon the CFG brand of football and the need to bring it to Melbourne.
“For me, it’s an opportunity to come to Australia and also stay in a CFG club,” he said.
“It’s a nice opportunity to come to Australia, a nice country and a big club.
“I know many things about Melbourne City because I was at another club in Yokohama in the same group. I know that it’s a new club for the CFG because, five years ago, it was another club.
“I know also about the previous season, about what they did, how they did. I also know the style of play from the previous season. I watched some games of last season and I know enough about Melbourne.
“The main objective we want to achieve is to give an identity of play of our team, that is the main objective.
“We are in a group, CFG, and we want, I want, to set up our City style of play, this offensive style of play. It’s difficult to set up on the field, but I’m confident, with the motivation of our plays, to set up this style of play.
“I want also to give this identity of play to make fans proud. Give an identity of play and immediately please, immediately, not after many years.
“I want to change a lot of things and this identity maybe in a few months.
“But it also important to know that the style is so important for us because we think that it’s the best way to produce amazing offensive football, but it’s also the best way for us to win.
“The second goal is also to increase, improve our results, we want to win with this style. It is our priority. The style and the style to win.
“It’s a big challenge to achieve this. We work hard to achieve and to win something; to win the title and to reach the Asian Champion’s League. We want to do this. The best way to do this is to set up our style of play.
“We want to win something, we want to achieve and reach this level. That’s why we need to improve our level because our levels are not sufficient at the moment, so we need to change something.”
Mombaerts will now be tasked not only with the juggling the tasks of delivering of trophies to the Bundoora based club whilst fostering the young talent that the club – which has made no secret of its desire to serve as an incubator of young Australian talent – has stockpiled, but also winning back the hearts and minds of the City fan base.
Despite maintaining one of the best records of any of the coaches across the history of Melbourne Heart/City, City fans became increasingly frustrated over the course of former coach Warren Joyce’s tenure at the club; driven away by his slow, pragmatic game style and his clashes with fan favourites as he attempted to instil a tough, no-nonsense and accountability focused approach in the dressing room.
With City’s crowds falling to second lowest in the A-League in 2018/19 and the club eliminated in the first week of the finals by Adelaide United, the decision was made to axe Joyce and open the door for the eventual appointment of Mombaerts.
Recently announcing the capture of Australian defender Richard Windbichler, City are set to begin their 2019/20 campaign on July 31 when they travel to face NPL SA side Campbelltown City in the FFA Cup’s Round of 32.
HEADER IMAGE CREDIT: Melbourne City | Aleksandar Jason