And so the recriminations begin.
Who's at fault for Adelaide United's implosion? Vidmar? Stubbins? Bianco? Patzwald? The senior players like Costanzo and Valkanis? Everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter, not least the Badvertiser's very own Val Migliaccio. In this article, published on page 4 of today's paper, he takes extraordinary liberties with the notion of unbiased journalism in his reprisal for the shot Viddie fired at him during the post-match press conference..
The whole thing ends up looking like a hatchet job on Vidmar's character. It's a self-serving rant. Perhaps Viddie was wrong for having a go at him personally, but nobody can claim that Val hasn't been prone in the past to editorializing in his articles about AUFC and Vidmar. It's one thing for people within the club to play politics and pit their egos against one another, but its a whole other kettle of fish when journalists start doing it, especially as Val is pretty much it when it comes to the 'football media' in Adelaide.
This Fox Sports article suggests that the recent problems stem largely from a dressing-room rift caused by the axing of Costanzo, Salley and Diego. The other Brazilians, Cassio, Cristiano and Alemao, are also apparently unhappy. Four Four Two has run a similar story, reporting that two players in particular (no names, unfortunately) are behind the whole thing, with a source claiming that they are the same two players who were causing trouble 'a few years ago'. That would narrow it down significantly: Valkanis, Beltrame, Costanzo, Dodd and Pantelis are the only players I can think of that have been at the club more than a couple of years. That article also states that Cassio could be on his way out soon - I'll be very upset if that is the case.
Meanwhile, the SMH has run an article quoting a certain ex-captain of the club (let's call him 'Ross'), backing up the notion that there are certain senior players that are not getting a game (well, that rules out Dodd and Pants), were involved in Kosmina's downfall, and seem to be part of the current rot. Furthermore, according to 'Ross', there is at least one Board member actively trying to bring down Vidmar.
It's unfortunate having to watch all of this finger-pointing and infighting again. It's also very hard to know what or who to believe, because everyone involved naturally has their own agendas and biases. All we can hope is that it all gets resolved quickly so the club can concentrate on the future. There will be some good young players stepping up into the first team next year; I just hope that Adelaide United has regained some stability and direction by that point.
In the meantime, there's the game against Queensland this weekend. Win that and we're in the ACL again, and we've got a chance (slim as it may seem) of winning the Championship. Lose and, well, there's always next year. I'll be supporting either way.