Gerhardt's Aloisi slam
Heart have stormed into finals contention by winning four of their past five matches, following a miserable winless start to the campaign which culminated in Aloisi’s axing at the end of December.
The club’s recent upturn is even more staggering given they had previously equalled the A-League record of 19 games without a win.
Gerhardt, who played a key role quelling Carlos Hernandez’s influence in Sunday’s stunning 5-0 win at Wellington, blamed Aloisi’s inability to manage and motivate the whole squad for their winless start to the season.
“When you see John (van ‘t Schip) make more changes than Aloisi did in his whole one-and-a-half years coaching Melbourne Heart, it’s a problem,” the 28-year-old Liberia international told FourFourTwo.
“When you have players who may not have performed well but didn’t need to worry because they knew they’d play next week, it’s a problem.
“I think the mentality has changed. John believes in every single player in the squad, not just the starting XI like it was at the start of the season.
“Look at young Ben Garuccio, who last weekend (in the 2-1 win over Perth Glory) laid off the pass for Williams’ winner.”
Gerhardt also said the Dutch coach had brought back the fun at AAMI Park.
“After we started to lose, we weren’t thinking about playoffs, we just wanted to have fun again,” he said. “The spirit was down, we couldn’t get out of this hole but now everyone comes to training every day and has fun.
"When you’re happy you play well on the weekend. That’s what we’ve been the past few weeks and the results have been good.”
The former Young Boys defender said van ‘t Schip was the man to take Heart forward and implored the club to secure him permanently.
“In the short time he’s been here, he’s done a lot,” Gerhardt. “He’s the right man for Melbourne Heart.”
Gerhardt also used the example of David Williams, who forced his way back into the Heart starting line-up after scoring winners as a substitute two weeks in a row, before a hat-trick in the win over Wellington, to commend the Dutchman’s impact.
“With his pace and shot, he’s a weapon,” he said. “Now he’s shining, he’s got his confidence back. Under van ‘t Schip he’s growing again.
“He twice came off the bench to good effect and anybody who goes in wants to do their best because if they do well, they now know they’ll start the next game.
“That wasn’t the situation at the start of the season.”