Matchday: Carrusca on Roar, silverware and on-pitch Spanish
The club was accused of being in a mini crisis, their coach Josep Gombau was embroiled in a fight with a News Limited Journalist and both parties were trading insults.
Fast forward and after nine rounds of the A-League 2014/15 that period of tumult sits at the bottom history’s dustbin.
Today the Reds sit third on the A-League ladder with 20 points and a record of six wins, two draws and one loss.
United’s silky-skilled Argentinean import, Marcelo Caurusca, says the Reds have started this A-League season in a totally different manner to last year, citing a change in mindset away from home.
“I think this year we have another mentality, we have a winning mentality,” Carrusca said.
“We don’t want to lose any games. Now when we go to play away it’s like we are playing at home. This is our mentality now.
“All the players think the same and have the same objective and we are getting results away because the mentality has changed.
“We are playing together for one year with the same style, with the same coach, with the same players. We have the knowledge, we know exactly what we have to do on the pitch this is the most important.”
Contrast tonight’s opponents, defending Champions Brisbane Roar, who this time last year were on 21 points with seven wins and two losses.
Right now they are on two wins, one draw and six losses with a meagre tally seven points.
The Roar can be accused of having their own mini crisis with their poor start leading to the sacking of title-winning coach Mike Mulvey being sacked.
Even though the Roar are struggling, Carrusca says Adelaide won’t underestimate the current champions when they clash at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight.
“I know that Brisbane is not in their best moment,” Carrusca said.
“Their best player is not playing – (Thomas) Broich now is injured – but they have very good players and it will be a tough game of course like always.
“They play the same style like us, they play from the back, and they play good football so it will be a difficult game and we go into tonight’s (match) to win the game and try to have the three points.”
Adelaide United has made their second best start to an A-League season and that has Carrusca feeling positive the Reds have a great chance of lifting silverware.
“We are confident we can arrive to the top,” Carrusca said.
“We are playing well but we have to continue this way and don’t change. Of course there are good teams, and good players in other teams.
“It will be difficult for us, but if we play the same way that we are playing I hope we arrive to the finals, this is our first objective and after that we will see what happens.”
Mentor Josep Gombau is liked by his players for his coaching style and charismatic sideline antics but Carrusca says it’s the connection that the former Barcelona youth coach has with his men that is most treasured.
“He (Gombau) is very kind, everything that he thinks he tells you,” the 31-year-old said.
“So this is one feedback that we have with the coach, this is not normal, it doesn’t happen with every team, so we have to take advantage of that.
“We have a very good relationship with the coach - every player has that same relationship. He helps everybody, so this is helpful in improving the team.
“When everybody is happy and everybody knows his job individually and like a group this is much better and this improves the group.
“Outside the pitch he’s doing really good things for the club and this is why I think he is very important for the club and for the players.”
Adelaide United has a number of players in top form at the moment.
Carrusca added: “Individually we are playing well, this is fantastic, we have a lot of quality in the squad.
“We try to play the best way every game. We have Isias, (Sergio) Cirio, Bruce Djite, (Craig) Goodwin Awer (Mabil) many, many players that play well this season.
“So we have to take advantage of that and hopefully this year if we can get one trophy it will be fantastic.”
The Latin influence at Adelaide United is striking this season. It includes a Spanish coach, a Spanish technical director in Guillermo Amor, the Spanish triumvirate of Cirio, Isaias and Pablo Sanchez, not forgetting former Chelsea and Portuguese attacker Fabio Ferreira.
Carrusca jokes that because of this Latin flavour some of his local teammates can sometimes struggle with the language barrier.
“The Australian players are trying to learn Spanish to understand what we are saying in the change room,” Carrusca said.
“It’s good, because outside and inside the pitch the communication is much better for us but not for the Australian players.
“We try to speak English all the time but sometimes it’s difficult out on the pitch, because the first option that appears in your mind when you try to talk is Spanish because it’s the first language for us.
“Now the Australian boys are trying to learn Spanish also to speak with us. It’s funny and it’s a good experience for everybody.
“All the time ‘vamos’ and ‘vale’ are being yelled out on the pitch.”
Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Check out Episode Three of his latest A- League Football Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.