Selfish Dadi to cop spray from coach

January 22, 2010
By Justin Chadwick

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert will demand a please explain from new recruit Eugene Dadi following the striker's selfish display in the club's 2-0 A-League loss to Perth on Friday night.

Dadi, who was snapped up by Wellington earlier this month after being discarded by the Glory, drew the ire of Herbert for taking a second-half penalty instead of regular taker Paul Ifill.

The 36-year-old Ivory Coast veteran embarrassingly fluffed the spot kick straight into the arms of goalkeeper Tando Velaphi, who barely had to move an inch to stop the slow-rolling ball.

Wellington were 2-0 down at the time following first-half strikes from Danny McBreen and Todd Howarth and Dadi's miss snuffed out any prospect of a comeback.

When asked whether Dadi should have taken the kick, Herbert replied: "Look I think there's always context in games.

"All I'll say is I'll address the players and give them my view."

A clearly agitated Herbert was reluctant to elaborate when pushed further on his thoughts.

"I think we'll leave that in house," he said.

Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante admitted Dadi, who is fighting to earn a contract with the Phoenix for next season, should have never taken the penalty.

"I think when it comes to penalties the most confident picks the ball up and takes it," Durante said.

"He's scored three in two games, he's up against his old team.

"He was obviously confident.

"Eugene spoke to Paul and Paul allowed it.

"Hindsight's a beautiful thing, it probably was the wrong choice.

"But he put his hand up and acknowledged it."

Dadi struggled for opportunities at the Glory this season and left the club on bad terms, clearly unimpressed by his treatment from coach Dave Mitchell.

On the eve of the match, Dadi even suggested someone at Perth didn't allow him to do his job, a clear reference to Mitchell.

The Glory boss hit back after the match when asked whether Dadi's selfishness was the reason behind the split.

"I think you've said something there that's very important," Mitchell said.

"Someone's had a pop at me today but I'm trying to keep out of that, I think I'm a bit better than that.

"But yeah, I think that's a big part of what was wrong."

Perth's second win on the trot lifts them to fifth on the A-League table and the club can all but secure a maiden finals berth should they defeat Central Coast at home next week.

Wellington slipped to sixth but have the chance to leapfrog the Glory when they tackle Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.