Western Sydney Wanderers agree to mutually part ways with striker Alex Meier
Western Sydney coach Markus Babbel has revealed an honest conversation with German striker Alex Meier led to both club and player agreeing to a mutual contract termination.
The 37-year-old was released from his contract on Friday morning after 12 games and just one goal for the Wanderers despite arriving in the A-League to great excitement in September.
Babbel, who is also under pressure to turn the Wanderers' poor season form around, said he was sad to lose Meier but the termination was a solution to ongoing "problems."
Unwilling to elaborate on the problems he had discussed with Meier, Babbel hinted there were issues behind the scenes in the German striker's personal life.
"There were a couple of reasons there. This is normal. You can't bring your best performance if you have these kind of problems," Babbel said.
"We know how good he is and how good he can be. He's a top pro. A couple of games you could see it but not regularly.
"It is like it is. We're all humans. Sometimes things go in the right way and sometimes things are not going in the right way.
"It doesn't mean he's a bad player or a bad person. He's a top pro and a great person. It wasn't working."
Babbel said luck was on his side with Irish striker Simon Cox being available to start immediately as a replacement for Meier.
It's hoped the 32-year-old Ireland international will not only score goals but boost the mood around Wanderers headquarters midway through a disappointing season.
Should Cox have the desired impact on the team, it could ease pressure on Babbel, who has the Wanderers in eighth position on the A-League ladder with just four wins for the season.
Already this season two coaches have been sacked for poor results and Babbel said he is aware how quickly things can change for a coach when the team is underperforming.
However, he said has not felt anything but support from the club.
"If someone is not happy, just tell me, I'm old enough," he said. "This is part of the deal. I understand everyone who is not happy at the moment because the results are not there. It's totally normal.
"If you think someone else is the better choice, then do it. But I don't have this feeling. I still believe we can turn it around and come into the playoffs."
Cox will arrive in Australia on Sunday before the Wanderers match against Perth but it's understood he will not run out in the red and black for a few weeks.