Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's the Players Wot Done It

Like any self-respecting blogger, I have been busy leafing through my Rolodex and asking my inside sources what really went on at the Valley. Quick as a flash and almost simultaneously they both come back with the same message, "It's the players wot done it."

Assuming this is true (and trust me this is outstanding information) then it is consistent with what much of the press was reporting this morning, and inconsistent with the club's rather opaque statement and Varney's subsequent interview (thanks Cynic Athletic).

The Board have sought to pin the blame upon the structure that the very same Board put in place, and have dismissed the man who Richard Murray described not six months ago as, "...a very bright young coach with modern ideas and a real passion for the game." However they have retained the structure moving Reed and Robson up and implying an ongoing search to fill the reserve-team berth.

If the structure was the problem then change the structure (why was Dowie and now Reed 'head coach' and not 'team manager'?). If Dowie was the problem then say so and tell us why their initial impression was wrong; in my view, those hardy fans that travelled up to Wigan deserve as much. And if as I am alleging the players revolted against their manager, then who the hell do they think they are? This is the same bunch of mediocre players that have failed to register an away win since October 2005, and whose best performers this season have mainly been Dowie signings. If true it's player power gone mad.

I happen to like Dowie as you can probably tell. He is an intelligent man who is passionate about football and whose playing career maximised limited talents through hard work and focus. His managerial record has been unfairly denegrated in my view too. Based upon what I have seen, we have made slow but steady progress, but the style has been better and few of us had high expectations anyway in light of some of the garbage left at the end of last season.

Obviously I intend to give Reed my backing but let's not pretend that he's managerial material. Coaching and managing require different skillsets which is why he's spent his entire career focused on the former not the latter, and no doubt he's been happy staying in the background. The last place the players should be right now is the 'comfort zone' but this compromise is likely to ensure they remain there. If they didn't enjoy a b*llocking from Dowie and some hard work on the training ground then Dowie is well rid of them.


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