Monday, 1 December 2008

Heard it before?

“The (ex) manager is disappointed with the board”, “The board have got it wrong”, “There is no experience there”, “We’ll be the laughing stock of South London”, “He’s not a Charlton man”, “He’s the wrong man” – sounds familiar? It should be if you were a supporter when Lennie Lawrence upped sticks and moved north (to Middlesborough, with Alan Kernaghan, the player he had been buying from Boro for Charlton but then decided he would rather keep him there – but that is an aside) and when Richard Murray, outed the managerial partnership of Curbishley and Gritt and sent a Charlton legend packing to Brighton. What followed this strange managerial partnership, for this club that did not even play at its own ground was years of improvement , off the field and on the field, under the inexperienced, non Charlton Alan Curbishley, who himself is a Charlton legend, albeit with some a grudging one.

These same things are being said today as we enter a new phase. As fans we are scarred by Curbishleys successors – Dowie, who I thought was a good appointment, which is why I am useless at Championship Manager, Reed, who was a great coach, who should never have been given the reigns and Pardew, who we all thought would be our saviour, only to find out “He was not the messiah, he’s just a naughty manager”. Of those three successors, I would forgive Les Reed, the wrong man, at the wrong time, in the wrong place- if any of us had been given the opportunity to take over the reigns at Charlton then we would have done with passion in our hearts and he was sorely let down by the players at the club, to the extent that I booed the players against Wycombe and sang “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” but never did I aim any vitriol at Uncle Les. But Dowie and Pards, for them there is nothing but contempt, if Dowie brought our house down with poor signings and inept management, Pardew has replicated him and destroyed the foundations of the club. Dowies £11 m spend in the Prem, was then enough money to allow us to tread water at mid table, but for Pards to spend the same and leaving the club staring relegation in the face then he has been profligate and criminal with our funds, hiding behind his media spin and a smooth tongue.

I coined the chant “Your worse than Iain Dowie” in the Rose of Denmark,in jest. But looking back, its true, I believe that Pardew was worse than Dowie.

So where do we go for a successor?

Some are calling for a name and lets assume that a name would come to us, presumably out of work at the moment, why would they come to a small, moneyless 2 tier outfit like us, how would that enhance their reputation and if they did come and they did succeed, how long would they stay? We can’t afford a name, either their wages or their desire to build another new team. Of course, what do we mean by a name? There is big Sam and we do not have a hope of getting him on reasonable wages or with a commitment for the future, his sole reason to come to us would be to get back in the game and get offered a better job soon after – a bit like Gary Megson at Leicester. An alternative is Billy Davies – quarter pint to his mates – and he does have his appeal, but he accepted before and then did not have the courtesy to let the club know he had changed his mind. I feel that there is still a bitter taste in the mouth of the board about this fiery Scottish jack in the box. Let’s not forget that having got promotion with Reading and West Ham and been four minutes away from being an FA Cup winning manager, not forgetting his dust up with Wenger and his bum wiggle at the cup Semi Final, Pardew was a name.

How about a return for Curbishley? I have met Curbs 3 times thanks to Championship Diary Blogger and a nicer man you could not hope to meet, and he along with Minty constructed arguably the most successful Charlton era of all time (Lennie and Jimmy Seed can argue that),but I am a firm believer of never going back. I look at Howard Kendall and how sour his return to Everton ended up. For Curbs, who must feel hard done by, following his West Spam experience, to come back to us would kill any ambition of established Prem. Management, for Curbs there are challenges that he has yet to meet before he would consider any involvement with a tier two club.

So that leaves us with the untried and the untested and because we have no money for compensation, the unemployed. What we need is a man with experience, who is still young and can display tactical nouse and may have built a reputation in the lower leagues.

There is only one person who fits this bill to any degree, that I know of. He has had two jobs in football management, in the first he got promotion and was, at the end of that season, refused permission to talk to a premiership club for their vacant position, then he joined another Club in tier two, but this did not go as well and before the season was half through he had lost his job. That’s not a bad thing for a young manager, you learn a lot through adversity. He became a coach and turned down a position of manager with a tier three club to retain his coaching role.

He is of course, Phil Parkinson. Unfortunately, for PP he is tainted with Pardews reputation and has to pick up his legacy. There is no doubt that PP has contributed to some of this situation, you cannot be in the management team without having some influence, but to what extent he was a contributor and what extent he was a dissenter we do not know. What we know is that he has more experience than Curbs had when he and Gritt took over, he even has a successful promotion campaign to his name, he has come in and made the team his own within a very short period of time. Watching on Saturday, we had shape and purpose and commitment, three characteristics that Pardews team lacked. He put out a team that kept a clean sheet, a rare feat indeed these days, he seems to have the players on his side and that maybe is where pards went wrong, he seemed to have lost the players, but never really realised it. At the moment he has done nothing to disappoint me, I came out of the valley for the first time in ages excited and exhilarated by our performance. For those that say “We did not win”, no we did not, but for an outstanding goalkeeping performance and we looked like we could, it is not often we have said and thought that.

It is a difficult week ahead for PP, another away game in the killing fields of the North West, he has to develop the players fitness, witness the decline in energy levels after the 1st half, keep the morale up and instil steel grit and determination, it’s a hard task wether you are a name, a curbishley or a Parkinson, I have a sneaking feeling he has the ability to do, I am just not sure he has the time.

“The (ex) manager is disappointed with the board”, “The board have got it wrong”, “There is no experience there”, “We’ll be the laughing stock of South London”, “He’s not a Charlton man”, “He’s the wrong man” – sounds familiar? It should be if you were a supporter when Lennie Lawrence upped sticks and moved north (to Middlesborough, with Alan Kernaghan, the player he had been buying from Boro for Charlton but then decided he would rather keep him there – but that is an aside) and when Richard Murray, outed the managerial partnership of Curbishley and Gritt and sent a Charlton legend packing to Brighton. What followed this strange managerial partnership, for this club that did not even play at its own ground was years of improvement , off the field and on the field, until under the inexperienced, non Charlton Alan Curbishley, who himself is a Charlton legend, albeit with some a grudging one.

These same things are being said today as we enter a new phase. As fans we are scarred by Curbishleys successors – Dowie, who I thought was a good appointment, which is why I am useless at Championship Manager, Reed, who was a great coach, who should never have been given the reigns and Pardew, who we all thought would be our saviour, only to find out “He was not the messiah, he’s just a naughty manager”. Of those three successors, I would forgive Les Reed, the wrong man, at the wrong time, in the wrong place- if any of us had been given the opportunity to take over the reigns at Charlton then we would have done with passion in our hearts and he was sorely let down by the players at the club, to the extent that I booed the players against Wycombe and sang “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” but never did I aim any vitriol at Uncle Les. But Dowie and Pards, for them there is nothing but contempt, if Dowie brought our house down with poor signings and inept management, Pardew has replicated him and destroyed the foundations of the club. Dowies £11 m spend in the Prem, was then enough money to allow us to tread water at mid table, but for Pards to spend the same and leaving the club staring relegation in the face then he has been profligate and criminal with our funds, hiding behind his media spin and a smooth tongue.

I coined the chant “Your worse than Iain Dowie” in the Rose of Denmark,in jest. But looking back, its true, I believe that Pardew was worse than Dowie.

So where do we go for a successor?

Some are calling for a name and lets assume that a name would come to us, presumably out of work at the moment, why would they come to a small, moneyless 2 tier outfit like us, how would that enhance their reputation and if they did come and they did succeed, how long would they stay? We can’t afford a name, either their wages or their desire to build another new team. Of course, what do we mean by a name? There is big Sam and we do not have a hope of getting him on reasonable wages or with a commitment for the future, his sole reason to come to us would be to get back in the game and get offered a better job soon after – a bit like Gary Megson at Leicester. An alternative is Billy Davies – quarter pint to his mates – and he does have his appeal, but he accepted before and then did not have the courtesy to let the club know he had changed his mind. I feel that there is still a bitter taste in the mouth of the board about this fiery Scottish jack in the box. Let’s not forget that having got promotion with Reading and West Ham and been four minutes away from being an FA Cup winning manager, not forgetting his dust up with Wenger and his bum wiggle at the cup Semi Final, Pardew was a name.

How about a return for Curbishley? I have met Curbs 3 times thanks to Championship Diary Blogger and a nicer man you could not hope to meet, and he along with Minty constructed arguably the most successful Charlton era of all time (Lennie and Jimmy Seed can argue that),but I am a firm believer of never going back. I look at Howard Kendall and how sour his return to Everton ended up. For Curbs, who must feel hard done by, following his West Spam experience, to come back to us would kill any ambition of established Prem. Management, for Curbs there are challenges that he has yet to meet before he would consider any involvement with a tier two club.

So that leaves us with the untried and the untested and because we have no money for compensation, the unemployed. What we need is a man with experience, who is still young and can display tactical nouse and may have built a reputation in the lower leagues.

There is only one person who fits this bill to any degree, that I know of. He has had two jobs in football management, in the first he got promotion and was, at the end of that season, refused permission to talk to a premiership club for their vacant position, then he joined another Club in tier two, but this did not go as well and before the season was half through he had lost his job. That’s not a bad thing for a young manager, you learn a lot through adversity. He became a coach and turned down a position of manager with a tier three club to retain his coaching role.

He is of course, Phil Parkinson. Unfortunately, for PP he is tainted with Pardews reputation and has to pick up his legacy. There is no doubt that PP has contributed to some of this situation, you cannot be in the management team without having some influence, but to what extent he was a contributor and what extent he was a dissenter we do not know. What we know is that he has more experience than Curbs had when he and Gritt took over, he even has a successful promotion campaign to his name, he has come in and made the team his own within a very short period of time. Watching on Saturday, we had shape and purpose and commitment, three characteristics that Pardews team lacked. He put out a team that kept a clean sheet, a rare feat indeed these days, he seems to have the players on his side and that maybe is where pards went wrong, he seemed to have lost the players, but never really realised it. At the moment he has done nothing to disappoint me, I came out of the valley for the first time in ages excited and exhilarated by our performance. For those that say “We did not win”, no we did not, but for an outstanding goalkeeping performance and we looked like we could, it is not often we have said and thought that.

It is a difficult week ahead for PP, another away game in the killing fields of the North West, he has to develop the players fitness, witness the decline in energy levels after the 1st half, keep the morale up and instil steel grit and determination, it’s a hard task wether you are a name, a curbishley or a Parkinson, I have a sneaking feeling he has the ability to do, I am just not sure he has the time.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Get Parkinson out and a decent manager in now

Geoff said...

Godd analysis, but a bit repetitive!