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Meet the manager(s)

I don’t think there’s much to say about the Plymouth game, as I think we’re still in shock.

Last minute goals? Even if they were massive deflections? A team that actually doesn’t have the weight spread across various shoulders? Or were Plymouth simply crap? Whatever, it’s nice to have this rarity of three points and who knows – we might even get a second lot against Cheltenham…

It’s fair to say though that as far as results go, this is one helluva god-send. Especially as the managerial position finally gets filled this week. Up until yesterday, it made things a lot more cut and dried, but there might be a bit of doubt creeping in?

That said though, we have been here before on more than one occasion, and remember that we’ve had last minute goals at Crewe and against Daggers which didn’t really change things. So while we can enjoy this week, we’re still down the wrong end of the table for a good reason…

Anyway, the talk will now turn to who is doing the post-match interviews from now on. We haven’t really had much official from the club as in who’s received the second interview, but three names keep getting mentioned, and in true SW19 fashion, this update will be immensely unfounded guesswork rigorous analysis as to whom we’ll be calling for the head for when we’re bottom by Christmas.

I’ve listed the names of the potential candidates, and given a checklist of criteria, which are as follows:

Reasons to give him the job: Pretty self-explanatory, really. What (positive) difference will he make? Can he make us stop hating going to games and most importantly of all boost up carvery revenue?

Reasons not to give him the job: Again, if you need this explaining then you are a season ticket holder at Franchise.

The Erik Samuelson “energy, dynamism and innovative thinking” test: This is what our CEO wants, will he deliver it? The new boss that is, not Erik. Could also be considered the Fresh Start Factor, which basically means how much of the old non-league way of thinking will get demolished.

Anti-Franchise rating: In other words, how much would our new boss “get it”? Which does seem to be a pre-requisite for many. One thing is, having a very high number isn’t a guarantee of the suitabilty.

Anything else? Something that may well swing the deal. The clincher, the little nugget that makes Erik sweat a lot and go into a cold shower for a couple of hours.

Final rating: Not necessarily scientific, but neither is football management a lot of the time.

So then…


Reasons to give him the job: Was seen at the Stanley game making lots of notes, so obviously keen. An “outsider”, which means he won’t be bogged down by sentiment. Actually has Football League management experience. May be able to do something with Warren Cummings all the while he’s on the payroll.

Reasons not to give him the job: Recently hinted he’s after the Wycombe job too, alhough he might be hedging his bets. Does seem to get a mixed reaction – your editor asked a group of south-coast based media types at Soton a couple of weeks ago, and his name got a collective gritting of teeth. Others, like Bournemouth fans, do seem to wish he was still with them.

The Erik Samuelson “energy, dynamism and innovative thinking” test: Would certainly be outside-the-box thinking which anyone with no AFCW/WFC connections would have. This is what a post match interview with him would sound like, so if nothing else he does sound a bit like a lower league manager (as opposed to a non-league one).

Anti-Franchise rating: 5/10. Probably the lowest out of all the named candidates, if we ever played them he might be the sort to act all statementlike about them, which one suspects may not go down well.

Anything else? The fact he’s at Pompey u16/u14s may put some people off, athough with the precarious world of football management being, well, precarious, managers have to get whatever they can. Probably the most Football League-esque candidate we know has got this far, if that makes sense.

Final rating: 7/10. If the club is following its own criteria that it made in the initial job application, he’s your man. But a week is a long time in football management…


Reasons to give him the job: The housewife’s choice. Mentioning his name does give people goosebumps, and dewey eyed memories of his runs down the flank in the WFC days. Ticks every box with the youth development side of things, having been at Cardiff’s setup for the last five years. Has connections at Watford as well as South Wales. Players wouldn’t dare dis-respect him, considering the gravitas he would hold at the club.

Reasons not to give him the job: Has precious little Football League management experience, ie none. Youth team is one thing, although given the age of some of our players….. Risk of a Jason Euell type nostalgia trip ending the same way.

The Erik Samuelson “energy, dynamism and innovative thinking” test: He would certainly make people feel like it’s old times again, which might power us on during the really shitty periods we’re bound to have. Has experience of being at a Championship club anyway is something we are sorely lacking, and the changes need throughout the club generally may be accepted from “one of us”.

Anti-Franchise rating: 9/10. If any listed candidate gets it, this one does. One of the first (and one of the very few) WFC players to be seen at KM in the embryonic days. Only one to appear to give a shit about us going down at the Dell.

Anything else? Apparently was encouraged by Cardiff’s owners to apply for the job that Malky Mackay has. Also applied for the Watford job. Has a UEFA “A” Pro-licence, according to WDSA. So the guy actually has a fair amount of credentials behind him. It’s just that niggle that he hasn’t ticked enough boxes with the Football League experience…

Final rating: 8/10 if he brings in an experienced number two to assist him, sort of like a modern day lower-league version of Don Howe. 6/10 if he doesn’t.


Reasons to give him the job: Continuity. Have improved a bit under him. Players love him. Has got a W2 L2 D0 record under his caretaker managership.

Reasons not to give him the job: Waaaaaaay too inexperienced at this level (either as a manager or player) or indeed any sort of management. Part of the “brains” trust of the TB era that offered absolutely nothing when we were doing badly – in other words, what does he do when the pressure is really on? Practically had to plead with his players before the Plymouth game to get a result, and we need to move away from that short-termism.

The Erik Samuelson “energy, dynamism and innovative thinking” test: Would score highly enough simply because he introduced more pragmatism to the side, although that says more about the TB era than anything. As said before, what did he really offer when we were doing poorly last season and this season? One wonders how much the recent little upturn is down to Dave Lee, who apparently won’t be the #2 for Bassey should he get the job…

Anti-Franchise rating: 9/10. Very high indeed. Certainly “gets it”, being somebody who’s been here over a decade. Might be too much part of the furniture though.

Anything else? Didn’t do his stock a lot of harm by helping to pull out the Plymouth result, which has managed to muddy the waters a bit this week. Plenty do want him to keep a role at the club, whatever happens.

Final rating: 4/10, and that’s even after Plymouth. Needs to have a couple more years serving in this division as a number two (or three) before he should be considered. Possibly a future full time manager, though not necessarily with us.


Let’s be honest here, we haven’t got a clue who’s applied, which is why you can’t rule out a shock name being mentioned this week. The reality still stands, there are still a lot of gaps needing to be filled to put us up to that next level – look at how we did against Stanley and Oxford – and it would be very easy to be influenced by one admittedly good win on the road.

The way ES is speaking suggests that he has a fair idea of the type of candidate we want. And in football, nothing is always cut-and-dried, so still keep an open mind even if you’ve already got your Simon Bassey tattoo.

Who is this AN Other? Indeed, is there an AN Other? Do we know him, or will we have to Google him? That’s what Wednesday (we think) will answer, but at least we can finally move on from this speculation and start building for the future.

And who knows, we might get a few more results like yesterday…?