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We’ll manage somehow

A team without anyone in charge? Oh wait, that could have been last season.

So, the first proper SW19 update of the close season, and already the first bit of snark. It’s been a while.

In a supposedly truncated quiet period (though is it really?) where one could justifiably expect a lot of happening, here’s the sound coming from SW17 right now:


You would have thought we would be at least on final interviews now, but according to the South London Press, perhaps not.

I quote:

The South London Press has been told that the Dons football panel are meeting on Tuesday to discuss candidates.

No link yet, I’ll come onto that particular story in a bit.

But Tuesday though? And if that’s worded right, not even a formal announcement but the “football panel” discussing things?

We’ll not have anyone in place until August at this rate then. August 2023, that is.

Tuesday would make a bit more sense if all the playoffs were finished by then, but League Two’s are still going on.

It does appear that many worst fears are being realised, namely we’ve regressed back to our over-bureaucratic approach to things.

You know the sort of thing, rounds of interviews then reviewed by rounds of committees. Taking almost a month to make a decision on someone we sack a year later anyway.

It’s not like we’ve got plenty of time with released lists and the small matter of replacing them…

With luck, those who are prepared to put their lives on hold and wait for us to make a decision are using the time to properly scout our players.

That shouldn’t be too difficult nowadays, even if you’re out of work you should still have some mates in the game who have access to scouting databases.

Which is why the best potential boss could be one who’s either still in work (and looking to leave) or somebody recently unemployed.

They may have gone back up since I pressed “Publish”, but at time of writing the betting odds market got taken down.

Helpfully, it seems like the Nottingham Post managed to find them while speculating Steven Reid is interested.

First things first – one should be wary of both bookies odds and filler pieces in local newspapers.

As the Notts Post article suggests, they’re filing copy because of what gamblers think will happen.

If you read an “exclusive” then it could well be some agent touting around a name or two.

If it’s appearing in a couple of other places though, and they’re adding new info (which is what is happening with one prospective candidate), it may well have some legs in it.

With that said, and with lack of any other inklings available, let’s delve into some names…

Reid was with us under Bassey before Walter took over, yet him being on the Forest staff will be an issue.

They’re in the Championship playoffs, and I doubt Steve Cooper will be happy at such a disruption.

If they beat Sheffield United in the semis, the playoff final is on the 29th May. Can we afford to wait that long?

Bassey seems to pop up on every new manager list, and one suspects that’s more of a sentimental thing.

All I will say is that at Chelski in the ex-JPT, when he was in charge, Walter came down to the touchline in the second half, took over and you saw his authority evaporate in front of us.

The ITK types suggest neither are interested anyway. Which if true makes a mockery of the whole betting market at a stroke.

I guess it’s driven by punters placing their money on what they hope happens, rather than anything more concrete.

Further down that list, is recently axed Charlton supremo Johnnie Jackson.

This is an interesting one, because I thought he was a bit unfairly treated. And he would have a point to prove.

Though I wouldn’t expect Jason Euell to join up with him, if the suggestion from the Charlton camp is anything to go by…

He may prove to be too pricey for us to take on, though the ITK types aren’t outright denying it like they are with Reid/Bassey.

When it comes to picking a new boss, even at AFCW, sometimes the most obvious candidate is the one that gets the job.

By that, I mean the one where you look at who they are, their background, and what they can offer the club.

This is why I can’t see Jason Euell taking charge, and probably not Chris Powell (watch those two become installed by the end of today now I’ve said that).

On the flip side, Jackson has some first team experience, and I always thought he did a decent enough job at the Valley.

I can see the club being interested in him for next season. Just as I can understand John McGreal.

He’s the current Ipswich u23 manager, but he was Colchester first team manager for four years, and had the odd distinction of spening a month in charge at Swindon.

Both those two pass the proverbial sniff test, whereas others don’t.

Remember that quote from the SLP about Tuesday being when we meet up? That came from being linked with Daryl McMahon, the current Daggers boss.

I’m not quite sure about that one. Yes, he’s got a fair bit of managerial experience but it’s all in non-league.

Earlier this week, we had Bromley boss Andy Woodman associated with us (and Crawley), and Gillingham wanted him before they went with Neil Harris.

He’s being coy but is flattered by the interest. He’ll be issuing a come-and-get-me plea before long.

The most intriguing one is David Artell, the recently axed Crewe boss who found half his squad gone before the start of 2021/22.

At least he would fit in here.

Indeed, he might be the sort of manager who would fit the AFCW bill, if his work at Gresty Road is anything to go by.

You almost have to ignore that Crewe finished even below us last season.

As stated just now, they did the equivalent of selling not only Ollie Palmer, but getting rid of Assal and Rudoni to boot.

He’s much better equipped than Mark Robinson, so you can’t compare the two – as some are already starting to do.

Admittedly, it’s often hard to know what AFC Wimbledon actually wants from a manager. Apart from delivering Championship football with a budget of £2.50.

Oh, and every player and coaching staff member to pay half their wages to the Dons Trust.

In the past, we’ve seemed to want former Wimbledon people regardless of actual experience. We also want emphasis on youth, which is commendable if not entirely realistic these days.

I’d like to think we’ll get somebody who has no previous Dons ties, with legitimate League experience and an ability to attract players.

We effectively need a modern day Terry Brown or Dave Anderson, albeit at a higher level than those two were.

Two individuals who, when it comes to best manager polls of the AFCW era, would take up at least two of the top three.

The club may understandably not want to rush in and make a hasty appointment, but equally it cannot dawdle.

If a candidate is dragging their heels, then move on to the next one. We sort-of have time, but not much of it.

We’ve got a lot to do, and we could very easily find ourselves playing catchup through our own fault.

Other than that, there’s not really much else in the world of AFCW. We’re still licking our relegation wounds, although there’s the inevitable charity match and family fun day this weekend.

The latter getting good publicity with posters near SW19 Towers, it has to be said.

It’s all a bit calm before the storm though, and it might not be a bad time to switch off from AFCW right now.

Because when we finally get our arse in gear and appoint a new boss, you might end up checking your phone hourly to catch up on things…

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