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I’d rather Jack

Admit it – I bet you never thought the music-related quip here would be the Reynolds Girls…

Anyway, our search for a new manager is finally over, and we can now stop trying to hang on every rumour flying around.

Welcome to AFC Wimbledon John Alec Jackson. Charlton’s most recent manager, Valley stalwart and regular loanee from Spurs.

Also a Camden lad, and depressingly for your editor is younger than me.

He’s already given the bon mots, and in his extended interview he already is mentioning getting down to work.

The SLP is often better than anywhere else when it comes to AFCW related stuff, and it already picked up on his BBC London comments.

Wisely, he took a break soon after he was sacked in SE7 (and more on that a bit later), and it’s telling he’s already talking about adding more experience.

He’s got Terry Skiverton alongside him, as he was at Charlton**, and one wonders if more will be added once he realises who was here previously.

** – those expecting Jason Euell might be disappointed – your editor spoke to the SLP’s editor at Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago, and it was suggested he was forced upon JJ…

Here’s a list of players released under our new manager at his former club, and while I think we’d struggle to get Conor Washington – there are one or two ones you hope would be available to us…

So, why Johnnie Jackson? To be honest, I think we could have done worse – and some are forgetting we’ve just been relegated back to League Two.

He’s local, was clearly interested in the position given his BBC London comments, and he does have a bit of genuine experience of managing men’s football.

The only question mark I have about him right now is his transfer market dealings, insofar we don’t know what he’ll be like or who he’ll want.

He’s certainly got an idea, and him mentioning “experience” is an interesting admission.

As us and Charlton were in the same division last season, and he faced off against us twice, he would know a lot about our squad and how we set up.

Any scouting worth its salt would know how young we were, and our many weaknesses, and arguably other sides knew more about us than Mark Robinson did.

Yes, that’s a dig at our previous regime. And no, I don’t care.

I would fully expect JJ was made aware of the contracts of every player during the interview.

No doubt, like Mark Bowen before him, he did his research on us before the interview(s) with AFCW.

Before I go on, a quick aside – MB is back at Reading as their Head of Football Operations.

I wonder what the relationship between him and JJ is? Whether our new boss can pick the brain of our recently departed interim manager?

Remember in football that it’s contacts, contacts and more contacts. MR had very few if any, and you expect Jackson to have a lot more.

It would be funny if we have a PSF against Reading this summer though. Not sure if Ince would like coming to SW17, mind you…

Back to JJ, and your editor covered some games at the Valley last season.

I thought he didn’t do a bad job there at all. He took over from Nigel Adkins**, who left them in a bit of a state, and they looked a lot better under him.

** – proof that a “known” manager doesn’t always make a “good” manager.

When he was interim boss, here’s what Jayden Stockley said about JJ after Havant in the FAC:

“I just think the whole atmosphere has been so positive under him, and in terms of the intensity it gives us a chance to use the quality of the squad.

“Everyone – whether they’re playing or not – is behind Jacko and you’ve seen from our results, like Sunderland, it wasn’t a one-off.

“It’s a great atmosphere to be in at the moment, and long may it continue.”

You’d kill for a player next season to be making those post-game comments.

If he was so good, why was he arbeitslos when the season ended? Basically, Charlton’s owner didn’t seem to want him.

Thomas Sandgaard gave the impression he wanted somebody else in charge, but his preferred option wasn’t available.

Jackson was doing well as interim boss but didn’t get rewarded the job until some while later.

His comments after JJ’s axing raised eyebrows too. Although I bet some names now linked with the Charlton hotseat weren’t on his shortlist.

So I don’t doubt our new manager is hurting and has a point to prove.

Especially as he was apparently talking to Addicts fans about his transfer plans at their own end-of-season shindig.

As for our own reaction, it seems a bit oddly mixed.

The vast majority want him to succeed, but some of the reaction beforehand was quite lukewarm.

Some of it was along the lines of lack of experience again – though JJ has more managerial background than MR when he took the interim job.

And more than Ardley. And Glyn Hodges. And you expect him to be much more house-trained than Walter was.

I’ve no doubt some would have preferred Bowen to stay, but that was never an option.

Others may have wanted somebody with more of a L2 track record, like David Artell. But he lives in Cheshire, apparently, and upheaving somebody like him probably isn’t worth it.

And yes, I’m in no doubt a few still want an ex-Wimbledon type returning (ie Bassey) because he’s one of our own and he “gets us”.

At least under Mick Buckley we no longer do that. And we’re better off for it.

Apart from all that, until he gets properly going there’s not too much else to say now.

He’s got a massive rebuilding job, in terms of squad, infrastructure and, yes, morale.

If he hasn’t run out of Plough Lane screaming in his first morning in charge, hopefully he’ll be getting the metaphorical carving knife out to so much of the shitfest.

It might be quiet for a few days, but as usual with these kind of things, it will probably be difficult to keep up once the floodgates open.

Most importantly right now, we’ve got somebody in charge. We can finally start waving goodbye to most of those who clogged the drains up last season.

Our first proper game is on the 30th July, unless it gets moved for television.

We’re all hoping we look radically different by the first L2 fixture. Hell, I’m looking forward to not recognising anyone by the first PSF…

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