With apologies to those who now have to google the “Karen” meme.
Maybe we should change those in charge more often? It seems to be a welcome distraction from the on-field shite, anyway.
As the shortlisting and interviews are about to get proper – from next week, according to the SLP – we can only guess who we’ve got in mind.
The only thing guaranteed is that whoever it will be, it will annoy some people
There’s the popular choice of the Cowleys, who may end up being too pricey for the £10.24 per hour we pay**.
** – though according to Reuters last April, the average L2 (not L1) manager wage is close to £80k and the lowest of any manager is £45k.
Not all clubs responded though, so presumably we pay what little we do, plus perks like reduced DT membership and free guidance on how to claim Universal Credit.
So those hoping for them, or Neil Harris, or anyone else you’ve heard of that may be decent aren’t likely to be coming.
I don’t think that’s necessarily a problem, because the most important thing is for a new boss to be able to get inside this squad’s collective heads.
That will take a bit of first team managerial experience, so if at all possible – we’ll need somebody who has managed in the EFL before.
Or at the very, very least, somebody on the coaching side of things that can do that.
Going that route might help Mark “Robbo” Robinson if the club decides on him after all.
Robbo has certainly won new admirers for his post-game interview at Oxford this week, which told some home truths.
All managers need a bit of good luck too, and he might get that with better news on the injury front with Heneghan.
Some of our fans have even suggested we should forget the formal process and put him in right away.
That would be a huge mistake though. Sure, Robbo said exactly the right things after last week.
And if what he’s said is halfway correct, under Hodges and Daws squad discipline must have slumped.
It would explain a lot, anyway.
And yes, the youngsters coming in did a better job than the senior players in the Mario Pizza Trophy.
But in case you’ve forgotten, we lost at the Kassam with a lot of senior players starting the game.
This isn’t a short-term appointment. The end of the season is still three months and twenty games away.
If we play well in a way that we haven’t seen for ages at Wigan tomorrow, then again against Rochdale, he would be a very good candidate.
We need to make sure we go through the formalities though, because one swallow doesn’t make your summer.
That we’re going for a proper process, and Robbo might not get it after all, suggests we’re not going for a quick fix.
Granted, I’d rather see our current interim boss get it ahead of Jason Euell, because the latter’s appointment would be Ardley mark 2.
Steven Reid being linked to us would have the same problems as Euell, insofar being an assistant is different to being a proper manager.
As a number two? Like Euell, it wouldn’t be a bad move, but Reid is already that at Forest.
So if we really must go down the non-experienced route, stick with Robbo on the basis that he definitely knows how to get the best out of the youngsters.
With one *very* important caveat though, which was suggested earlier, and could change everything if it came to pass.
If, say, Reid or Euell were going to employ somebody with proper experience as their assistant, we should definitely consider it seriously.
We talk about Robbo getting somebody in like that, but if he doesn’t offer that yet, say, Reid does..?
A good assistant is worth their weight in gold, and while the preference by far is the modern day equivalent of Lennie Lawrence, we might have more flexibility than we think.
The next important question is – how long will this take?
As said above, the SLP is saying the interviews start next week, so we’re moving a bit quicker these days.
On past form, it’s taken a month for us to decide, but you can reasonably expect three weeks maximum once the second interviews are done.
Fleetwood employed Simon Grayson on the 31st January, after they sacked Joey Barton on the 4th, to give you an idea of timescale.
One thing is clear though – this decision is more important than you realise.
While the club can survive going down into League Two, it will still be a shock to the system, and we would have failed.
There’s no guarantee we’d go back up to League One any time soon, and we’d be left feeling we we didn’t do enough to hold onto that status.
If we go down – or even if we stay up – we need a massive fucking overhaul in the football side of things.
And this time round, we actually need to do it.
I’m sure you can think back to how we always say things need changing every summer, but we constantly find ourselves in the same rut.
This season has become like most recent ones again, after starting so well, and now patience has finally worn thin.
So we might be looking for somebody who is as much expected to build us up again in League Two this summer, as they are keeping us in League One before then.
The only things we do know right now is who isn’t coming.
Alan Pardew was a name that got bandied about, and that was an interesting few hours of speculation, but he’s happy in Sofia.
Chris Powell is equally content at Spurs, but his comments put him up further in your editor’s estimation.
And then, there was the Emma Hayes thing…
Well, circus is a more apt description, for something that was never likely to happen from the off.
Whether somebody did it as a joke that got a bit out of hand, or whether there are people within this club who were both deadly serious and too “woke” for their own good, I don’t know.
I suspect it’s more than a bit of both.
It got more than a few column inches, and there’s no such thing as bad publicity, supposedly.
Hayes has rejected the whole thing anyway, and she wasn’t happy with some of the suggestions she bad-mouthed us earlier.
Let’s face it though – it will be a long, long time before there’s a female manager of a professional men’s team.
It’s something that excites people in the media, or the types who love to virtue signal on social media.
Yet it would be a novelty appointment, as though it’s trying to play to Guardian readers first and foremost.
True, there’s female directors at clubs, and Wimbledon FC had a female physio in the 1980s.
Coaching and managing is a completely different kettle of fish, and women’s football is for all intents and purposes a different sport.
As is just about everything played according to what equipment you have in your underpants.
There seems to be a bit of an obsession right now to shoehorn women into the men’s game, that doesn’t happen in any other sport.
Tennis has the ATP for the fellas, and the WTA for the ladies. Everyone seems fine with that.
Nobody with a brain ever compares Usain Bolt to Florence Griffith-Joyner, despite both of them running 100m.
Yet football is one of the most lop-sided sports going when you want to compare genders – just look at what happened to the US women’s team when they played some under-15 lads.
Everyone deep down knows that, which is why a female coach is always going to be a non-starter.
I don’t doubt Emma Hayes is very good at Chelsea Women, her record there speaks for itself.
But the standard of women’s football never strikes me as being that high, even at the very top level.
That’s why a lot of people look down at it, especially those in dressing rooms across the country.
Phil Neville bailed on the England women’s team just before one of the biggest women’s football tournaments, to join his mate in Miami,
Mark Sampson’s record in men’s football isn’t something even we would consider.
It’s as much a respect thing as anything, and it’s difficult enough for a lot of male managers to get that out of their players, let alone a female one.
To put it another way – imagine our recent slump in form had happened under Ms Hayes rather than Mr Hodges…
To be honest, I think the whole thing is a distraction from the real issues we face, namely getting somebody to keep us in League One.
Perhaps just as importantly though, they’ll need to properly put in the football infrastructure that we still badly lack.
Maybe the new boss will be the one who points that out in the interview? And more importantly, knows how to do it…