As it said on the Sky Sports News ticker this lunchtime…
So, farewell Mark Robinson then. A decision that many fans felt was one we’d never take.
After the Cambridge writeup on SW19 yesterday, I was definitely one of them.
But we’re managerless again, for the first time in about 14 months, and you just know we’ve been here before.
This was the right decision, though. Indeed, it perhaps should have been actioned after Plymouth, and certainly after Cheltenham.
But when Cambridge this weekend just gone felt like the line had finally been crossed, even this club had to do something.
It’s quite a short club statement, it has to be said. Three paragraphs long, and this bit right at the end:
There will be no further statement for the time being.
Hmm, and hmm again.
I’ll come onto the club a bit later, but maybe this wasn’t unaminous among “the boards”?
Back to our now-departed Head Coach. It’s hard to think that if you were in deepest Lancashire, on the 7th December 2021, you saw the last win under Mark Robinson.
If you weren’t there on that snowy evening, but you were at PL on Tuesday November 23rd, you witnessed our last EFL home win under him.
If you weren’t, then our last league victory before then was in the evening at Lincoln. That was the 19th October.
And if you weren’t at Sincil Bank…. well, you get the idea.
Today is the 28th March, 2022. You do the maths. And when you do, you’ll realise why we’ve wished him well in public.
His position was untenable, and the biggest complaint has been backing him rather than giving him his P45.
Why did it go wrong from when we were denied a win at Wycombe soon after t’Stanley?
Blaming the sale of Ollie Palmer is correct, but it was more than that. A stubborness to playing a formation that just didn’t work didn’t help, and there was long a feeling that we’d been sussed out even before 2021 was out.
So Robbo ultimately had to go. But I’m not going to dance on his grave.
When the news got announced, I have to admit that I felt a bit sad over it. True, football is a results based business, and there’s too much sentimentality at AFCW for its own good.
MR has been here since about 2004, and if we can thank anyone for having a youth system in AFCW days, it’s him.
Being part of the furniture almost since the beginning is undeniably a gut-wrench, which is why the vast majority are acting in sorrow right now.
It’s telling though that nobody is pleading with him to stay.
That’s probably because we know things are an absolute mess though. We’re in the relegation zone for a very good reason, and one of those factors left the club today.
I can’t speak for anyone else though, but I put a large part of the blame on AFCW itself, for putting us in this position to begin with.
Why? Well, it sounds like Robbo wasn’t helped that much even before we gave Ollie Palmer directions to Wrexham.
Rumours abound that MR wanted the experienced coach alongside him in August, which wasn’t forthcoming.
Having less money to play with than anyone else also crippled our now ex-Head Coach, and he was expected to work miracles with one foot shot off.
The final straw – in fact, I’ll call it an embarrassment – was the public vote of confidence last week.
Save it for prosperity before the club removes it. If it hasn’t already.
It’s backfired spectacularly, hasn’t it? I’m sure it was made with good intentions, but none of the decision makers can complain if they get it thrown back at them now.
They say they backed Robbo, but did they really support him?
If MR feels slightly pissed off at being without a job today, I wouldn’t blame him. As somebody posted on Twitter soon after the announcement – he was sold a dream that wasn’t there.
The question now is, who takes charge – and for how long?
At the time of writing, the club hasn’t announced who’s stepping in. Which may suggest we’re getting somebody from outside to steady the ship.
Then again, this is AFCW and we’ve probably axed our Head Coach without realising somebody else has to come in.
If it turns out to be the dream combo of Ashley Bayes, Lee Brown and Darius, then that will tide us over until the end of the season.
We’re in an unusual position where we can take our time on a permanent manager for next season.
Unless we have somebody suitable lined up now, in which case get him in to see the lie of the land, we might as well get it right.
There’d be no pressure on any caretaker manager, many have mentally written us off now. And surviving will be a massive bonus.
Maybe the club will finally get over its obsession with former WFC/AFCW people and get somebody from outside in, with a fresh perspective?
Or will we still be chasing somebody – anybody – who was involved with us to satisfy some weird fetishes the decision makers have?
Whoever comes in for Sheffield Wednesday has to lift this lot up from a place even a snake’s belly would find low.
Even just a different voice doing the pre-game prep talk can work wonders, especially if you just need that boost for seven games left.
Whether we go down or somehow stay up, we’re in a state of flux. But also with a surprisingly good opportunity to move forward.
Today is all about Robbo going though, and after this update I’ll start the usual eulogy on a departing manager.
It should be up tomorrow, although if the club announces a new guy in charge – or Robbo calls the entire board a bunch of cunts – then obviously that will be your next SW19 update.
We’ve been here before, but one final thing pointed to MR being ousted from AFCW long before we did the deed.
Remember how the club launched a t-shirt with Walter “at the wheel” soon before he got sacked?
This was still on sale in the club shop as I press “Publish” on here. Get it while you can…