Saturday 8 January 2011

Waiting And Hoping

The past few days have I guess gone as well as we could hope for, although having put Keith Peacock in temporary charge it would have been rather churlish to deny him the opportunity to clock up at least one game in charge of Charlton. I just hope we’ve gone overboard in our fears that Wise will get the job; the new owners can’t be blamed for the bookies making him odds-on favourite (it is nice to see that he’s eased back in the betting from 1/4 to 2/3), although the cliché is that you are judged by the company you keep. We continue to wait and hope that it isn’t him.

So who do we want? There are it seems now two names that are entirely to be desired but extremely unlikely to be tempted by the opportunity, or to fall within our price range. Curbs for me would be a shoo-in if he expresses an interest; I’d go so far as to suggest that the first task last week should have been for Murray, Varney et al to at least put it to him. Of course there are drawbacks in going back, but even if he’d never been at Charlton he would be by some distance the best manager currently whiling away the hours that we could hope for. And if Martin O’Neill can be currently cited at only 33-1 anything has to be possible. Roy Hodgson would be a marvellous alternative. It’s disappointing that he’s not been successful at Liverpool, especially since it would appear to remove another obstacle in the way of the Rednapp getting the England job. And I can’t imagine that he would be interested in dropping this far. I can only hope.

Those aside, do we want a gnarled old campaigner who might have an immediate galvanising effect on the players or do we look to rebuild more with a younger alternative? It would help if the new owners’ comments on their objectives were more consistent. Michael Slater has been quoted as saying that “what we won’t do it create unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky expectations”, that “we will always live within our means”, and that the aim is “to make steady upward progress”. That’s fair enough (although I doubt we are currently as a club living within our means), but what about the other comments cited elsewhere to the effect that nothing less than promotion will do and that given the position we are in sacking Parkinson was geared around going up? The positions aren’t contradictory, but overall I think the impression is that we’re in with a decent shout of promotion and that the new manager has to hit the ground running and be available quickly, especially if we want to make a couple of signings. That for me suggests a bias for experience and motivation rather than long-term potential.

In that context I don’t think you can rule out the likes of Coleman, Southgate, Taylor or Hart or Waddock, even though they’re don’t currently have the shortest odds. I also think the current odds of only 3/1 for Howe look much too short. It’s worth stressing that I have no problem with a suitable manager who has Palace or Millwall connections. That’s not why Wise is unacceptable. Of the longer shots, I’ve always liked (in the non-Biblical sense) Wilkins. He’s measured, thoughtful and would, like Poyet at Brighton, establish a pattern of play for the team. Of course his knowledge of the third division would be limited, but if we want an ex-England player I’d choose him over Hoddle any day. I have to say that there are some others in the betting I’ve never heard of (I could look them up to disguise my ignorance but life’s too short).

Perhaps KP will lead us to victory tomorrow and over the next couple of weeks establish a claim for the job. The Spurs game has acquired more interest, given that another man has to assess what is our strongest available team (without the suspended Benson). But as I said before I won’t be there. I just don’t care about the cup as long as we are languishing in this awful division. There’s also the small matter of having to get to Amsterdam on Monday morning and then at the end of the week to Lyon, returning – Eurostar permitting – in time for the Plymouth game. I do expect to be able to take in a Lyon Duchere home game next weekend; it might make a welcome break. The Valley half-full to watch dire football isn’t a treat and a lot of good supporters have decided to jack it in. It’s not surprising that Wise is viewed by a good number more as the final straw. All I’m asking is that it is anyone else and that he takes us up, however it’s done.


Anonymous said...

Can you tell us exactly why you don't want wise ?
I can't see any logical reason why some CAFC fans ( inc you) are so upset by the thought of him.
His track record as a manager is very good indeed.
He once had a fracas with a taxi driver , wouldn't we all like to have done that

Burgundy Addick said...

It's a fair question and one that deserves a considered response (from others as well I hope). There's no single reason and much is down to hearsay, including the numerous anecdotes but also things you get told by Chelsea fans. I've never met the guy. But I think you're being a bit kind to describe an affair that resulted in a three-month prison sentence (abmitedly overturned on appeal) as a fracas - and make no mention of the accusation that he bit a player, or that he was suspended and sacked by Leicester for breaking the nose and jaw of another player.

Association with Bates doesn't help either, while reports of his testimony in the Keegan case at Newcastle, plus comments attributed to Sir Bobby Robson, don't make good reading.

I wouldn't agree that his track record as a manager is very good indeed. Where exactly? He ditched Swindon to go to Leeds after less than six months and only stayed there for a little over a year.

There is also genuine pride at Charlton, I think, that we are among the 'good guys' in football, perhaps influenced by proximity to Millwall. I'm proud that the club has been at the forefront of the anti-racism campaign (which is not to tar Wise or many Millwall fans with tags).

In short, I can't see any criterion on which Wise scores well - and on some he scores about as badly as is possible for at least one Charlton fan. Were it not for the new owners knowing him there would be no suggestion of him being in the frame. They come with the backing of Richard Murray, which counts. But we don't know anything about them other than some of the recent reports, such as the one in The Guardian. So if the decision to sack Parkinson was a means to bring in Wise it would suggest that the club is going to be taken in a direction that many I believe will be reluctant to follow.

Burgundy Addick said...

Just seen the BBC report that we are chasing Howe. As I said, get your money on him at 3-1. Only problem is that Palace are in the frame and the report says if he leaves Bournemouth he would be expected to stay in the south.

Anonymous said...

Dennis Wise got Millwall to the FA Cup Final , seems pretty impressive to me . He left Swindon for the Leeds job ( well wouldn't you) and while he was at Leeds most of the time they were top of the table .
Eddie Howe would not be a good choice , all he has ever done is lived in , played for and managed Bournemouth, it would be a big mistake to appoint him

Anonymous said...

If Eddie Howe is in the frame on he grounds that he is a successful, up and coming manager with potential, I'm a bit surprised nobody has mentioned Keith Hill/David Flitcroft. Arguably, they've worked even bigger miracles. Hillcroft may also be a bit more "worldy" than Howe.