Saturday, April 29, 2006

End of an era

Alan Curbishley's resignation announced on the pitch at Charlton today marks the end of an era for the Addicks. Let's hope it marks the start of a new chapter for the club. Curbs, after next week, will have managed one less game than Jimmy Seed. Older supporters will remember what followed Seed's sacking: relegation and a succession of managers who failed to deliver.

The news that Curbs was to go was not a surprise to me. I have been his kit sponsor for many years and he wrote me a letter in December which could be interpreted as a hint that he was thinking of leaving. Yesterday one source told me that Richard Murray would be addressing the fans today while another told me that Curbs was to go. That's why I dropped a hint at the end of my preview, 'Not a match to get to late.'

Curbs said on the radio tonight that his preference was to be clapped out of the front door rather than having to leave through the back door. His departure today was handled with dignity and his remarks about the club were heartfelt. By leaving now, he has given time for a new manager to settle in and make the signings he wants over the summer.

Now we have to look to the future. I have two wishes. First, that whoever the new manager is, he will have senior level experience by which I mean Premiership, Championship or SPL. I think that it would be a mistake to appoint a manager from League 1 because:

1. The pressures are much less intense at that level.
2. League 1 teams often favour kick and rush football.
3. Don't regard passion as a key requirement. It is the job of the fans to be passionate and the manager to be technically proficient.
4. Most importantly, we need to retain top players (Darren Bent and Young) and attract new ones of a high calibre. One therefore needs a manager who will command respect with such players.

I also hope that the new manager will be given the time necessary to establish his own way of doing things before the moaning starts. Fans need to realise that, given the budget constraints, mid-table Premiership may be as good as it gets.

Curbs said that it was best for the club and him that he went now. He will no doubt have a future in football. But this season, after the failure of the expensive gamble with Murphy and Smertin, there were signs that things were getting stale. Caution was a strength for Curbs, given the club's limited funds, but it was also a potential weakness. Our play was becoming too defensive and lacking in confidence.

So let's thank Curbs for establishing us as a Premiership club. And let's look forward to a future that will be uncertain, exciting, but hopefully successful.


Blogger Graeme said...

Hello Wyn

A fair summary - things don't look to rosy for next season, especially if we lose players like Young & Bent in the close season. I really hope that the succesor to Sir Alan of SE7 is currently perusing the local estate agents for somewhere to live - a delay in getting the right man in could be fatal.

ps - i used to sit in front of you, row P in the E Block of the East Stand - i've given up afternoons watching us huff & puff for the glorious Rocky Mountains.

2:47 AM  

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