So, hello then, Les Reed
I was surprised to learn that Chris Coleman had been sacked at Fulham. I do think that he complains too much about officials, but for all that, he has done a good job for the small club in Putney and I hope he finds another berth. The second surprise was that Les Reed had been appointed as assistant and possible successor to Lawrie Sanchez - a very volatitle individual whom I saw sent to the stands at Nene Park when he was managing Wycombe, only to continue to explode. I advised him to sit down and shut up which did not go down well.
Les Reed recently published an apologia for what happened during his spell in charge at The Valley in 4-4-2. I think Les Reed is a technically talented individual who was not up to the job of manager, part of which these days is projecting an image in the media that did, admittedly, portray him either as an ineffectual boffin or as a Machiavellian schemer who had tried to undermine Iain Dowie, subsequently canonised at Coventry.
Les claims that his problem was that he was 'very low profile' and that he failed to provide the razzmatazz image that the Premiership craves. In response to the Les Who? problem any quote he gave was 'twisted to seem naive or humorous. What was unfair was the slant taken by some pundits that the club had the affront to appoint a manager nobody had heard of without their approval.'
So why did he take the job, given that the club was bottom of the table, had an injury crisis and key players on international duty? 'I'm a Charlton fan. This was also my chance to manage a club with which I'd developed a reputation and a strong relationship. Right club, right man, wrong timing.' So will Craven Cottage offer the right timing and role?
Les says that his biggest challenge at Charlton was to get players to sign in the transfer window. Why would any player want to come to Charlton given the volume and nature of the media criticism against a club that was perceived as going down and vulnerable? 'That was the single most important factor in my departure ... We parted very amicably. I even had some input into the choice of Alan Pardew as my successor.'
A decent man and a declared Addick, I wish Les well at his new posting by the River Thames.