Date:Monday June 5 2006
You don't need to tell any Blue that we've had another duffer of a season - we know, and probably half expected it even when we were briefly flying high early in the season - City fans will know exactly what I mean !
For the next few weeks, hopefully we can forget about all the doom and gloom that surrounds City and enjoy England's success in the World Cup. However, it won't be long until the domestic season kicks in again and it will be vital to get off to a flyer and show more application, intelligence and desire to win. The thing that saved us from relegation last season was the good start we had and those points in the bank proved vital at the end.
Since taking over from KK, Stuart Pearce has had somewhat of a roller-coaster ride with some big highs, but too many deep lows. You can't question the commitment and passion of the man, but so far not enough of it has rubbed off on the playing staff, much to his and our disappointment. In relative terms, he's still cutting his teeth as a manager and all his previous playing career glories count for nothing - it's a different skill entirely and he may need additional support.
Although there's no question about Pearce's position, there is an argument that he could perhaps benefit from the day-to-day support of an experienced football brain. I hate the term 'Director of Football', but I guess it's the closest to what he might need. Our recent poll showed opinion is split right down the middle as to whether fans would like to see it, but it is worth asking the question that whilst Pearce is looking after the team, who's looking after Pearce, as the pressures must be immense.
Now I would imagine that Psycho wouldn't take too kindly to the idea as it could be perceived as a sign of weakness or failure, but I suspect that at times he wished Cloughie was still around to call up when he's struggling to find answers to City's ongoing under-performance. Personally, I don't think Director of Football roles contribute much to the club other than a source of unnecessary strife and tension - remember Pleat at Spurs, look what's been happening in Stoke, and I almost forgot about Arthur Cox much closer to home. History shows more failures than successes.
The elevation of Steve Wigley to Assistant Coach must now provide Pearce with the support, ideas and perhaps challenge he needs to really take the club forward. Both KK and Psycho haven't seemed to be well-served by their backroom staff and there has seemed to be a general malaise in that area - that's the perception anyway.
The recent changes in my view are a step in the right direction and the performance and support of Wigley will be vital next season and he needs to get the squad fired up in the pre-season and hit the ground running when the season starts. If we start next season as we ended this one, we'll have a very tense and nervous year ahead of us and Pearce's honeymoon will be well and truly over. The last thing we want to see is Psycho's name on the list of bookies' favourites for a managerial ' early bath ', but if the squad keep under-achieving, that is sadly a distinct possibility.
Suggestions for Director of Football anyone ?
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