Monday, May 29, 2006

Not long now...

It's been a few days now since Richard Murray (left) announced that our new manager would be unveiled to the world's press at a press conference on Tuesday (tomorrow). The conjecture in the papers is that Iain Dowie will be the man brought forward(presumably it will be a man???), and that the only unknown will be the other parts of the team who will do the job with him.

But is this a ruse? Have the papers been barking up the wrong tree? Has Simon Jordan been well and truly stuffed?

Having been in Madrid since Wednesday, I have missed out on most of the rumours flying around; Dowie (left) quit the Croydon team saying (or rather, Jordan was saying for him) that he needed to move back up North to be nearer his wife. If that is so, how can he then take charge at The Valley? Would Jordan have been naive enough to let him quit and then walk into the Charlton managers job? OK, yes he might! Is Jordan secretly hoping he'll take Charlton down as he did Croydon? Probably!

The Charlton club have been fantastic in not adding any fuel to the rumours, with little coming out directly from The Valley, Sparrows Lane, or Bexleyheath offices, other than Murray's scoop to the Mail and subsequent official confirmation on the website of Tuesday's announcement.

The news that Murray interviewed around 20 people for the post brought surprise - OK, we know about Taylor, Dowie, Davies, and probably Lee (left), but who else came, saw, and walked off without a whisper? Parkinson was refused permission to talk, but is unhappy - did he interview anyway? And what about Sounness, seemingly to be another South London teams manager soon? Did he get a call? George Graham? George Burley? Vialli? Gullit? Zaccharoni? Martin O'Neill? Sven? Big Phil (below)? Will we ever know?

I think it probable that the list included a couple from within the current set up - I'd have been amazed if Steve Gritt and Mark Robson didn't apply, and as current employees, they should have had preferential interview allowance. Robson may get a promotion too, and he does look as if he has manager potential in the long term. Gritty though, may have to bide his time...

And what about Aidie Boothroyd? There were big rumours about him until Watford demolished Leeds in the play off final; I doubt Watford would have given him permission to talk to Charlton even if he had wanted to.

Tomorrow, we will know for sure. Not everyone will be happy - I don't particularly want Dowie installed, and would be smiling for a long time if it was actually someone else. As with other blogs, I have nothing against him personally, I just think he isn't good enough to take us forward.

I remember back to previous times when Charlton needed a new manager - way back before blogging, email, the internet, and texting were common place. When Lennie (left) left, Curbs and Gritty were announced via the evening press and/or on Clubcall (1991). When Lennie took the reins it was just the press (1984). Craggs, Mullery, Bailey, Nelson, Foley, and Firmani all became managers and us fans read about it a day later or the night it happened if you got an evening paper (News or Standard...).

When Mullery became manager, I wasn't too happy - I disliked him as a player, and as a manager too. I still dislike him as a pundit! I feel that Dowie could fall into that category.

If it is Dowie, then good luck. He will almost certainly be backed up by Les Reed as coach or assistant manager, with Robson or Chris Powell also being announced as part of the coaching team too. The idea of Sammy Lee being installed as coach to Dowie's manager as mentioned in some quarters is a non-starter.

I'll be glued to the website tomorrow lunchtime, but expect that the first I hear will be via the text messaging service, like so many others. Finally, it will be of use, rather than just updating me with motorway traffic reports while I'm sitting at home!

Following Curbs is going to be a tough job - whoever is the lucky man needs to be up for it, mentally and physically. We, the fans, demand it. The interview process should have brought forward that man. And soon, we'll know who it is...

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