Registered On: September 7, 2015
Like you, Les, I was never truly anti-Swann. I was sceptical of some of his decisions, but ultimately I feared what would happen without him if we booted him out as some fringe voices suggested.
However, I am at the end of my tether with his stewardship. I don’t know what’s best for us from now on, but the calamitous handling of the club over the last few years has reached its zenith. What’s worrying is that Swann says he’s learned from past mistakes. If this is learning, then I wouldn’t want to know what failing to learn is.
Now, I am not someone who will get on board with sketchy claims of Swann choosing the team and formations, as some have suggested. I see no reason to doubt that Cox has the call on that. However, it is beyond doubt that Swann has a lot of say in our transfer policies, which is more than what I am comfortable with, especially as we have gone for a high risk strategy of purely being a young, barely above U23, squad. Even taking what I believe to be a measured response I see the running of the club as alarming. These have been issues highlighted by fans for years, yet Swann says he’s learned from mistakes. He clearly hasn’t learned the most grievous lessons though.
I don’t expect a chairman not to have a say in who comes into the club. Going by the podcasts Wharton wanted to ensure the players we brought in fitted his values, which is fine, so long as the players brought in are the result of those knowledgeable enough about football. The scouts and manager. Right now it seems that the person who spearheads this is the board, with the managerial staff being no more than advisors. This is unhealthy and leads to the weird Dom Vose type signings and an unbalanced squad who the manager struggles to work with, because they’re not necessarily his players, and a squad bereft of quality because the chairman is no more than a football fan, not an outright expert on the intricacies of the game.
A lot of this is what others have said countless times before, and I don’t want to claim it as an original thought, but I thought it needed saying to demonstrate my point.
There are so many issues, but it all boils down to an inexperienced, naïve squad, bereft of leadership and confidence under the managerial experience of a rookie. Some of the players are not good enough, some seemingly aren’t trying and others are just shot of confidence after three consecutive hammerings in league and cup. It will take a miracle worker to turn this around, and I fear Cox cannot be that man. This is not a dig at him, but I worry given his own inexperience as manager. A Warnock figure may have a chance, they have been around the block and seen what works and what doesn’t, but Cox is learning as much as the squad and when you have the entire playing and coaching staff learning their trade mistakes will be plentiful. There is absolutely no-one who can offer something where they can learn from. Everyone is making errors because they don’t know any better, and there is no-one who can address it. the same mistakes will be made again and again and when failure builds up among the inexperienced there is less of a chance that they will have that resolve to push through based on previous times where they have succeeded.
Another worrying thing is that Cox’s own question marks are small fry. Ordinarily I would be questioning why a manager shoehorns players into formations which suit his own view, not the tools at hand, because Gillead is not a right back and how anyone can think Hippolyte is one of the best available players, when his performances have been poor and yesterday put in one of the worst individual performances I have ever seen from an Iron player, while Eisa sits on the bench is beyond me. However, even if he played what I consider to be our strongest squad in a suiting formation I don’t think it would be much better.
This is not primarily the manager’s fault, and I don’t want to hear apologetic arguments about how this is the fans’ fault. Yes, there have been negative moaning by many at times, but we have no control. If the chairman is basing his opinion on the Iron Bru, Facebook or Twitter I am very concerned about his lack of conviction. Those who complain about fans moaning don’t seem to place any blame at Swann’s door for acting upon them, which shows how shallow this argument is. We aren’t the ones who decided we needed no experience whatsoever, barring a forever crocked right back and van Veen, who are both shy of 30. There was a time when some tried to make out the poor performances were because of audible moaning and groaning inside the stadium. Well, that argument has been shot to bits, hasn’t it? No fans in and they play worse. Maybe the players were disheartened by the noise emanating from the cardboard cut-outs making whoosh noises in the wind yesterday, I don’t know, but these performances are not down to fan reactions.
The only room for optimism is that we bring in some experienced heads on a free. However, I feel it is too little, too late. We have a bloated squad from Swann’s masterplan in times when economic hardship is amplified. This panic could have been easily avoided if Swann had engaged his brain far earlier. Like all recent seasons we’re left scrambling late on to rectify Swann’s previous errors of judgement. It doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that he has learned anything, like he said he had before the season.
Oh well, we’ll pull through. This club has more history than one man. We’ll still be here when Swann has gone. Hopefully the club will be too.