Described as "radio gold" by Radio Leeds broadcaster Katherine Hannah, the chairman chided and bristled as he took no nonsense and no prisoners during a lively 20 minute interview. Firstly explaining why Mark Robins had left (my piece on Robins can be found here), before lambasting the "vocal minority" of Town’s support.
The Boss Signal
Dean, akin to the Chief of Police for Gotham City, sent out the Boss Signal, making a number of comments that sounded like it ran from Neil Warnock’s CV. Could the Town boss of 1993-1995 be set to return?
"A Leader of Men"
Ignoring the comments on Robins and the “vocal minority”. Dean, in and amongst that, made a number of interesting remarks of which may give us a hint as to who the next manager is likely to be. “We’re looking for someone who has done it,” Dean said, “We want tried and tested, but not going to say from which division”. These comments appear to rule out any applicant without any prior managerial experience. However, Dean rightly refuses to rule out any specific division which may include a certain U21 manager who has had a previous interview for the role. Dean continued…
“We’re looking for someone to motivate, inspire and be a leader of men”. Whereas not a direct dig at Mark Robins, it does suggest that the former manager has had problems motivating, cajoling and gaining respect within this particular group of players, and the club will be looking at an inspirational figure to help take the side forward.
Hoyle also said that during the Bournemouth game that “The Players were looking for help”. The club perhaps unable to address the leadership issue on the pitch over the summer, require a manager who can lead from the side and who has a proven track record of turning around difficult situations and reinvigorating a squad.
One of the most disappointing comments was that “The Supporters made Mark Robins mind up to leave”. Generally when faced with a failing team the Town fans tend to be an apathetic bunch, and Robins took minimal criticism until his final game despite several months of poor performances. Maybe he got off quite lightly until Bournemouth? To go with a leader and motivator, the board may want a strong character in place, one who is strong willed, but open to reasonable criticism and debate.
“We want a football style of play” and someone with “tactical nouse”
Throughout the interview Dean said that he isn’t going to deviate from his current path, which would mean that the philosophy of trying to play possession football will stay, although he did say that the style of play will “need cranking up” but “we will not go back to long ball”.
The previous values of bringing players through the clubs academy, having a tight transfer budget restricted by FFP and working closely as part of a 4 man team with Chief Exec Nigel Clibbens, Director of Football Operations Ross Wilson and himself will also be part of the continuing vision.
There was a bit of a chilling parting shot from a rather vexed Hoyle who said, “It will tell me a lot with how the fans react to the new manager”. I and others have taken this to mean that if Dean fails to unite the supporter base with this appointment, then he may look to cut his losses and sell the club.
Personally I don’t want to imagine where this club would be without Dean, possibly bouncing from League 1 to 2 with 7,000 regulars and a team of kids from Rastrick? Either way there is pressure from both ends to get behind the new manager and club and help push the team up the league.
Who will be the new man?
So! We're looking for someone that fulfils the following criteria; He or she is a leader, a motivator, is inspirational, is tactically sound, likes to play football and is a strong character. You then need to whisk that in with a manager who likes to blood the kids, and add a dash of working within a budget, then add the coup de grace of being "tried and tested".
It's a good mix fo shua, as an old manager once said, but which of the linked and interested managers can we apply this to?
One of the more left field suggestions, Been’s name was circulated and credited with interest by The Daily Star. There has been very little comment elsewhere which may suggest that Been is either using Town’s name to advertise his willingness to work in England or, shock, horror a red top newspaper gets it wrong again.
A former Dutch International, Been has an excellent managerial record in Holland, Belgium and European competition, and has worked at Feyenoord where he helped bring through a number of talented kids – some of the finest in Europe.
Without being too detrimental to my own club, but there looks very little reason for a good European manager to drop to this level. Unless he REALLY fancies a challenge, like those free Saturday nights when you’ve nothing better to do than stick on Football Manager and try take Brighouse Town to the football league. Although you invariably either switch off after half an hour, or you get fully engrossed to the point you start to re-evaluate your life!
Pie in the Sky.
Current Manchester Utd u21 manager Nicky Butt interviewed for the Town job 18 months ago, but despite Dean saying that he was massively impressed at a later supporters meeting, it was felt that Butt didn’t have the experience to guide Town away from the drop zone. I understand that Butt has been spoken to again re this vacancy, but unsure as to whether this went as far as another interview.
Excellent managers such as Ferguson and Mourinho often leave little mini clones in their shadows and Butt is highly regarded at Man Utd. He comes from good stock, and has been there and done it with regards to his playing career. If experience is key, then there is always the possibility of an experienced no2 complimenting him.
Lack of managerial experience will count against him. Butt has never been tested in a competitive environment such as The Championship, and there is no indicator to say how he’d do as a manager. Town are under pressure to get this appointment right, would they take a huge gamble?
Earmarked for future role.
Ah, the 3rd person talking Owen Coyle. He strikes me as the sort of person that likes his own Facebook statuses, and his claim of ‘saving the town of Burnley’ always has him earmarked to me as a bit of an irritating self-promoter. Yet to be fair, the job he did at Burnley was excellent and seemed to be doing a similar one at Bolton until an unfortunate spate of injuries set in.
Very good record at this level with Burnley, he could maybe argue that he wasn’t given the necessary time at Bolton and Wigan. Coyle’s Burnley and Bolton sides did play some good football at times, and Coyle has helped careers such as Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere by nurturing them through some of his first teams.
Is he a leader? When things went wrong at Bolton, Coyle was unable to stem the flow of poor results which saw them relegated. Perhaps unfortunate with injuries, Coyle was given a further opportunity in The Championship but failed to inspire a Wigan recovery. When you start to add in that Coyle apparently felt that he was too good to interview for the Huddersfield job when Robins got it, you get the impression this isn’t going to go well for him this time.
Owen Coyle does not think Owen Coyle will get this job.
An angry little man that seems to suffer from a Napoleon Complex. Davies was approached to be Town boss in 2008 after Stan Ternent, but Davies at the time declined. An expert in arris kicking, Davies had dropped to as low as 5/1 second favourite with the bookies for the Town job yesterday.
Having watched a programme on Billy Davies at Forest, I have to say I was incredibly impressed by his meticulous and hardworking nature. A fierce and competitive streak runs through the wee man, who gets his teams playing some good high tempo football. Davies also has good form in helping to guide sides to the play offs in the Championship
Well he’s angry, isn’t he? Davies apparently is a bit of an anti-academy guy and didn’t take any interest in the up and coming players at either Derby or Forest. A stumbling block for a club that likes to promote from within. Davies good work also appears to be incredibly short term before inevitably falling out with someone along the way.
Unlikely; Davies may be a decent short term solution, but eventually he is likely to upset someone or something and I don’t think a volatile character is what the board will be looking for.
Apparently present during Town’s defeat at Cardiff, Hughton has remained on the periphery of the betting despite his availability.
Serving a long apprenticeship at the Tottenham academy, Hughton has gained Championship managerial experience at Newcastle and Birmingham where he built up an impressive profile.
A bit of a dour personality, Hughton perhaps doesn’t exemplify your typical inspirational leader having failed to arrest slumps at both Newcastle and more so Norwich. He is also unlikely to be a cheap appointment having being on the books of two of the biggest clubs in the country for 17 years.
Outsider; if the Town board are willing to back a manager with a good budget and wage then it is possible. If not, then it is possible that managers such as Hughton may prefer to sit on their pay offs from previous roles as opposed to sacrificing that for a job at Town.
No. I’m not going there… Next!
The ex-Celtic manager and captain left the SPL in the summer and declared that he would be searching for a job within The Championship. With that in mind, Lennon has steadied towards the top of the bookies list.
Lennon ticks most of the boxes on the list. He has 6 years worth of experience as coach and manager at Glasgow Celtic, is a former captain and leader and has inspired Celtic to achieve remarkable results in the Champions League against the likes of Barcelona. Lennon resigned from Celtic with a 70% win rate.
There are maybe one or two cons with Lennon such as a lack of managerial championship experience, but this is far outweighed by his managerial success, albeit in a league whereby there was only going to be one winner.
No1 Choice; The info that I’ve been given is that Neil Lennon is the preferred candidate to take over from Mark Robins. The stumbling block is that the remuneration package that Town could offer is apparently way short of what Lennon wants.
Eee By Big Eck has a bit of a ring to it! The former Scotland manager has announced that he is looking for a “suitable project” to get back involved in. McLeish currently is odds on favourite for the job.
An experienced old head, McLeish is a natural leader and has reams of experience. Despite not being fancied by Town fans McLeish has managed internationally, in the Champions League, and has won major competitions on both sides of the border. Not bad really!
A bit of a square pegs in round holes kind of guy, McLeish has a bit of a dour and boring persona which is often reflected in the way that his teams play football.
Close! If Lennon is a no go, then McLeish could be seen as an experienced and safe pair of hands that could guide Huddersfield to safety.
Town were credited with an interest in McNamara by Mirror group journalist Alan Nixon who does have some good contacts north of the border. The former Celtic captain has made a good start to his managerial career and is currently winning plaudits for his style of play at Dundee Utd.
A young and fearless manager, McNamara’s footballing philosophy and tendency to spot and bring through talented young players strikes a big tick in the positive column.
The Dundee Utd chairman is renowned for being difficult to deal with, and also a bit of a piss taker when it comes to negotiating fees. A compensation package may be difficult to negotiate.
Unlikely; Talk of McNamara seems to have cooled off and no streams of bets on him indicate that this one has either slipped under the radar or was never a goer in the first place.
Another former Celtic player, Tony Mowbray was strongly linked with the job earlier in the week and according to social media is to be interviewed for the job. Mowbray has the tried and tested experience after managing both West Brom and Middlesbrough at this level.
Mowbray has a track record of going into clubs and being able to initially rejuvenate and get sides back on an even keel. He has form for this at West Brom, Middlesbrough and Hibernian.
On the face of it Mowbray despite his record doesn’t appear to be the most charismatic and questions need to be asked about his lack of longevity at his previous clubs, where initial good results tapered off.
Interviewee; From the sounds of it, Mowbray is on Town’s shortlist, but in my opinion could fall short, due in part to his recent record at Middlesbrough and the sharp decline after some good initial work.
A very likeable character, Chris Powell was harshly sacked by Charlton when the current board bought out the club. Having got Charlton promoted with over 100 points on a reasonable budget, Powell almost worked a miracle by getting an incredibly average Charlton side into the playoffs the following season. Powell has been as low as 5/1 for the Town job and it seems that he has been targeted as someone to speak to with regards to the role.
Powell ticks a lot of boxes on Dean’s wish list, he’s helped identify and bring through young talent, he plays reasonably attractive football, is a nice but motivated character who has experience at a similar sized club and achieved better results than previous Town managers without the budget there was in West Yorkshire. Since leaving Charlton, Powell has gone on to complete his UEFA A license and has sought to improve himself in readiness to get back into management.
Powell was unable to turn around a bit of a sinking ship at Charlton last season, but how much of that was down to him being dead in the water to the new owners is only something he and they will know.
Top 3; There’s no doubt that Powell is an impressive candidate, yet you feel that perhaps he is in some senses a little similar to Mark Robins. Depending on how other interviews go, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Powell in the stands waiting to take over at The Charlton game on Saturday.
Elvis has left the market! Well not quite, but for the first time since day 1, Pressley is no longer favourite for the Huddersfield job. A man who is well known to Huddersfield Director of Football Operations Ross Wilson through their time together at Falkirk, there have been perhaps harsh rumours of a somewhat nepotistic approach insisting Ross wants to get his pal on board.
Pressley a former International and captain, is a combative and thoughtful manager who, when he talks, does talk passionately and with great technical detail and interest about the game that we love.
Despite talking a good game, Pressley’s managerial career is yet to really start to shine. I think it would be fair to suggest that the jobs that Pressley has done at both Falkirk and Coventry are fairly average, if albeit in circumstances whereby he has had little help from boardroom level.
Unlikely; Despite his close relationship with Ross Wilson, Pressley is not the man to unite the fan base, and I think Dean knows this.
Sending out an SOS, message in a bottle…. Hoyle is a big fan of Neil Warnock, and happily recites his times watching the Warnock side of 94-95 when he travelled up and down the country as a young supporter. Warnock was interviewed on Talksport in the aftermath of Robins walking, and was rather none committal as to whether he would take the Town job, but did express his admiration for Hoyle.
Promotions galore, hundreds of Championship games managed, helped bring through Boothy and Billy at Town and other kids at other clubs, and has a history of achieving miracles with small budgets. A fiery and motivated character who would always eke out the very best of the players that he had at his disposal, a genuinely talented man manager.
I guess the main con is that you have to wonder whether Warnock is yesterday’s man and whether the fire still burns for a crack at football management. His Talksport interview intimated that perhaps the hunger is no longer there… Plus the quality of football was never free flowing.
Very possible. With Dean being a well-known admirer of Warnock, it may be that this is the man that Hoyle trusts to instil a bit of heart back into the playing staff. As mentioned above, the main issue will be whether the 65 year old still has the hunger to succeed. If not, then Warnock is honest enough to say so. But there is perhaps life in the old dog yet…
Town should be set to name the successor to Robins this weekend. Whether it be Lennon, Powell, Warnock or McLeish, one thing is for sure, Dean Hoyle deserves the utmost respect and his choice of manager needs backing by the supporters. A united front is much better than a divided one, and whereas Dean needs to excite the supporters with the appointment, he will be doing his best for our football club like he has done every day since walking through, the then Galpharm, Stadium doors.
By The Red Terrier