The Guest Blog - Season 4 Episode 2
Our regular blogger, Adam Guest, attempts to just calm everyone back down.
Played 3, Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 1; that has now been our stat after the opening trio of games for 7 out of the last 10 seasons. Throw in a League Cup defeat at home to lower league opposition and I think it`s fair to say our start to the new campaign has been average, very average.
In football however, and in football supporting particularly, there`s a fine line between accepting your team has been average and being hysterical about it all, as Tuesday nights defeat at Chesterfield proved. We lined up with four of our first choice 11 missing and without a single left footer on the pitch; and with Rico, Chambers and Oztumer all out injured the decision to rest Osbourne at the same time could possibly be questioned. At that stage I`d have accepted a point from the game, and for 75 minutes looked like achieving it (indeed, for the first half we apparently looked like bettering it), until he ran out of steam and were beaten by a bit of quality at the end.
I missed the defeat at the Proact Stadium as I`m working down in London this week, as nowadays I work as a freelance IT Consultant. I haven`t always done this job though (stick with me, there is a point to this); from 2003 until early 2007 I`d held various roles for a high street bank. The bank opened up an IT training academy in Wolverhampton, at which point I was working processing mortgage applications. I applied for one of the 8 roles and somehow was successful; they recruited 7 external IT graduates and me, who had failed IT at A-level. Their rationale was that as I`d worked in different areas of the business I had a better understanding of the data and how the company worked than any of the other applicants. I was like a fish out of water to begin with and it took me a good 18 months to learn that job, doing it day in and day out. I got good at it, so by the time I took voluntary redundancy in the summer of 2010 I was skilled enough to go freelancing which I`ve done pretty much ever since.
Which brings me back round to Jon Whitney.
An ex fullback and fully qualified physio, with no coaching badges, placed in charge of a professional football team. With that in mind, it`s not really surprising that 21 games into his tenure, and just four into his first full season, that he hasn`t yet fully grasped the knack of making tactical changes and progressive substitutions to swing matches in our favour. Dean Smith was here for years and there`s an argument for saying he never mastered it, at least not until very near the end of his reign.
If Whitney was already a very good football manager then he`d have been doing it before now and would have probably been putting those skills to use somewhere else. Should he have learnt it all in 21 games? No, absolutely not, he won`t have learnt it all in 21 years, nor should we expect him too. Nor should we be encouraging the club to abandon the 'No Knobhead Policy` by bringing in people like Ched Evans to the club. I don`t buy into the mindset of he should never be allowed to play football again, I never did, as long as it isn`t with us.
I understand it can be difficult not to give eccentric reactions after a defeat, we`ve all done it. But, despite what the club pedal about going for promotion again, this is a season of transition. Whitney has been given a 3-year contract, and this is his rookie year. If we win W1, D1, and L1 all season long his job will be safe this time around, as long as we`re not in danger of being relegated. So long as he`s learning and we can see progress being made there shouldn`t really be any reason to press the panic button, at all, all season.
If we all accept this season for what it`s likely to be, we can all enjoy watching our fledgling boss grow and learn until he is a 'proper` football manager, without being hysterical about it.
Onwards and upwards!