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Management Strategy

No prizes for guessing what I`ll write about this week. I could be contrary, just for the sake of it (my wife says I`m very good at that) but I won`t.

So long George.

A shame it ended the way it did but being the manager who oversaw our two highest ever league finishes isn`t a bad notch on your U`s CV. It`ll be interesting to see where he turns up next.

When we were flying high in the Championship and flouting the odds he was hot property. Having a relegation on your CV marks you, at best, as unlucky and we all know what a sucker for superstition football folk are.

So where next for the U`s?

Every man and his dog have been linked to the job: from a Keegan-esque return of Parky to Alan Curbishley. One common denominator of many of the 'candidates` put forward (mostly by the tabloids) is a link to West Ham. This is, of course, due to our owner, Mr. Cowling`s links to the Hammers.

I think it underestimates the man to think that his gaze is so blinkered it only extends to the Boleyn Ground. You don`t get into The Times rich list with a myopic view of recruitment.

This is going to be a big test of Mr. Cowling`s mettle though.

Does he go for the 'romance` of a big-name signing? We all saw (or perhaps didn`t see) how effective Teddy Sheringham was for the U`s last season, famous name or not.

Perhaps he`d be tempted to go for a landmark appointment, really chase someone with pedigree to appease the supporters and get them back on side - not unlikely given his comments about how the team and management were affected by the fans. We do, after all, need more bums on seats at the Community Stadium.

Orů does he go for the best man for the job?

Sounds obvious I know and it may not be mutually exclusive to the points above (Jose Mourinho would be a big name AND could be the right man too!) but it may be more difficult than you imagine.

Finding Mr. Right

Think back to when Phil Parkinson was appointed. When he got the job most U`s fans were thinking: "Who?" The U`s board had a number of contenders in the frame, some with lots of management experience; some with great experience of Colchester United - remember George Williams was in the frame for promotion then too.

But Peter Heard and his colleagues backed their instinct and hired the man who got us FA Cup days out at Stamford Bridge and promotion to the Championship for the first time in our history.

The one thing that`s certain from all the rumours flying around is that there are a lot of football managers who are currently unemployed (if you need a list, most of them have turned down the job at Newcastle). There are also a lot of people who want to take their first step into that crazy world - mostly ex-players.

Finding the right man out of that lot is no easy task. Getting him to sign on the dotted line could be trickier still - though with the new stadium and Mr. Cowling on-board we`re a more attractive proposition than we`ve ever been.

So a plea to those of you that booed at the end of the last game. No criticism from me, booing at the end, if you`re unhappy (as we should be, losing 3-0 at home) is understandable. However, the plea is for patience.

Patience whilst the search goes on; patience when the appointment is made; and patience when the new manager takes over.

If it`s Kit Symons or KITT and Michael Knight we won`t know if they`re the right man for some time. What we can be sure of is it`s not a decision that`s been taken lightly.

Geraint was seen by many as the 'easy option` - that was before we nearly made the Championship play-offs. In the short-term Kit is the man in the box seat. I`m sure we all wish him luck, he`ll probably need it.

Another line from a woman in my life: my dear mother is fond of saying: "Patience is a virtue catch it if you can; seldom in a woman and never in a man."

Buck the trend chaps; ladies make "seldom" now: be patient and roar the U`s on into our latest new era! Up the U`s!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: CO2 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 30 2008

Time: 1:45PM


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