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U`s Williams: Manager of The Year?

U`s Williams: Manager of The Year?

A new footballing buzz this week hums its way from the nation`s back-pages and into the neatest living room, office, or local pub. Chatter filling the airwaves of life compels even you to take a punt on which Championship boss should be Manager of the Year: Geraint Williams or Roy Keane?

Our mental ballot box would probably collectively vote for Keane, the manager who dragged Sunderland and their notoriously bubbly fans up the table by their heals, going 16 games without loss between December 2006 and April 2007.

The opinion on Roy Keane the player was not unlike Britain`s stance on reality TV. Everybody watched, but nobody wanted to admit it.

As for Keane the manager, people everywhere were counting the days until this former gladiatorial midfield maestro trashed the dressing room (again), or threw punches at a jobsworth ref.

That wait, nine months into his debut managerial role, goes on.

In the meantime, Keane`s side - transformed with 10 signings including Dwight Yorke, Carlos Edwards and Anthony Stokes - have given value for money both on and off the pitch.

They say his calmness now belies that raging-bull image as the legacy form his Manchester United days.

Yet, the newcomer has already claimed Chelsea play "boring football," laughed off suggestions that he was ever a great player and rubbished the idea of giving manager-of the-month awards during the season, labelling them "nonsense."

How does Welshman Williams, himself a novice on the bench after succeeding Phil Parkinson following last season`s League One promotion, cope with that kind of comparison?

The simple answer, of course, is that he doesn't.

Geraint is famed for evading the questions he thinks are unrealistic during interview.

Get this for difference in media coverage, too: while Sunderland make headlines for opening a £20 million war-chest following promotion to the Premiership, the Essex outfit are busy topping a poll in one lads mag for having the Football League`s most ugly fans.

Colchester United`s success during their maiden season at this level, meanwhile, echoes the understated nature of their manager as a person.

Having suffered defeat in their opening four league games and an ignominious Carling Cup defeat by MK Dons, the U`s have been on the verge of a top-six finish in recent weeks. Despite enjoying a length unbeaten run of home games themselves, Colchester may never make as many column inches as Keane`s XI.

If you are about talking prominent public personality, oratory skills, or who gives the best shock value for those in the press gantry before a matchday, then the rosette will not go to Geraint Williams. Even if those like Colchester`s ever-present defender, Wayne Brown, reckons his boss is "in with a shout" of winning the accolade.

"One or two eyebrows would have been raised when he was given the job but we all knew what an excellent coach he is," said Brown on Tuesday. "He has waited a long time for the opportunity to be number one and he's done really well."

On Wednesday, each Championship manager voted, meaning this debate is fast becoming hot air. Meanwhile, it is important to remember that Colchester almost made the play-offs on a shoestring - with a game to go, they might yet.

You have until May 14, when results of the voting come in, to make your moral judgements.

U`s fans, though, are keeping their fingers crossed that match points, over some popularity contest, will win their manager what would be a deserved prize.

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

Date:Friday May 4 2007
Time: 8:39AM

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