Swindon Manager Wanted! All Applicants Welcome…

Kevin MacDonald left the club by mutual consent this weekend and the search begins for Swindon’s 33rd manager since 1904 and third in the past five months. Adam Johnson shares his thoughts on the potential replacement.

Swindon can’t even do boring pre seasons now it seems. We weren’t expecting it to be quiet with players coming and going but a managerial change was not on the ‘To Do’ list this summer. Then again, most things that happen at Swindon aren’t prepared in advance.

Kevin MacDonald ended his brief spell of 14 matches at the club on Saturday afternoon and the speculation as to why has been spreading from his dislike for Twitter to issues with transfer policies and maybe a problem with how Marcus Cassidy cuts the pitch? That last one might be a fib.

Anyway, we now need to think about who will be the new manager. What would we all like? Suit or tracksuit is the first question we must ask along with do they sit in the dugout or stand on the touchline.

After these first two crucial interview questions comes things like young manager or an experienced head? Will wages come into question? Will this manager need to work with a restricted availability of players to choose transfers from if rumours of why MacDonald left are true?

The first place to go to see who will be our manager, just for a laugh, is Sky bet where Alan Curbishley is not in sight. Are we not worthy of the usual link with Curbishley?

The favourite at the time of print is Tottenham coach Les Ferdinand, which is of little surprise due to our not so subtle link with Tottenham, and fellow Spurs man Tim Sherwood isn’t far behind him with Mark Cooper in third.

On Twitter, a list of potential new managers involved now Sky pundit Jamie Carragher to former Bristol Rovers boss Paul Buckle along with Stuart Pearce, former Swindon player Chris Ramsey, Robbie Fowler, Paul Tisdale, Mike Newell and uh, Lee Power…think that last one was a joke.

The Tim Sherwood link has me interested as this could be a very real sign of a strong link between North London and Wiltshire. Sherwood has been linked with numerous jobs in the past such as in 2012 Tottenham turned down approaches from Blackburn Rovers and it was reported that Brighton had an interest in the Spurs technical co-ordinator this summer.

Daniel Levy is a fan of Sherwood due to the fact he has constantly stated that he can’t speak to other clubs. However, with the link Tottenham may have with Swindon, it could be an opportunity for the former Blackburn midfielder to get his teeth into management at a lower level before any other managerial job in the future.

Les Ferdinand is another name of interest for the very same reason but it seems that Sherwood is more highly rated as a manager for the future. I have no personal knowledge on that but from jobs offered and what people have said, that’s the impression I get.

If your line of thought is down the route of this apparent link with Tottenham, then another potential name to throw in the hat is Chris Ramsey, who is an ex Swindon Town player from the early 80’s. The former right back is the ‘senior professional phase coach’ at Tottenham, which seems to translate to coach of the Under 21 team. He has the necessary UEFA coaching qualifications and has been involved with the careers of Alex Pritchard and Massimo Luongo in recent years.

Moving away from the Tottenham link, we have a man at the helm in Mark Cooper who has managerial experience with six clubs over the last nine years including a short stint at Peterborough United. He shouldn’t be dismissed as an option but with the names linked, you’d expect he would be an outside appointment.

The Swindon saviour Glenn Hoddle has been touted around due to previous links with SN1 and his own youth academy structure. The Glenn Hoddle academy wants to promote links with clubs and by Glenn’s best way of doing this would be to offer his services as a manager.

This turned out to be a major stumbling block back in May 2011 following the dismissal of Paul Hart. Nick Watkins recently revealed that “We got into detailed discussions with Glenn Hoddle about Glenn coming back, but it meant Glenn folding his entire academy into Swindon Town and I just couldn’t see that working cohesively”. The issue remains whether Hoddle would be interested in managing again and would the club allow him to bring his players to the club, assuming the latter would be part of the deal of him being manager.

Other key names include Stuart Pearce, who lives locally, but I can’t see Swindon having the finances and the club stature to entice a person of Psycho’s stature in the game. I’m not saying he has proven himself to be a top manager but I would imagine him wanting a fairly big wage and wanting a Championship job minimum.

The ex-Liverpool pair of Robbie Fowler and Jamie Carragher has been mentioned frequently but Fowler is more to do with a certain Swindon Advertiser employee asking the question on Twitter and getting a reply, which led to him getting odds of 20/1. The immense power of Twitter.

Jamie Carragher is now a pundit on Sky meaning it’s highly unlikely he’ll move into management this season but many within the game rate the former England defender to make it as a manager.

So, we’re down to the million pound question, who will be the next manager? Obviously I have no clue but the link with Tottenham won’t go away.

Tim Sherwood is very highly rated and to have him at Swindon would be an exciting risk to see happen. The expense of having Tim Sherwood may mean having as many Tottenham players as is physically allowed but as long as they are good, I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

If I was to have an outside guess, Glenn Hoddle would be an interesting appointment if the club want a guy who is for this youth policy implemented by Jed and co. I don’t see Hoddle as a manager anymore but could imagine any permanent link with a club being a director of football role so he can still focus on his academy.

The calibre of the next manager may depend on the real reason why Kevin MacDonald left. Once that is known, certain names and even expectations of who we can approach can be shaped. If it was due to transfer policy, as I’m not accepting the social media reason as even remotely true, we may struggle to get a high calibre name due to not being in charge of his own team.

If the board have assumed some sort of DOF role themselves, they we may be getting a yes man in the dugout which I don’t see being successful. Managers should manage, not be told who to sign.

I think the vision of the club is the right one, sustainable and building for continued growth over the coming years, but the next manager could make or break the fans perception of Jed and the rest of the board at this current time.

Over to you Jed, good luck! Hope you appoint well.


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