Cooper’s probably off, so look to the future…

Very strong rumours of Mark Cooper joining Sheffield Wednesday is enough for Ron Smith to look to the future… 

It seems a done-deal that Mark Cooper will be moving to Sheffield Wednesday this week, marking the end of two broadly successful years as manager at the County Ground.

The Owls are set to announce Cooper as Head Coach alongside former Sporting Lisbon coach Carlos Carvalhal as their new General Manager. Reports from Swindon and South Yorkshire have been consistent in suggesting six-figure compensation for Cooper and Wednesday’s desire to unveil both together at a press conference are the stumbling blocks – that are likely to be quickly addressed.

Without either club distancing themselves from the deal, whether or not Mark Cooper joins Sheffield Wednesday, it’s evident that his time at Swindon is sadly over. Reports have suggested Cooper and his representatives have ‘been locked in talks all weekend’ about taking over at Hillsborough; so it’s impossible to conclude that his future is not at Swindon.

For me, his position at the County Ground is untenable after considering and pursuing an option of a managerial move elsewhere – regardless of any reported rift with Lee Power or Luke Williams that may have hastened his exit.

In promoting his departure it’s a difficult conclusion for me to arrive at seeing my widespread support for Cooper over the past two years.  Other than taking a strong interest at Hillsborough, what’s now made my mind to move onwards has been the departure of key players – Wes Foderingham, Massimo Luongo, Ben Gladwin, Louis Thompson and Andy Williams (currently) – resulting in a new team, so why not new leadership and direction?

To make that management reshuffle now is perhaps the best time. Swindon Town players – those that remain – return for training next week, ensuring the club are needing to swiftly conclude the backroom staff for 2015/16 and begin pre-season in earnest. What’s essential thereafter is an instant replacement for Cooper, which means the club must turn to continuity and a promotion from within. So it’s essential that Luke Williams remains to make the step up from Cooper’s assistant (and reputed tactical / training guru) to manager.

In the end his inevitable departure is the progression of his career, which we should support, much in the same way the vast majority of supporters did welcome and wish Luongo et al well on their moves to the Championship. We all must move on at some point and grasp the opportunity, no one person is bigger than the club.

Perhaps you disagree and want desperately Cooper to stay, comment below…

11 comments

  • When you’ve got to go.. you’ve got to go…
    Although he hasn’t set Town alight Cooper has done a fair holding job… slow but steady was probably what was needed after Paulo DeC. And to be honest the team has achieved much more than I ever hoped for .. Close but no cigar & so its time to move on to pastures new & fresh challenges.

    I wonder if Cooper’s successor will do any better over the next 2 years.. I hope so.. but doubt it

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  • It will be a shame to see him go, I liked him as a person as well as a manager. But managers come and go, so I’m not going to get too worked up about his exit.

    Like outgoing players, its all about the quality of the replacement. I will be happy for Williams to take over, he’s comfortable with the current set-up and maybe hungry to make his mark. I’d much rather him than a tired, has-been, fresh off the sacked managerial merry-go-round.

    Regardless of who takes over, its encouraging that player recruitment seems to be ploughing ahead – once again showing the wisdom/value of Power’s Director of Football role.

    Whoever comes in, they will be managing a new team, recruited smartly from above.

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  • End of a good period for us so sad to see him go, however we must look forward and try to develop our playing style so we have a plan B when others find us out! Luke Williams would seem an adequate replacement, however like to see an ex Swindon player alongside to inject a bit of passion and desire for STFC. I am thinking Alan Mac or Shaun Taalor fits the bill?
    Over to you Mr Power, lots to do? Your paying supporters await a new era!

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    • Interesting idea to bring back an ex Town player to work with the team. I seriously am struggling to think of anyone from past 10 years to bring back. I can’t image relying on a Town legend from 20 plus years ago is going to work, they’re from a different generation of footballers and unlikely to galvanise / demand the respect of the current generation.

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  • Cooper is the third longest serving manager since McMahon left in 1998 and I would like to see Cooper stay longer to continue his work.

    I am undecided whether Swindon should go for a fresh manager or an experienced one. Some of the best ones have been younger managers like Ardiles, Hoddle, Wise, Di Canio and Cooper. The problem is they leave after achieving success at Swindon. But they can be a cheaper solution than a journeyman-manager who knows he will stay for a year and changes the whole squad trying to get quick results.

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    • I’d always prefer a fresh, untested manager / coach / player-manager. We’ve always been a steeping stone for a player’s / manager’s career and that won’t change anytime soon.

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      • The good thing is, not many journeymen managers would be interested in a job where they have little control over player acquisitions. So hopefully a young, raw manager would be the better fit all round. Dare I say ‘exciting times’?

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  • Here’s Lee Power’s chairman statement, discussing many points, including the lack of any approach for Mark Cooper – http://www.swindontownfc.co.uk/news/article/chairmans-statement-2539363.aspx?

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  • Pingback: The Sacking of Mark Cooper: Lee Power’s Perfect Fall Guy | The Washbag

  • Pingback: STFC Manager Countdown: Mark Cooper | The Washbag

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