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…