In my time as a Clapton supporter of some years I have seen numerous managers come and go. I remember the successes under Fred Beaumont and the tactical excellence of Mickey Cleaver, Terry Dempsey and Derek Baker. Since then, Dickson Gill put a good time together, same too Jim Hendry, and John Arnold did an excellent job in difficult circumstances. Vince McBean was also a self appointed team manager at one stage! He sacked himself, which probably goes down as one of his best decisions to date.
But we are only a few weeks into the season and, following our win at Basildon last week, their manager decided to leave, citing work commitments as being the reason. Admittedly, the Bees had not made the best of starts but isn’t it a bit early for throwing in the towel.
The managerial merry go round has already touched Clapton this season. Since the turn of the year we lost Neil Day and Chris Wood in what were very ‘naughty’ circumstances. Their replacement Marc Nurse, the ‘director of football’, and Vince McBean’s mole in the dressing room, has now decided to leave the club having helped Vince dismantle what was a very capable and popular management team. Now Marc Nurse toddles off to Southend. A good career move? Not sure but he will undoubtedly have a good think, a long think, about it in due course.
The interesting question is why Marc decided to leave. Just before his departure the club were advertising for a coach and then Kevin Lucas arrived. Kevin is an experienced guy so I am unsure whether he would have wanted to have been just ‘coach’, and it is no surprise we now have co-managers. Seems a bit of a botch, but time will tell.
What of Mike Walther? Admittedly, he is untried at this level, but did he need someone to ‘hold his hand’? Why was he not trusted on his own. Let's face it, many of last season's players have stayed at the club (which speaks volumes as to the idiocy of the sackings) and consequently the team has made a good start.
It’s all a bit gun-ho and unsettling for everybody. I think that the actual team management know this and by the way they ‘worked the room’ at Basildon, it is clear that they are trying to get the supporters on side. However, there are supporters, such as me, who remain blocked by the clubs twitter feed which indicates that the ‘siege mentality’ continues.
I am forever mindful that this team management were appointed by, and are ultimately answerable to Vince McBean. They are actually the beneficiaries of the sacking of Day and Wood. Their new charm offensive is welcomed but, in my view, the continued support for the team by the supporters should not be regarded as tacit support for Mr McBean or his allies.
A member of the Real Clapton FC said to me recently that managers are like boyfriends and girlfriends. You might even love them when they are with you but they come and go. I’m a bit old for girlfriends these days but, speaking as a Grandad, I wouldn’t wish for the present boyfriends/girlfriends of my grandchildren to be mistaken in assuming that they have already got their feet under the table in my family. I would like to find out whether their intentions are honourable or if they continue to be beholden and answerable to a 'bit on the side' that they are trying to gloss over.
It's not enough for the team management to say, "we are not interested in the politics". Their appointment owes itself to the politics and they obviously knew of the situation when they were approached or applied.
Colours, masts and nails spring to mind.
24th September 2014
email Lew Listz