My take on Malky’s departure and a look at the front-runners for the job
MALKY Mackay`s appointment as Cardiff City boss yesterday brings to an end a fortnight of uncertainty, and despite the Scot`s evident desire to move up the ladder I can`t begrudge him a move.
Cardiff are a bigger club at this moment in time and will probably be knocking on the door for promotion despite the loss of a number of key players this summer. With a transfer and wage budget of £20m promised by the Malaysian owners for the new boss, that squad will be re-built by Mackay and by far outweighs the financially offerings of Laurence Bassini who oversaw the £4.5m departure of Will Buckley and Danny Graham in the not-too-distant future.
There`s also financial security for Mackay and his family to consider. The Hornet`s job can`t have been that well paid and moving to Cardiff also gives Malky greater security financially in the job and if he were to be sacked, the compensation package would be greater again.
Overall though, the biggest pull has to be the opportunity to get a club promoted. Mackay said in his press conference, saying Cardiff ‘would be nearer the top of the league sooner than Watford`, a fact no fan can deny. Despite the loss` of Jay Bothroyd, Chris Burke and Michael Chopra this summer, a strong core remains in Mark Hudson, Gabor Gyepes, Stephen McPhail and Peter Whittingham. At Watford the strong core had begun to move on (Graham and Buckley) and with Mackay himself leaving the likes of Martin Taylor, Aidy Mariappa, John Eustace and Don Cowie could very well follow.
Hopefully Bassini will have included a clause in the agreement to prevent Mackay raiding the club for any of his former stars.
All in all, Mackay did a good job at Watford and although two seasons was hardly a lifetime, we cannot forget the years he gave as a player, coach, and assistant during which he gave his all, all of the time. I for one would have loved to have seen Malky stay but I understand his reasons for leaving and wish him all the best in his new challenge.
For Watford, it`s time to move on and for new owner Bassini it`s time for yet another big decision. Who to appoint as manager – the majority of fans (myself included), will be expecting an unknown name or a promotion from within. However, if we`re going to think inside the box for a change, here`s a run-down of the potential front-runners for the post –
Sean Dyche (Assistant Manager): Currently the odds-on favourite with certain bookmakers the Hornet`s number two might still find himself instilled as Malky`s number two in south Wales. Hopefully not though, because Dyche still has a lot to give as a member of the backroom staff here. A lot of fans seem highly opposed to Dyche being appointed No.1 but I fail to see why. Malky, Brendan Rodgers and Aidy Boothroyd all came from backroom staff positions before him and each did very well.
Mark Robins (Unemployed) : On the dole having parted company with Barnsley in confusing circumstances. By no means a star name but a perfectly solid option having guided Barnsley to their highest league position in ages last season only to disagree with the board on budgets. With that in mind, Robins might not fancy the financial restrictions here. However, beggars can`t be choosers and the job he did with Rotherham in their time of crisis cannot be ignored.
Dave Jones (Unemployed) : Jones, for money would be a solid appointment. He did a decent job with Cardiff and Wolves before that and although he failed to get the Bluebirds promoted in his time there it wasn`t for a lack of trying and luck failed him on a number of occasions. Though used to working with a bigger budget Jones brought through the like of Adam Matthews, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Ledley so youth is a policy. Hardly charismatic but if he wins football matches…
Brian Laws (Unemployed): Again, a solid appointment. So-so at Sheffield Wednesday after a decent start and took Burnley down as expected. Not far off course in trying to win promotion last season with the Clarets and impressive with Scunthorpe. A mixed bag managerially but used to working on small budgets. How many managers are consistently successful – only the very best and we aren`t fishing from that pool.
Graham Westley (Stevenage): Compensation would be required to prise the ‘Boro boss into this corner of Hertfordshire but he`s done a superb job with the local outfit against all odds. Though I really don`t expect him to join he`d be an excellent appointment. A bit full of himself but something of a miracle worker and we need one of those!
Lawrie Sanchez (Barnet): Again, employed but compensation to a League Two side would by small fry. Someone who I believe despite top-level experience with Fulham and Northern Ireland would be a backwards step; an out-an-out long-ball merchant. Having finally carved our name out as being a good footballing side it would be disruptive to everything to appoint Sanchez.
Aidy Boothroyd (Unemployed): See Lawrie Sanchez. Long-ball merchant and although he might have learnt his lessons from his short-comings I`m a big advocate of not going back.
It`s a big choice for Bassini and a chance to win some brownie points for disillusioned Hornet`s. Here`s hoping he looks for a like replacement to keep continuity.