If the Sun on Sunday is to believed the club are hoping to unveil Malky Mackay as the new manager in the coming week.
That said report comes from the keyboard of Charlie Wyett – formerly of this parish – gives it a fair bit of clout, with the same journalist reporting late last week that Neil Lennon was not in the running. Interesting.
All of which flies in the face of the bookies who, it seems, received a sizeable punt or two in the direction of the Northern Irishman, which led to his odds shortening to as little as 8/11 late on Friday. As I write Malky is now down to 1/6 so make of that what you will.
The club’s inability to close the deal by the end of the week has clearly irked a few but the odd day, or even a week, over their self-imposed deadline is hardly the end of the world if it means getting the right man. Besides, I believe the phrase – in a statement delivered on Monday – was ‘within a week’.
So, if David McNally is successfully able to close the deal we will soon have Malky at the helm and the clearout can begin. And the sooner it starts the better.
Already this week Alex Tettey – in an interview with Norwegian TV – has admitted he is ‘very open if other opportunities present themselves’.
Great. Just what you want to hear when the pain of your team’s miserable and listless relegation is still raw. Thanks Alex.
I suspect there are several in a similar boat and hopefully Malky – or whoever finds himself with the unenviable task of cobbling this current bunch into a proper football team – will quickly need to identify the ‘waiverers’ and get rid.
In fairness to Tettey he was probably just responding to a direct question, but as City supporters – who have neither the option or the desire to explore ‘other opportunities’ – it’s always a little hard to stomach when you hear of those who want away. Especially when said individuals have contributed to a relegation.
In the next few weeks a new generation of Sammy Clinghans and David Marshalls will emerge – and the Snake Pit will have some more names to add to the blacklist.
As ever, there are always exceptions to the rule and those who appear to show others how it should be done. Step forward John Ruddy.
By knowing what we now know of Ruddy’s exclusion from the England World Cup squad, one can imagine the desolation he must have felt last Sunday on that awkward, half-hearted, lap of ‘appeciation’ – especially after having given a goalkeeping masterclass that saved his team-mates from one final humiliation for the season. But the Big Man is made of stern stuff.
In a revealing interview with the Telegraph’s Henry Winter, Ruddy expressed his understandable disappointment as not being included in Roy Hodgson’s but tellingly, for City supporters at least, gave another masterclass – this time in tact and diplomacy.
“Unless the club turn around to me and say we’ve accepted an offer for you, then I’ll be a Norwich player come next season”.
What a top man. Are you taking notes Alex?
All of which doesn’t guarantee Ruddy will be here next season – far from it – but it does mean he isn’t going to jump ship at the first opportunity and, with a three-year contract tucked up McNally’s sleeve, it means if he does depart City will be duly compensated.
And on the subject of his England omission, it’s impossible not to feel sorry for him.
In truth, the general consensus is that there is barely a Rizla paper between Fraser Forster, Ben Foster and Ruddy. Each of them have had a good season – albeit Fraser has hardly been tested to the limit – but only one has previouly (and bizarrely) ‘retired’ from international duty only to reverse this decision when England appointed a manager he liked.
For that reason – and the fact the stats suggest he has out-performed his rivals – Ruddy should consider himself hard done by. I’d love to say his chance will still come – and it might – but it just feels as if this was his time. I hope I’m wrong.
If a bid acceptable to both the club and Ruddy were to come in, then it will throw up an interesting one. Is now the time to give the gloves to Declan Rudd ahead of Mark Bunn? Or will Ruddy’s faithful understudy finally get his chance? Or do we look elsewhere? Time will tell.
With regard to the re-building of the squad, in conversation with my 9-year-old son this week – during which we were doing the who should stay and who should go thing – it struck me just how few departures would actually bother me. Or is it just me?
In seasons gone by I can recall the almost tangible pain caused by the departure of heroes for pastures new. Martin O’Neill to Leicester, Dean Ashton to West Ham, Paul Lambert to Villa, even Holty to Wigan; all, for a host of different reasons, caused the stomach to churn.
Less so the class of 2014.
Naturally, there are a few I’d be sad to see depart – particularly the younger members of the group who I’d like to see form a nucleus going forward – but few would register in that way.
In fact, yesterday’s news that Ben Wyatt – him of the FA Youth Cup winning left-back berth – has been released and snapped up by that lot down the A140 will, I suspect, be the hammer-blow of the summer.
To see the inevitable disbandment of Neil Adams’ class of 2013 is disappointing in itself, but to see one of its heroes (who has been at the club since the age of nine) disappear 44 miles south has caused the brow to furrow. Not least because I really want to wish him well for future.
But – as we’re constantly told – that’s football, and it’s a fact of footballing life that a sizeable proportion of those lads won’t progress in the professional game.
So, an intriguing week awaits. Malky or no Malky I expect there to be new manager in situ by this time next week, probably with a technical director to oversee whatever it is that a technical director oversees.
Let’s keep calm and let McNally do his dealing.
David Bowen says
Thanks Gary for yet another entertaining read. I have to confess, I worry about Malky getting the job on two counts: (1) I would hate to see him lose his legend status from his playing days: (2) Having spoken to several Cardiff fans and Watford fans, a picture of a manager who sets up not to lose and tries to nick a goal on the break emerges, pointing to a huge similarity between him and Chris Hughton!
If he is appointed, I shall, without question, give him my full support for as long as he is our manager! OTBC IDMcNWT
Michael D says
If it is Malky, it seems there will be a role for Neil Adams too. Wondering how that might work – and maybe that’s the reason this is taking time?
Somehow I just don’t see the board appointing someone again only on the philosophy of setting a team up not to lose – even if Hughton failed at both ends of the pitch this season.
The advantage of Malky? He will instill the discipline, pride and collective spirit again. That for a start will be welcome. Somehow though I still see Neil being involved on the coaching front. We’ll see soon enough now!
Can’t really disagree with any of that Gary, as for Malky I’m a bit underwhelmed I really wanted Lennon to come in and shake things up, then again I thought Hughton was a good appointment at the time so what do I know 😀 LOL
Re Departures, I agree. Although I suspect the likes of Tettey, Johnson, Fer, Howson, Pilkington and Turner would probably do a decent job in the Championship, I would really not bat an eyelid if any of them left. Bennet (E) will I hope stay, as he is virtually untainted by this season’s debacle, and of those who did play all season, only Ruddy, Snoddy and Olsson, were consistent enough to warrant hanging on to if humanly possible. Russ Martin bleeds Y&G and will no doubt stay as well.
We have to follow Woy’s example and invest in Adams’s Class of 2013, and whilst sorry to see Wyatt go, there is enough talent there I feel to play a part next season. As well as Loza, Cameron McGeehan is a real prospect I think. Who knows, perhaps if we had stayed in the Prem we would have parted with most of those youngsters, whereas by dropping a division more will have a tilt at first team football.
The Malky way we´ve done before
With varying success I recall,
Old boys who take on the mantle of boss
Then stumble some, before they fall
The exception was Stringer D
Who took on the task with aplomb,
So it can be done but there are perils there
And considering where we´ve come from…
..he must be the best of the bunch
He´s done it before don´t forget,
Managed promotion, and so an encore
Should not quite be ruled out just yet.
Dick van Dogsdick says
(1) Does Malky really play that way, or is it something of a myth? In the 2012-13 season Cardiff lost 5-4 at Charlton, won 4-1 at Blackburn, and scored 72 goals in total, beaten only by Palace (73) and Watford (86). Hardly defensive.
Maybe he’s being judged on Cardiff’s (non)performance at Carrow Road, but I would argue the dirth of entertainment on that day was as much down to our own inability to attack as their negativity. Don’t forget they had recently got a deserved 3-2 victory against eventual champions Man City on the board too. If Malky achieved that by “nicking a goal on the break” I’m all for it!
Also in that 2012-13 season Cardiff won their first TEN home games, setting a new club record. Don’t know about you , but l’d settle for that kind of start next season!
I’m sorry but have a real issue with a chief executive having hero status. IDMcNWT really ? . The reason we went down is because McNally dithered over Hughton’s sacking far too long . The man appointed Lambert for Gunn what else has he done for fans to turn him into a messiah ? .
yes, in McN we do still trust. He made one mistake – a big one i grant you – but i wouldn’t judge the man on that alone. Look where we were when he took over. A shambles of a team with a comedy manager. He single-handedly sorted that mess out, and 4 of the past 5 seasons were arguably the best since Walker was in charge.
Michael D says
@darren, you appear to be forgetting the small task of sorting out City’s finances – whilst keeping us going on the playing field too. Since McNally took over our club has been run professionally. It arguably had not been for some time before. Yes, mistakes were made with Hughton; I expect, as a professional, the lessons to have been learned. There has been a massive difference for the better in the running of our club since McNally arrived.
Like Darren I was very critical of DM’s inaction over Hughton but I now understand that he wanted to sack him around Christmas but was out -voted by others on the Board including Delia, on the basis that Hughton was “a nice man”. What is of more concern is that I also understand that almost all recent signings and loans have involved the same agent. I hope that in the inevitable rebuilding of the squad the net will be cast more widely.
@Dukether l still think he’s made 2 managerial appointments got one right one wrong . Everything else has come due to what happened on the pitch not off . It wasn’t McNally who decided on a diamond formation. The financial side was sorted by premier league tv money. Let’s see if he gets next season right first.
Barely anyone thought Hughton was the wrong choice for manager, so it wasn’t just DM who go it wrong. And if the masses (by whom I mean the people who actually pay to see NCFC week in, week out) genuinely thought Hughton should have been sacked by Xmas, they would have made their feelings perfectly clear at both Carrow Road and away games – which they didn’t – and when they finally did, he was fired. No one can say we’d have stayed up by firing him earlier. What’s done is done.
It’s also funny how so many people wanted Malky six months ago and now aren’t so sure. Just giving themselves enough rope to hang him with if we’re not ten points clear after five games, one suspects…
I’d quite like Lennon to take over but if we’re all talking managerial records… who was the last Celtic manager to really do well – consistently – in the English leagues? None of them from recent times have the greatest of records.
And for all the Malky ‘negative football’ vibes, it’s worth remembering that Hughton came to us with a reputation for expansive football with Birmingham. Go figure.
Stewart Lewis says
Darren(11): sorry, not true. From Day 1 McNally set about the huge task of introducing professional management in every facet in the club. His efforts – combined with Bowkett using his City expertise to re-schedule the debt – enabled us to avert administration and created enough money for Lambert to invest in the summers of 2010 and 2011. The subsequent Prem money has allowed us to pay off debt and spend larger amounts on the playing staff (not very effectively last summer, hence McNally’s desire for a Director of Football).
McNally – together with Paul Lambert and Grant Holt – were the cornerstones of a remarkable turnaround in our club’s fortunes. History will be kind to him.
As for Malky, there are distinct similarities with Hughton: plenty of attacking and goals when in charge of a strong side in the Championship, but an inclination to defensiveness when in charge of a weak squad in the Prem. Given the difficulty of getting back from the Championship to the Prem – surely we’re well aware of THAT – Malky’s record in our new division surely makes him the right choice. OTBC
Dave H says
Not appointing the manager within the week isn’t the first time we’ve been late making a managerial decision this year. I won’t mind as long as we make the right decision and for me appointing Malky is absolutely the right decision.
Dave B says
Personally I would take Lennon over Malky as a manager, as long as Adams was his assistant.
At Celtic Lennon works with Garry Parker, who I have had the misfortune of spending a lot of time with, and know he is not someone we want associated with NCFC. If it means him coming too, we should look elsewhere.
McGeehan Loza Murphys out wide, Morris also, if so called experienced first teamers have these guys breathing anxiously down their necks then they’ll either push on or push off! You don’t win a youth cup against Chelsea at Chelsea without being pretty decent and gaining loads of experience, the championship provides the platform for this crop to yield big fruit! Inspired by the next management team and well be back up within 2 years, don’t kid ourselves it can be done immediately and end up miserable!
Milton Kean says
Dave B(15) – you tease us..spill the beanz – why the animosity to Mr. Parker? He’s got a fine PL playing record and if it were to be the ginger one coming to Carrow Road, I think he should be left to bring in his ‘own man’ rather than take your opinion of his right-hand man into consideration!
It’s probably irrelevant with Malky winning by a neck.
Dave B says
@17 Milton Kean
A decade ago, straight out of university I worked full time for a year in a country pub in Oxford. It had two famous regulars. Both were wealthy. One acted like he was lord of the manor, the other was Sir Richard Branson (who was actually lord of the manor).
Every week Mr Parker would spend all day in the pub with his friends, getting drunk and loutish, and act like he was mr big shot.
He’d drag his kids along but had no intention of parenting. His son was clearly without manners and Garry had no intention of teaching them to him. He also had a beautiful, but severely handicapped daughter, who he would ignore and let wander around the pub, hoping strangers and bar staff would look after her. I almost knocked her over countless times as she made her way behind the bar.
So I have little time for Mr. Parker and don’t see how he’s the type of character we’d want representing our club.