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|Slade: Tapped Up?|
Slade Should Have Gone
By: Dave Boylen
I would like to express my views on Russell's Slade appointment at Yeovil. I got wind there could be a move for Russell Slade's services when I met up with a group of friends of mine who are all current football league managers at the second play-off game against Lincoln City at Blundell Park.
After the game, which ensured that we were in the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium, this friend of mine who has got strong connections with Yeovil informed me - and I will never forget what he said - that Russell Slade would not be at Blundell Park next season no matter what the result was at Cardiff, and all my friends nodded in agreement.
Me, being the person that I am, thought they were just winding me up, that they had all got their heads together and made the story up to put a dampener on the fact we were going to have a enjoyable day out at Cardiff. One of the managers was in fact running over the talents of Michael Reddy, and had been watching him for a number of games. Also they all said that Reddy would not be a Grimsby Town player next season.
The point I am making about all this is that it is very dangerous to leave a manager or a currant footballer who is one of the star men in the team to have the contract hanging in the air before a important play-off final. It should have been decided before the final. I know what I would have done: remember the contract talks between the manager and the board of directors had been on going for at least six weeks before the play-offs; the manager would not sign the new contract at the Mathew Le Tissier evening. Well it sticks out a mile that he had been definitely tapped up by a number of clubs. Also if most of our star players had not been offered new contracts before the end of the season what are they going to do, talk to other clubs about next season - of course they are!
Listen I have been there myself, there is nothing more insecure than when you do not know was is lying on the table for the following season. Now it explains why that was one of the worst display that Town have ever performed at a vital important game. They let the supporters down big style, I will never forget that display, all those young people and their parents went all that way to Cardiff hoping to see at least a team that was going to give its all: win, lose or draw.
If I had been the manager I would have, at the lunchtime, just taken the players around the coffee bars and pubs just to show them that these supporters had come all this way to see you perform out on that pitch, now if you have got a gripe with the Board of Directors forget that today just go on that pitch and play for them.
On a final note this is what I would have done if I had been the Chairman, and I have got the most respect for John Fenty and what he has done for this Football Club of ours is truly magnificent. If the manager was not going to sign his contract a week before the Cardiff game he was never going to anyway. I would have released him from his duties there and then, given the responsibilities to Graham Roger with Macca as his assistant, thanked Russell for his efforts over the last two years and gathered the players together and informed them from a club chairman's view that win, lose or draw after the big game at the weekend, offers will be made to all players even if to some players just to tell them that their efforts are no longer required. Get the rot all out in the open before the major game. I will say it again no wonder we played like we did at Cardiff; the attitude of everybody concerned was nil: no spirit, no guts, no heart, no enthusiasm. Remember this nobody including the manager is bigger than the club. It should have all been sorted out before we left for Cardiff.
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