Saturday, 1 February 2014

Twenty Judgement Days

The Transfer Window closed late night. Barring unlikely loan swaps (we have our regulation four), the die has now been cast and Roland Duchatelet's strategy for managing his English club will now be tested over the last twenty games, starting this afternoon at Wigan.

It will be a different atmosphere on the coach up the M6 today and we have to hope it's one of positivity and familiarisation. For me this match comes far too soon for the new players and it's one I am already ragging off to another defeat. The key thing will be the manner of the defeat.

I have said before that our run-in is dominated by reasonably winnable home games and tough aways. In the next ten at the Valley we face Birmingham, QPR, Barnsley, Watford and Huddersfield whereas away it's Wigan, Leicester, Millwall, Forest and Derby.

Despite what may have become an increasingly untenable position for Chris Powell, I suspect he is considering how his behaviour from here on in will be viewed by the limited pool of prospective future employers. He could fall on his sword and refuse to continue in a situation where he has clearly had a limited say in who comes or goes and possibly interference in who should play - news that Duchatelet was unhappy that Alnwick was restored in goal on Tuesday is worrying, especially as Alnwick was a surprise mover to the O's yesterday. However, I think he will want to be seen to continue to do his best in trying circumstances and I am pretty sure he doesn't want to desert the fans or the rest of the squad he has nurtured and supported for three years. There would also be an element of running from the fight and trying to avoid being associated with a relegation on his watch.

In the event we suffer a disastrous relegation, we will have the schadenfreude of knowing that the person most affected by it will be the owner, although we would have to put that into perspective. With a coterie of other clubs, he would probably put that down to unfortunate business-as-usual and given the size of his personal fortune, it would probably be an "oh well" moment. What would be very clear is that he does have a fixed plan when acquiring a new club and giving a toss about what the supporters think or listening to anyone too closely doesn't feature.

1 comment:

Bob Miller said...

Dave, it seems clear to me that Mr. Duchatelet purchased CAFC as a conduit to owning a Premiership club. To be relegated would probably draw a comment much stronger than "oh well." :-)