Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Karl Robinson - Duchatelet's No.8

It may have taken a week, but Karl Robinson was finally confirmed as our latest Manager yesterday. He travelled to Bristol last Tuesday to watch Kevin Nugent get a five goal performance out of his temporary charges and it was strange that Nugent was left in charge on Saturday whilst Robinson took a seat in the Directors Box. Did they want to risk avoiding him start with a defeat I wonder?

In any event he was revealed to the SLP in an unusual press conference where he was interviewed alone standing in the West Stand. All very low key but maybe that was deliberate after the embarrassing fawning over previous managers whose tenure was short-lived and consequently damning for Meire. It may also be a sign that new Comms Manager, Tom Rubashow, has managed to avoid the high risk of Meire putting her size tens in it once again.

I was impressed with the enthusiasm Robinson displayed and by the commitment of his language towards ensuring his players understand the importance of the shirt. He would also appear to be genuinely impressed to be at a club with significantly more pedigree than MK Dons. I wasn't miffed either at his comment about the need for "unity" between the fans and the club's employees. It is what we need to succeed but therein lies the issue when the Owner's true ambitions fall short of what the fans and the clubs employees actually want to see.

I was left with just one big disappointment and that was the hard-to-believe comment that Robinson asked Chris O'Loughlin to stay on and not return to Belgium (or the Congo). I have to believe that O'Loughlin was actually Duchatelet's first choice or that he was deployed as a spy-in-the-camp as he learnt the ropes for future elevation. If O'Loughlin was a first choice when he was redeployed two weeks ago, it may well be that they changed their mind and went for another English-League-experienced managerial appointment when the cynical fan-base rumbled their intentions, and that accepting Congo Chris as a number two was effectively a condition of employment for Robinson. They may have agreed to save Robinson's face by allowing him to bring in his own man additionally. That would mean too many cooks in my view so I would expect the unfortunate Kevin Nugent, as a minimum, to be exiting stage-left in short order.

Robinson may have had a limited non-league playing career but his managerial record at MK Dons is admirable and they have largely punched above their weight under him. That's precisely what Duchatelet needs him to do in order to stem the protests, win-back some of the fans and make the club more saleable. Whether he can do that with a limited depth squad and the sale of Lookman in January looks a tall order but perhaps he will get some of the proceeds to strengthen our Achilles' Midfield? He first needs to get one over his former club - not always an easy task.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its probably a good idea to keep O'Loughlin at the club as he will then be up to speed with things when he takes over as manager in March.