Danny Salman - Carl Fletcher should have gone much earlier
WHOMEVER is selected to take over from Carl Fletcher as Plymouth Argyle manager will be, I believe, the most important decision that James Brent has had to make since coming in as owner of the club.
First off, though, on a personal note I am genuinely sorry that the job didn't work out for Carl.
I am sure he has worked hard in the best interests of Argyle and any criticism I've had of Carl in his time in charge has been with the same motives in mind.
And football is a results-driven business and there is no room for sentiment as proven with the sackings of Henning Berg and Sean O'Driscoll at Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest, respectively.
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So, while I'm not indifferent to the fact that Fletcher has found himself out of work early in 2013 – I can't say I'm surprised.
In fact, in all honesty I would have made that decision a lot earlier and given a new manager more time to find his feet and work out what he'll need to do.
If it was me, I'd have take the decision to sack Fletcher early in December so he'd have been able to take advantage of the transfer window.
Honourable though he has been throughout, I always felt Brent's opinion on Fletcher being an 'outstanding young manager' was not borne out by results.
Who was he comparing Fletcher to? It seems to me that Brent's assessment was simply based on Carl's hard work, long hours and dedication to the cause.
In the matches that I've seen – and that's pretty much all of the home games – I've never been won over by Fletcher's tactical nous or game-changing ability.
In my view, when he got the job he should have continued as a player-manager and brought in a coach – someone he could trust – to work from the sidelines.
That didn't happen and it has been costly in my view as Carl still had a lot to give as a player.
So, that's why I say whomever is brought in, whether the board do as they say and go for a man with experience, then it's vital for the future of the club, that he's the right man with experience.
There are plenty of likely lads out of work at the moment, so I just hope James and the board do not get swayed by a candidate's CV nor their asking price.
Argyle don't have the luxury of a lot of money but then neither do the majority of teams in League Two and they seem to cope.
Take Wycombe who came away from Home Park with a 1-0 win on Saturday, they were without a lot of players on the day and do not have either a reserve or youth team.
I'm convinced Argyle have good enough players in their current squad to be a mid-table side and not two points off the bottom place.
Argyle are in exactly the same position as they were this time last year, which is a shame and a big waste.
But under the right leadership and with some astute signings, that needn't happen over the next 12 months.