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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reid In and Weep

With Plymouth Argyle appointing Peter Reid as their new boss, Nobes expresses his dismay with the appointment.

Reid has been working as assistant manager to Tony Pulis at Stoke City

Peter Reid probably can't believe his luck. A forgotten man in the managerial world, when the talk is of England and World Cups, the former Sunderland boss is never short of a comment.

As a player, he featured in England's loss to Argentina in 1986 - Diego Maradona's Hand of God et al. No wonder his name suddenly popped into the minds of the directors of League One Plymouth then.

The appointment of the 54-year-old is a disappointing one on so many fronts. Despite a plethora of promising young managers in the game, Plymouth have gone for an old head.

Despite managers with experience in the lower divisions, who have proven their worth, who have shown they can work with a budget, who merit a crack at a bigger club, they have gone for a name.

Despite the desperate need for a club who had ambitions to reach the top flight and need to return to the Championship at the first time of asking, they have appointed someone with no experience of the lower leagues.

Indeed, the more you look at it, the more baffling Reid's appointment looks.

Not only has he never managed outside the top two divisions in England, he only ever made one lower league appearance - for basement division Bury - in his playing career.

This is someone who played at the highest level for his country and, despite never being the most technically gifted, was once voted the fourth best player in the World.

While he was in the company of the likes of Maradona and Michel Platini on that particular list, it will be lower division, and far less gifted, players he will be working with on the training ground at Argyle.

Apart from spells as Thailand coach and assistant boss at Stoke - he has also been out of the domestic managerial game for too long.

Not since a poor spell in charge at Coventry in 2005 has Reid actually managed in England. In fact, he has been sacked from every managerial job he has had at an English club in his career.

How much longer will failed managers - continually sacked from job after job - continue to be able to get off and on the managerial merry-go-round? How many more clubs will give them the opportunity to fail to prove their worth?

The bare fact is Reid has not enjoyed any success in the game since 2001 - when Plymouth were in the basement division. Just what has he done, therefore, to justify being given another chance to manage?

Not only are his days of success in the past, his methods are also from a past age. Rather than a progressive approach to playing the game the right way, his physical, direct style is the kind that drives fans away.

Plymouth were relegated from the Championship after a dismal season

The simple truth is Reid's time as a manager has come and gone.

Instead of pushing the boat out and looking for talented younger managers, Plymouth - a club whose managerial policy was key in their relegation last season - have opted for the same old tried, tested, and failed.

Instead of looking down the road to Exeter's highly rated Paul Tisdale, or Andy Scott at Brentford, or Paul Trollope of Bristol Rovers, they have chosen a man with no track record of success.

There is no guarantee that Plymouth will bounce back to the Championship at the first attempt, either. Much bigger clubs than Plymouth - the likes of Leeds and Nottingham Forest - have struggled to get out of League One following relegation.

Their six years spent outside the bottom two tiers haven't given the Pilgrims any reason to believe they are suddenly too big to be in League One. Both the football on show and attendances at Home Park last term were of League One level.

They are also entering a third tier full of very competitive clubs with more money to spend than the Devon club.

Southampton, under Alan Pardew, are hotly tipped for promotion. Sheffield Wednesday, relegated with Plymouth, will hope to bounce back instantly.

As will the third relegated team, Peterborough, who have recent experience of this level in their squad and a manager in Gary Johnson proven in League One.

Play-off losers Swindon and Huddersfield are both well backed financially. Charlton will once again be competitive, and the likes of Bristol Rovers, Walsall, and Brighton will hope to improve on mid-table campaigns last term.

A place in the top six, based simply on the success of the three clubs demoted in 2009, cannot be taken as a given therefore.

The right managerial appointment may have made it more likely though.
For Plymouth, the writing is on the wall - for all to Reid.

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