Date:Tuesday March 31 2009
But he doesn't want him to deliver on his promise to leave if we fail to reach the playoffs.
After the Bournemouth game Stuart said he wouldn't deserve to be here if we missed out on the playoffs and, having said that anything less than promotion was failure seeing him stand up to his words is just what we would expect from the Ginger Messiah.
However, writing in his column for the Telegraph & Argus, Hendrie said 'I hope and pray that it doesn`t happen. The club will be poorer for the day that Stuart leaves. He has been and still is good for this club and the heartbeat of the whole place would be gone without him. I still believe he can be a success and the vast majority of us are right behind him. We want him to drive this club forward.'
We have disappointment and we have frustration.
And all of that is felt by those in the club. After the Port Vale defeat a lady told me that Stuart and Jakes should leave that night. But I don't see a solution being presented by those who would see us without Stuart. After all, our support is not linked to results, it's linked to the madness that sees us supporting Bradford City irrespective of what happens on the pitch. And, more than recent years, this has been a much better spectacle.
If this is even a debate it means we have felt the unthinkable - the pain of missing out on promotion. If he walks, it means we've finished no higher than 8th. If he walks we're without a manager in the summer, again. If he walks we give the new manager a job with a huge amount of pressure and a threadbare squad.
Yes, we could all have sat in the dugout and done a better job - signings haven't paid off, tactics have been stubbornly adhered to and there's questions over how reactive and responsive the bench is to what happens on the pitch. But really and truly what is to be gained from Stuart leaving?
John Hendrie makes a great deal about how experience brings the ability to manage the pressures of being in charge of the fortunes of a football team. Stuart has been around football pitches for a very long time, playing at the highest level so instant success is expected. We can't let our experience of that other successful midfielder-turned-manager, Bryan Robson, cloud our judgement. Who would we turn to to haul us out of the mire of League Two?
I'm unconvinced, so far, by Stuart's ability but I have always maintained that time breeds stability and experience. And stability and experience coupled with a supporter's desire to succeed is actually worth more than its weight in gold.
If we went up would we come straight down? If we stayed down would we actually dominate League Two? Ultimately next season will brings its highs and lows. At the moment we've got 6 games that are going to keep us hanging on until May.
Frustrating, depressing and dreary it may be but at least it's unpredictable.
Date:Tuesday March 31 2009
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