A Breath of Fresh Air
KJ may or may not be our 'special one` but he`s clearly setting about the job in the right way. In a couple of weeks he`s made more progress in tackling our problems than the previous four managers did in a couple of years. He`s the steadying influence we have long needed.
Although I never take JM`s words at face value, always suspecting a subtext, I am beginning to accept his claim that KJ was the 'stand-out` candidate. If other candidates saw the job either as a stepping-stone to better things or as something to do in the absence of better things, Kenny recognised the potential of the post and wanted it for itself. And, as I have argued before, we are an attractive proposition with our well-equipped stadium and training and medical facilities, our élite Academy status and our large fan-base, as well as the prestige accruing from our illustrious history.
Apart from his credentials in improving the teams he coaches or manages, it was, according to JM, his belief that 'the sky is the limit` for the team that swung it for Kenny. He clearly sold the board his vision of a resurgent WWFC to the extent that JM has declared that "the managerial revolving door is over". Hmm ... so why only give the bloke a twelve month rolling contract? Even so, I can see him lasting a somewhat longer than a year.
Not only was KJ genuinely interested in the job, but he had also done his homework well. For instance, he might defer a decision on which players he will retain or not until he has spoken to each member of the squad individually but I bet he already knows who are the trouble-makers and slackers. At the same time, he is promising our talented youngsters, the ones who have to fill the gaps, that they will get their chance.
Showing great percipience, he has moved quickly to convince three of our most talented youngsters to believe that their future lies with the club. Having singled out Batth and McAlinden, he now seems to be pulling off the most difficult trick of them all: motivating Griffiths to play for the club. He spoke to the Scot before he flew off to Croatia and said that he was looking forward to working with him. In reply, Griffiths has indicated his willingness to focus on scoring goals for WW and helping the club to gain promotion. Why didn`t previous managers think of that?
Of course, it`s in the nature of the job that new managers have to bolster their confidence and endear themselves to the various constituencies of the club by making outrageous and implausible statements of intent. I still remember Saunders`s endearing, if totally misplaced, belief in his ability to turn round the fortunes of our club. KJ has not shouted out the odds but his quiet, confident demeanour gives me renewed hope that we have found the right man to do the job. If he does, he will be really special.