GLF73: Mark who?

GLF73: Derek seems not to be missing Mark McGhee.

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Contrast in styles leaves 'Well fans asking 'Mark who?'

 

The changing of a manager at a football club is a wonderful time for optimism and hope for the future but it often gives cause to fear what lies ahead.Many Motherwell fans were not sad to see the back of Mark McGhee when he departed in summer but all but his harshest critic would acknowledge he turned the club since his arrival two years previously.However,with many players leaving at the same time,there was a real end of an era feeling at Fir Park-but with only a few weeks until the first Europa League tie,there was nothing to be gained by feeling sorry for ourselves.

John Boyle,to his credit,was not flustered into making a quick appointment.A number of candidates,of a reasonably high profile,came and went from Fir Park as he and the rest of the board made their considerations and the early indications are they made the right appointment.

Jim Gannon was probably not a glamorous name but the few fans familiar with his work at Stockport County quickly spread the good word.There was a positive feeling which lasted precisely ninety minutes as we promptly lost his opening game at home to Llanelli but since then things have got better and better.At the time of writing we sit fourth in the league and only the disastrous League Cup quarter final has left a cloud on our otherwise sunny horizon.

Mark McGhee was often unfairly criticised for never changing things but his problem was rather that things went horribly wrong when he changed them.Big matches,most notably against St Mirren,were thrown away with bizarre formations and line-ups and while Jim Gannon,St Mirren apart,has been successful with his tinkering.His willingness to throw in youth players is a great sight to see but perhaps the most pleasing difference is that he gives the impression of being here if not for the long haul but for a medium journey at least.

No one ever expected Mark McGhee to devote his life to Motherwell but part of the manager's job is building for the future-and he seemed to neglect that side of things entirely while at Fir Park.And when mistakes were made on the pitch, would he ever hold his hand up?Not on your life and a little humility goes a long way.Jim Gannon on the other hand,seems to be the man who can do everything at present.He has rebuilt the squad with little money and to pressing deadlines and talks about improving players over the next two to three years.When St Mirren humbled Motherwell in the cup,it wasn't the players who shouldered the blame but the manager who shielded them.

At present, it all seems a little too good to be true.After a lifetime of operating on the principle that the longer things go well,the closer Motherwell are to disaster,I am now well and truly bracing myself for a catastrophe!

 

Derek Wilson

 

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