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Michael Appleton Up Next


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On Appleton the positive thing is if he's appointed everyone at the club will be on the same page. Appleton can't possibly claim he's not understanding what he's getting into, Ashton will have his guy, his mate, his choice.

Having everyone with the general same idea, and buying into a way of doing things is good (if it's a good way of doing things) and sometimes even it's it's not it's better than having two good ideas that are conflicting.

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Just now, Phileas Fogg said:

That’s all well and good in theory - but this is Bristol City. So many U-turns over the years and a strong tendency to do an about face when panicked.

I’m confident it’ll happen again and we’ll appoint someone different to Holden/Johnson stylistically who’s an outsider. 

Oh yeah, I can totally see a complete reverse, switch to manager rather than coach, fire all the current staff, Steve reacts to criticism and invests in the exact opposite of what we've done before!

Doing a 180 is a classic hiring new manager thing.

Call it a "breath of fresh air"... wait...

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1 hour ago, Phileas Fogg said:

Still early days, and I appreciate he’s not a popular choice because he’s mainly lower league and seemingly a favourite of Ashton, but assuming the bookies are right and we are interested.. what do we know about him?

Here's is a good piece on his time at Oxford. The Appleton Era – Oxblogger

In short; he is regarded as Oxford's best manager of recent years.

If there’s one thing that characterised Michael Appleton’s time at Oxford United, it was that it was never, in any way, normal. His arrival in the summer of 2014 felt like he was the henchman in a hostile takeover. Talk of new owners had dominated that summer in the same way that it has this, and there was little surprise when it was announced that the club was in new hands. What was a surprise was the aggressive change that Darry Eales, Mark Ashton and the newly appointed coach Michael Appleton wanted to make. Particularly when there was a rival bid from the more palatable Stewart Donald on the table.

The signs weren’t good; Ashton had built a terrible reputation while CEO at Watford and Appleton was synonymous with chaos. Eales was generally quiet, but he was an outsider and a money man, and that often brings suspicions. Appleton’s management CV read: Portsmouth, Blackburn, Blackpool, three clubs that had been suicidally mismanaged. To find himself in that situation once was unfortunate, but three times was suspicious. Was he simply the stooge who specialised in being the footballing face of an organised crime syndicate?

With his sleeve tattoos, arms like tree trunks and piercing icy glare, he didn’t look like a football manager. He was neither a gnarly weather beaten obsessive like Sam Allardyce or Chris Wilder, nor the metrosexual cosmopolitan like Pep Guardiola or Paul Tidsdale. In short, it was difficult to see how Appleton planned to run a football club while perfecting his chiselled physique. Unless he was planning to take his pay packet, pump iron and let the club crumble to dust.

There was depth, however, Appleton was studying for a Masters degree and had learned his trade under Roy Hodgson at West Brom. He had been labelled one of the most promising coaches in the country, but we’ve had promising coaches before.  

At first it looked like a heist, Gary Waddock mercilessly thrown out the window, Mark Ashton playing benevolent dictator with his vacuous PR and the stony faced Appleton glaring at anyone who might question him. There was no doubt Appleton was single-minded, he’d previously won £1m compensation for a career-ending injury, but his steadfast demeanor bordered on arrogant, particularly as he struggled to back up his claims that he was doing things the right way with evidence.

If the takeover was chaotic, the following season was more so. There was very little to suggest that Appleton was implementing anything competent, let alone special. Dave Kitson, whose paths had crossed at Portsmouth, retired almost instantly. The first four games of the season resulted in four defeats and Appleton went on to play 44 players. Nearly half played less than 10 games, some barely lasted 90 minutes before being moved on.

There were belligerent claims that they were trying to implement a new DNA and that there was no Plan B. But Plan A wasn’t working; whatever it was he was trying to do, it couldn’t be done on a potato patch pitch with a constant merry-go-round of players. The only thing that wasn’t churning was the management. At one point Oxford were the lowest placed club in the Football League not to have changed manager that season and fans struggled to know why the trapdoor wasn’t opening. Was the pits the 3-2 home defeat to 10 man Southend after leading twice or the 0-2 defeat to the apparently doomed Hartlepool? Maybe the 1-5 TV defeat to Cambridge? The performances of Danny Hylton, ironically Gary Waddock’s only signing, was the one thing that kept the lynch mobs at bay.

Few would have given Appleton the time to sort through the mess, but slowly came moments of stability; Alex MacDonald and Joe Skarz signed, then a young midlander from his old club West Brom; Kemar Roofe. Appleton had hit paydirt, he’d steadied the ship and managed to secure a Championship level game-changer for League 2 strugglers. After a quiet start, we headed to promotion-seeking Wycombe where Roofe grabbed a brace in a searing performance that set us on our way to an unbeaten end of season run. Winning the final three games, against all odds, we finished only a handful of points behind our previous season’s total.

The club careered into summer full of optimism, the new owners found their groove, new credit card style season tickets were introduced, season ticket incentives, social media was a whirl, a deferential celebratory new kit marking 30 years since the Milk Cup (with the away kit celebrating 20 years of our last league promotion) was launched. On the field, Liam Sercombe was signed, George Baldock, John Lundstram, and, against all odds, Kemar Roofe was brought in permanently. Then the club announced a pre-season trip to Austria.

Oxford fans’ suppressed anxiety about their club was released amidst the positivity, Appleton was given a new lease of life; his team, his way. But, at the same time, a large chunk of the club was being given back to the fans. The stands became a theatre of colour and noise and the players responded. The Austrian adventure, with a forgettable 0-0 draw with Weiner Neustadt, galvanised fans and club in a way that had been absent for decades.

The new season got off to a moderate start with a draw against Crawley. A 4-0 win over Championship Brentford and recovering from 0-2 against Luton to draw in injury time fired up the engines. Appleton had found his DNA. He was never a strong tactician and would often get undone by more wiley managers such as his nemesis Chris Wilder or Phil Brown. But if he couldn’t out-think other teams, Appleton would simply outplay them. It meant that every game was a game to be won, there was no squad rotation or prioritisation. No smart tactical nuance to his selections. There was the demolition of Swindon in the JPT, the destruction of Stevenage away, a gritty takedown of Notts County on New Year’s Day. We scored three or more away from home on seven occasions and were the highest goalscorers in the country.

With progress on all fronts we were rewarded with a third round FA Cup tie with Swansea. On a bright, fresh wintery Sunday, Appleton had the opportunity to test his philosophy against one of the biggest clubs in the country. Containment wasn’t an option, trying to stop them play didn’t compute; so we simply attacked. The result was spectacular and Appleton was plastered all over the national press wanting to know how he’d transformed this bumbling club into one that played like (and beat) the Premier League elite. His reputation was restored.

The season ploughed on, four days after Swansea, we beat Millwall away in the 1st leg of the JPT semi-final all but guaranteeing a trip to Wembley. It was a good week. Despite the intensity and distractions, we were picking up points in the league too. Wembley was a giddy joy, we took the lead and looked good for the win, but Barnsley stormed back. Defeat was, well, no great loss. This was already one of the greatest seasons in Oxford’s history.

Despite holding a top three place all season, promotion was still on a knife-edge; a win at Carlisle – another landmark victory in a season of landmark victories – set up a must-win final game against Wycombe. After a nervy start, Chey Dunkley – an archetypal Appleton product – headed a goal to relieve the pressure and we stormed into League 1. Oxford had been re-born in a style many envied.

Appleton’s great strength was his ability to find players limited by their surroundings and release them to do what they did best. He constructed a compact but high quality squad mined from Premier League youth teams and the Scottish Premier League. Nearly everyone he came into contact with thrived, Chris Maguire and Danny Hylton, both perennial misfits elsewhere suddenly became integral to the squad, Premier League prospects got games, in front of crowds, and their stock grew exponentially in the process.

Kemar Roofe was sold to Leeds for £4m, Callum O’Dowda to Bristol City for £1.5m. Appleton could show people like Joe Rothwell and Ryan Ledson, Marvin Johnson and Curtis Nelson that Oxford was a hotbed, somewhere they could develop and fulfill their potential.

Acclimatising to League 1 with a reconstructed squad took time. There was another memorable win over Swindon and a giant-killing in the League Cup against Birmingham. By Christmas things were ticking over nicely. An FA Cup win over Newcastle proved that Swansea was no fluke, a second win over Swindon at the County Ground cemented our position as the dominant force in that particularly abusive relationship.

The season was one of consolidation, but it didn’t stop us putting the frighteners up Middlesborough at the Riverside, playing 63 games or progressing again in the unloved EFL Trophy. Suddenly there was another Wembley appearance to attend to.

If cracks did start to appear, and if they did, they were hairline, then it was in the defeat to Coventry. It’s a game we should have won, but it was a joyless, flat performance, ignited only by Liam Sercombe, who showed enough fire to bring us back into the game. Days later Sercombe was effectively suspended for ‘disciplinary’ reasons, the first time the squad appeared to have fractured.

Appleton’s end came in the same way as it began, in a suspiciously quiet close season punctuated by rumours of takeovers. Darryl Eales faces the dilemma of ploughing more money into his project to get to the Championship, or selling up and letting someone else take it on. Appleton’s reputation and ambition further challenged Eales’ capacity to do this alone. You suspect that Eales enjoys the challenge, but Appleton can’t afford to hang around.

Leicester, though, is a curious choice. It might be that Appleton is more comfortable being part of a corporate structure – he spoke at the end of the season about how jaded he was. But, he won’t be implementing ‘his way’ in the way he was allowed to at Oxford and it’s unlikely he’ll have the luxury of time. The money being offered makes it a reasonable and compelling case, but nobody knows what Leicester is anymore – pushing for Europe? Avoiding relegation? Craig Shakespeare may have got them out of a mess last season, but can he meet the needs of recent Premier League Champions in the longer term? It’s possible that Shakepeare’s success was that he just that he wasn’t the pernickety Claudio Ranieri. Now he’s got to develop a squad of players who have already achieved more than they’d ever expected to achieve and take them on. But where to? Some of the older players are heading for the dumper already, the younger players may be looking for new, bigger, clubs. A few dodgy results next season and Shakespeare will be under pressure, and so will Michael Appleton.

The challenge for us, now, is to sustain the club’s DNA. Darryl Eales is a football ‘fan’ rather than a football ‘man’. Can he unearth a coach who will take over Appleton’s legacy and drive the club on? You have to trust that he can, but it’ll be different, that’s for sure.

How will Appleton be viewed by history? In my lifetime, four managers have won promotion for the club; Jim Smith, Denis Smith, Chris Wilder and Michael Appleton. Only Appleton took us to Wembley twice and perhaps only Jim Smith matched the treasure trove of memories from the cups. In totality, the 2015/16 season was, perhaps, the best I have seen in 40 years watching the club.

Appleton’s legacy will not only be those memories, but the thousands of young fans that he’s inspired to follow the club, and the others who have returned after years away. On that basis, the echo of his impact can last generations. It’s difficult to put him above Jim Smith, and older fans will point to the transformative contribution of Arthur Turner, but in the history of the club, Michael Appleton is right up there among the greatest managers we have ever seen.   

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Just now, Kid in the Riot said:

Here's is a good piece on his time at Oxford. The Appleton Era – Oxblogger

In short; he is regarded as Oxford's best manager of recent years.

If there’s one thing that characterised Michael Appleton’s time at Oxford United, it was that it was never, in any way, normal. His arrival in the summer of 2014 felt like he was the henchman in a hostile takeover. Talk of new owners had dominated that summer in the same way that it has this, and there was little surprise when it was announced that the club was in new hands. What was a surprise was the aggressive change that Darry Eales, Mark Ashton and the newly appointed coach Michael Appleton wanted to make. Particularly when there was a rival bid from the more palatable Stewart Donald on the table.

The signs weren’t good; Ashton had built a terrible reputation while CEO at Watford and Appleton was synonymous with chaos. Eales was generally quiet, but he was an outsider and a money man, and that often brings suspicions. Appleton’s management CV read: Portsmouth, Blackburn, Blackpool, three clubs that had been suicidally mismanaged. To find himself in that situation once was unfortunate, but three times was suspicious. Was he simply the stooge who specialised in being the footballing face of an organised crime syndicate?

With his sleeve tattoos, arms like tree trunks and piercing icy glare, he didn’t look like a football manager. He was neither a gnarly weather beaten obsessive like Sam Allardyce or Chris Wilder, nor the metrosexual cosmopolitan like Pep Guardiola or Paul Tidsdale. In short, it was difficult to see how Appleton planned to run a football club while perfecting his chiselled physique. Unless he was planning to take his pay packet, pump iron and let the club crumble to dust.

There was depth, however, Appleton was studying for a Masters degree and had learned his trade under Roy Hodgson at West Brom. He had been labelled one of the most promising coaches in the country, but we’ve had promising coaches before.  

At first it looked like a heist, Gary Waddock mercilessly thrown out the window, Mark Ashton playing benevolent dictator with his vacuous PR and the stony faced Appleton glaring at anyone who might question him. There was no doubt Appleton was single-minded, he’d previously won £1m compensation for a career-ending injury, but his steadfast demeanor bordered on arrogant, particularly as he struggled to back up his claims that he was doing things the right way with evidence.

If the takeover was chaotic, the following season was more so. There was very little to suggest that Appleton was implementing anything competent, let alone special. Dave Kitson, whose paths had crossed at Portsmouth, retired almost instantly. The first four games of the season resulted in four defeats and Appleton went on to play 44 players. Nearly half played less than 10 games, some barely lasted 90 minutes before being moved on.

There were belligerent claims that they were trying to implement a new DNA and that there was no Plan B. But Plan A wasn’t working; whatever it was he was trying to do, it couldn’t be done on a potato patch pitch with a constant merry-go-round of players. The only thing that wasn’t churning was the management. At one point Oxford were the lowest placed club in the Football League not to have changed manager that season and fans struggled to know why the trapdoor wasn’t opening. Was the pits the 3-2 home defeat to 10 man Southend after leading twice or the 0-2 defeat to the apparently doomed Hartlepool? Maybe the 1-5 TV defeat to Cambridge? The performances of Danny Hylton, ironically Gary Waddock’s only signing, was the one thing that kept the lynch mobs at bay.

Few would have given Appleton the time to sort through the mess, but slowly came moments of stability; Alex MacDonald and Joe Skarz signed, then a young midlander from his old club West Brom; Kemar Roofe. Appleton had hit paydirt, he’d steadied the ship and managed to secure a Championship level game-changer for League 2 strugglers. After a quiet start, we headed to promotion-seeking Wycombe where Roofe grabbed a brace in a searing performance that set us on our way to an unbeaten end of season run. Winning the final three games, against all odds, we finished only a handful of points behind our previous season’s total.

The club careered into summer full of optimism, the new owners found their groove, new credit card style season tickets were introduced, season ticket incentives, social media was a whirl, a deferential celebratory new kit marking 30 years since the Milk Cup (with the away kit celebrating 20 years of our last league promotion) was launched. On the field, Liam Sercombe was signed, George Baldock, John Lundstram, and, against all odds, Kemar Roofe was brought in permanently. Then the club announced a pre-season trip to Austria.

Oxford fans’ suppressed anxiety about their club was released amidst the positivity, Appleton was given a new lease of life; his team, his way. But, at the same time, a large chunk of the club was being given back to the fans. The stands became a theatre of colour and noise and the players responded. The Austrian adventure, with a forgettable 0-0 draw with Weiner Neustadt, galvanised fans and club in a way that had been absent for decades.

The new season got off to a moderate start with a draw against Crawley. A 4-0 win over Championship Brentford and recovering from 0-2 against Luton to draw in injury time fired up the engines. Appleton had found his DNA. He was never a strong tactician and would often get undone by more wiley managers such as his nemesis Chris Wilder or Phil Brown. But if he couldn’t out-think other teams, Appleton would simply outplay them. It meant that every game was a game to be won, there was no squad rotation or prioritisation. No smart tactical nuance to his selections. There was the demolition of Swindon in the JPT, the destruction of Stevenage away, a gritty takedown of Notts County on New Year’s Day. We scored three or more away from home on seven occasions and were the highest goalscorers in the country.

With progress on all fronts we were rewarded with a third round FA Cup tie with Swansea. On a bright, fresh wintery Sunday, Appleton had the opportunity to test his philosophy against one of the biggest clubs in the country. Containment wasn’t an option, trying to stop them play didn’t compute; so we simply attacked. The result was spectacular and Appleton was plastered all over the national press wanting to know how he’d transformed this bumbling club into one that played like (and beat) the Premier League elite. His reputation was restored.

The season ploughed on, four days after Swansea, we beat Millwall away in the 1st leg of the JPT semi-final all but guaranteeing a trip to Wembley. It was a good week. Despite the intensity and distractions, we were picking up points in the league too. Wembley was a giddy joy, we took the lead and looked good for the win, but Barnsley stormed back. Defeat was, well, no great loss. This was already one of the greatest seasons in Oxford’s history.

Despite holding a top three place all season, promotion was still on a knife-edge; a win at Carlisle – another landmark victory in a season of landmark victories – set up a must-win final game against Wycombe. After a nervy start, Chey Dunkley – an archetypal Appleton product – headed a goal to relieve the pressure and we stormed into League 1. Oxford had been re-born in a style many envied.

Appleton’s great strength was his ability to find players limited by their surroundings and release them to do what they did best. He constructed a compact but high quality squad mined from Premier League youth teams and the Scottish Premier League. Nearly everyone he came into contact with thrived, Chris Maguire and Danny Hylton, both perennial misfits elsewhere suddenly became integral to the squad, Premier League prospects got games, in front of crowds, and their stock grew exponentially in the process.

Kemar Roofe was sold to Leeds for £4m, Callum O’Dowda to Bristol City for £1.5m. Appleton could show people like Joe Rothwell and Ryan Ledson, Marvin Johnson and Curtis Nelson that Oxford was a hotbed, somewhere they could develop and fulfill their potential.

Acclimatising to League 1 with a reconstructed squad took time. There was another memorable win over Swindon and a giant-killing in the League Cup against Birmingham. By Christmas things were ticking over nicely. An FA Cup win over Newcastle proved that Swansea was no fluke, a second win over Swindon at the County Ground cemented our position as the dominant force in that particularly abusive relationship.

The season was one of consolidation, but it didn’t stop us putting the frighteners up Middlesborough at the Riverside, playing 63 games or progressing again in the unloved EFL Trophy. Suddenly there was another Wembley appearance to attend to.

If cracks did start to appear, and if they did, they were hairline, then it was in the defeat to Coventry. It’s a game we should have won, but it was a joyless, flat performance, ignited only by Liam Sercombe, who showed enough fire to bring us back into the game. Days later Sercombe was effectively suspended for ‘disciplinary’ reasons, the first time the squad appeared to have fractured.

Appleton’s end came in the same way as it began, in a suspiciously quiet close season punctuated by rumours of takeovers. Darryl Eales faces the dilemma of ploughing more money into his project to get to the Championship, or selling up and letting someone else take it on. Appleton’s reputation and ambition further challenged Eales’ capacity to do this alone. You suspect that Eales enjoys the challenge, but Appleton can’t afford to hang around.

Leicester, though, is a curious choice. It might be that Appleton is more comfortable being part of a corporate structure – he spoke at the end of the season about how jaded he was. But, he won’t be implementing ‘his way’ in the way he was allowed to at Oxford and it’s unlikely he’ll have the luxury of time. The money being offered makes it a reasonable and compelling case, but nobody knows what Leicester is anymore – pushing for Europe? Avoiding relegation? Craig Shakespeare may have got them out of a mess last season, but can he meet the needs of recent Premier League Champions in the longer term? It’s possible that Shakepeare’s success was that he just that he wasn’t the pernickety Claudio Ranieri. Now he’s got to develop a squad of players who have already achieved more than they’d ever expected to achieve and take them on. But where to? Some of the older players are heading for the dumper already, the younger players may be looking for new, bigger, clubs. A few dodgy results next season and Shakespeare will be under pressure, and so will Michael Appleton.

The challenge for us, now, is to sustain the club’s DNA. Darryl Eales is a football ‘fan’ rather than a football ‘man’. Can he unearth a coach who will take over Appleton’s legacy and drive the club on? You have to trust that he can, but it’ll be different, that’s for sure.

How will Appleton be viewed by history? In my lifetime, four managers have won promotion for the club; Jim Smith, Denis Smith, Chris Wilder and Michael Appleton. Only Appleton took us to Wembley twice and perhaps only Jim Smith matched the treasure trove of memories from the cups. In totality, the 2015/16 season was, perhaps, the best I have seen in 40 years watching the club.

Appleton’s legacy will not only be those memories, but the thousands of young fans that he’s inspired to follow the club, and the others who have returned after years away. On that basis, the echo of his impact can last generations. It’s difficult to put him above Jim Smith, and older fans will point to the transformative contribution of Arthur Turner, but in the history of the club, Michael Appleton is right up there among the greatest managers we have ever seen.   

Thanks, will give it a read over a cup of coffee

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If you look at ‘ Ashtons appointments’ at Watford , Oxford (Lets forget he jumped ship at Wycombe in weeks) and Us (Forget his bull**** about WBA he was a Community head / director there)

 

He seems obsessed with uncovering the next Klopp or Pep - Id suggest largely connected to his own profile aspirations and ego 

Why ?

Well here’s his tosh about how Lee Johnson was chosen (Spooky that of all the coaches in the world he could have targeted we ended with Lee , Steve’s friend      As Fevs has said - SLs call every day of the week)

Whats more revealing to me is his desperation to sell himself and his previous appointments

 

 

 

 

6023C493-7DAC-405B-AD73-B0379523BBB6.jpeg

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13 minutes ago, Mike Hunt-Hertz said:

Just for once, can this club stop fannying around and get someone fit for bloody purpose

Don’t be silly, that would show actual ambition. They are happy in this league. 

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Sure Appleton is a good manager and maybe if not the connections to MA, would not be such unpopular choice.

Is he just a lower league manager? I always believe GJ, LJ, SC & DH have problem of respect when they go up the divisions and start getting big name players, who have done it at the top level or played under top managers, you cant use the bully boy tactics and they see through the bull shit, so I think if we want to challenge for the next level, you need someone who knows how to manager big players with big ego's and been thee themselves

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34 minutes ago, Prinny said:

On Appleton the positive thing is if he's appointed everyone at the club will be on the same page. Appleton can't possibly claim he's not understanding what he's getting into, Ashton will have his guy, his mate, his choice.

Having everyone with the general same idea, and buying into a way of doing things is good (if it's a good way of doing things) and sometimes even it's it's not it's better than having two good idea that are conflicting.

It’ll prove or disprove we have the right model or not.

Imho we’ve already disproved it with Lee Johnson as head-coach.  But hey-no. 😄

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Another who would be a huge gamble, failed a Blackburn when it was in a tough situation, Oxford was OK, and Lincoln he took on a winning promoted side and kept it going. Building a club up , top 6 as minimum requirement, Championship experience ?  Compared to Cook this is a very very poor choice. 

Why are we still scrabbling around in L1 ? When has this approach been a successful one if not linked with a double promotion ? Would Bournemouth be looking at Appleton ? He might be a good choice for the gas though. 

We need to bite the bullet and stop sitting in our lower league comfort zone. 

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It's an interesting read. In his favour, he's done his apprenticeship in the lower leagues, made mistakes and looks like he's learned lessons. Lincoln are doing very well, playing good football apparently. 

He's intelligent, a well regarded ex pro and appears to have good contacts and can pick a cheap player (Kemar Roofe for one). 

The stumbling block for a lot of the more narrow minded on here is his association with Ashton but at least he knows and understands the way he works and probably trusts him too. 

Could he make the step up successfully and keep us up? Probably. 

Would he be preferable to the usual suspects like Adkins, Hughes, Pearson? Possibly? 

Would he appease the 'it's Cook or Howe or nobody' brigade on here?Definitely not. 

But we could do a lot worse 

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36 minutes ago, Sheltons Army said:

If you look at ‘ Ashtons appointments’ at Watford , Oxford (Lets forget he jumped ship at Wycombe in weeks) and Us (Forget his bull**** about WBA he was a Community head / director there)

 

He seems obsessed with uncovering the next Klopp or Pep - Id suggest largely connected to his own profile aspirations and ego 

Why ?

Well here’s his tosh about how Lee Johnson was chosen (Spooky that of all the coaches in the world he could have targeted we ended with Lee , Steve’s friend      As Fevs has said - SLs call every day of the week)

Whats more revealing to me is his desperation to sell himself and his previous appointments

 

 

 

 

6023C493-7DAC-405B-AD73-B0379523BBB6.jpeg

Effin’ ‘ell, I’ve never seen that article before, that is one of the most desperate things I’ve read....talk about pandering to your boss, whilst making it look like you’re a good judge via an interview.

You can see this play out in recruitment too with him being desperate to enhance his reputation by signing players from Chelsea for example.

This bloke is a danger to our football club.

Wow.

Thanks for other article @Kid in the Riot.

I will remain open minded about Appleton as a manager, he hasn’t worked for MA for 5+ years.

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Would rather we looked up rather than looking down for a manager as we always do. Lansdown is so desperate to find the next Dyche or Wilder, but has shown no track record at being good at finding them.

I wonder if appointing Appleton will be SL's final chance for Ashton. "Appoint your ideal man Mark, and then we will truly find out if your judgement is good or not".

I hope we don't appoint him, but maybe if we do and it doesn't work out well; it'll be the end of Ashton?

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I think Appleton's problem is he went into management too early at too high a level. He's done well at Oxford and Lincoln and, whilst lower league managers are always a gamble, I can see the logic for thinking he could be a Dean Smith or Chris Wilder rather than a Steve Evans.

At the same time, I think the constant links to us are way more to do with MA's connections rather than because we have seriously considered him. Having said that, I think him getting appointed would be a massive clue to what has happened in the last two appointments. If Ashton was the one who wanted Holden and SL wanted a higher profile manager, then I think SL will have a tight grip on the appointment and it sure as Hell won't be Appleton. If SL and the board backed Holden against Ashton's recommendation, I imagine Ashton will have a lot more influence this time round and Appleton might just be the successful candidate. 

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45 minutes ago, Sheltons Army said:

If you look at ‘ Ashtons appointments’ at Watford , Oxford (Lets forget he jumped ship at Wycombe in weeks) and Us (Forget his bull**** about WBA he was a Community head / director there)

 

He seems obsessed with uncovering the next Klopp or Pep - Id suggest largely connected to his own profile aspirations and ego 

Why ?

Well here’s his tosh about how Lee Johnson was chosen (Spooky that of all the coaches in the world he could have targeted we ended with Lee , Steve’s friend      As Fevs has said - SLs call every day of the week)

Whats more revealing to me is his desperation to sell himself and his previous appointments

 

 

 

 

6023C493-7DAC-405B-AD73-B0379523BBB6.jpeg

Again, I find that interview interesting in that, whilst he brownoses and insists LJ was the right choice, he also strongly implies LJ was a candidate put in front on him rather than one that he chose. "I interviewed him and I had never met him before" very much suggests to me he was 'advised' to interview him...

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1 minute ago, LondonBristolian said:

Again, I find that interview interesting in that, whilst he brownoses and insists LJ was the right choice, he also strongly implies LJ was a candidate put in front on him rather than one that he chose. "I interviewed him and I had never met him before" very much suggests to me he was 'advised' to interview him...

Basically unfit for some of the various aspects of his role.

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9 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Effin’ ‘ell, I’ve never seen that article before, that is one of the most desperate things I’ve read....talk about pandering to your boss, whilst making it look like you’re a good judge via an interview.

You can see this play out in recruitment too with him being desperate to enhance his reputation by signing players from Chelsea for example.

This bloke is a danger to our football club.

Wow.

Thanks for other article @Kid in the Riot.

I will remain open minded about Appleton as a manager, he hasn’t worked for MA for 5+ years.

I agree with you on being open minded about him and this is a good point - just not sure it will happen, for the reasons I outlined earlier.

But we will see!

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7 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Basically unfit for some of the various aspects of his role.

To be fair, it depends on what his role actually is. If it is to ensure the board's strategy is carried out across the club, he may well be doing that very successfully (and probably is, given SL's full throated endorsement on Monday). However, if that is the case, then what he is not doing successfully is getting the board to understand when they are taking the wrong strategic direction and ensuring they change course. People keep saying the issue is that the board want a "yes man" as the new manager but the issue may actually be that they already have a yes man as Chief Executive. If that is the case, he needs to push back on the next managerial appointment for the sake of the club and his reputation...

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1 minute ago, LondonBristolian said:

To be fair, it depends on what his role actually is. If it is to ensure the board's strategy is carried out across the club, he may well be doing that very successfully (and probably is, given SL's full throated endorsement on Monday). However, if that is the case, then what he is not doing successfully is getting the board to understand when they are taking the wrong strategic direction and ensuring they change course. People keep saying the issue is that the board want a "yes man" as the new manager but the issue may actually be that they already have a yes man as Chief Executive. If that is the case, he needs to push back on the next managerial appointment for the sake of the club and his reputation...

In effect he is a yes-man himself.  

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1 hour ago, Sheltons Army said:

If you look at ‘ Ashtons appointments’ at Watford , Oxford (Lets forget he jumped ship at Wycombe in weeks) and Us (Forget his bull**** about WBA he was a Community head / director there)

 

He seems obsessed with uncovering the next Klopp or Pep - Id suggest largely connected to his own profile aspirations and ego 

Why ?

Well here’s his tosh about how Lee Johnson was chosen (Spooky that of all the coaches in the world he could have targeted we ended with Lee , Steve’s friend      As Fevs has said - SLs call every day of the week)

Whats more revealing to me is his desperation to sell himself and his previous appointments

 

 

 

 

6023C493-7DAC-405B-AD73-B0379523BBB6.jpeg

is there a link to this article?

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31 minutes ago, billywedlock said:

Another who would be a huge gamble, failed a Blackburn when it was in a tough situation, Oxford was OK, and Lincoln he took on a winning promoted side and kept it going. Building a club up , top 6 as minimum requirement, Championship experience ?  Compared to Cook this is a very very poor choice. 

Why are we still scrabbling around in L1 ? When has this approach been a successful one if not linked with a double promotion ? Would Bournemouth be looking at Appleton ? He might be a good choice for the gas though. 

We need to bite the bullet and stop sitting in our lower league comfort zone. 

He wouldn’t be my top choice but he got Oxford promoted! A bit better than ‘ok’.. You can’t discredit him for Lincoln either. Whether they had a good side or not, he’s doing the business there.

It sounds like you’ve already made your mind up about him either way.

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Oh for the love of God! Stop looking downwards and appointing people you know MA....get out of your comfort zone and appoint a Head Coach that will challenge you and the whole club! That is the secret to Lam at the Bears, he has had an effect on the entire organisation with his approach and attitude. Thats what we need, a big personality that is going to leave a real mark. 

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2 hours ago, walnutroof said:

Also people seem to be overlooking the fact that he’s currently managing the team top of league one, why would he risk swapping places? 

A few hundred thousand reasons per year can be very persuasive. 

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1 hour ago, Sheltons Army said:

If you look at ‘ Ashtons appointments’ at Watford , Oxford (Lets forget he jumped ship at Wycombe in weeks) and Us (Forget his bull**** about WBA he was a Community head / director there)

 

He seems obsessed with uncovering the next Klopp or Pep - Id suggest largely connected to his own profile aspirations and ego 

Why ?

Well here’s his tosh about how Lee Johnson was chosen (Spooky that of all the coaches in the world he could have targeted we ended with Lee , Steve’s friend      As Fevs has said - SLs call every day of the week)

Whats more revealing to me is his desperation to sell himself and his previous appointments

 

 

 

 

6023C493-7DAC-405B-AD73-B0379523BBB6.jpeg

Christ almighty Ashton chats so much shit.

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On the other side of things, its not a given the Appleton would want to come and work for MA, doing very with Lincoln, likely promoted to the championship, maybe facing a fight fro survival next year. Sure the salary will be a lot more, but so will the pressure to deliver, he may be settled in Lincolnshire and quite happy the way his job is and will be aware of how it would be working with MA compared to what he has got now.

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51 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

In effect he is a yes-man himself.  

This is certainly my concern. For all the posts about the fact that Mark Ashton is taking over the club and doing what he wants, my fear and suspicion is that the board have spent a lot of money hiring a dog and are dictating how they want it to be barking...

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3 minutes ago, LondonBristolian said:

This is certainly my concern. For all the posts about the fact that Mark Ashton is taking over the club and doing what he wants, my fear and suspicion is that the board have spent a lot of money hiring a dog and are dictating how they want it to be barking...

For me the problem is that all he can do is bark, I want him to be able to catch a frisbee, be loving, protect me, but he just barks and shits.

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1 hour ago, harvey54 said:

It's an interesting read. In his favour, he's done his apprenticeship in the lower leagues, made mistakes and looks like he's learned lessons. Lincoln are doing very well, playing good football apparently. 

He's intelligent, a well regarded ex pro and appears to have good contacts and can pick a cheap player (Kemar Roofe for one). 

The stumbling block for a lot of the more narrow minded on here is his association with Ashton but at least he knows and understands the way he works and probably trusts him too. 

Could he make the step up successfully and keep us up? Probably. 

Would he be preferable to the usual suspects like Adkins, Hughes, Pearson? Possibly? 

Would he appease the 'it's Cook or Howe or nobody' brigade on here?Definitely not. 

But we could do a lot worse 

Good post. Think this is exactly right. 

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On merit, if he is willing to come, Paul Cook is a much more appealing choice and there is something dynamic about him that, accompanied by his track record, gives me confidence he would succeed.  

Appleton has done reasonably well in the lower leagues but, after the deeply depressing O'Driscoll, I'd really prefer not to have another dour manager.

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