Reid’s Return

Posted by on Jun 25, 2010 in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

In the build up to the World Cup, BBC3 aired one of those taste bud-whetting countdowns of the tournament’s most shocking moments. After showing the Maradona goal from 1986, a Z list personality ridiculed Peter Reid’s asthmatic tracking back as he ambled two yards behind El Diego for the duration of that run towards goal. I remember thinking that I hadn’t noticed a spent Reid struggling in the Mexican heat before having it spelled out but, more precisely, how I now deemed the Merseysider to be a proper dinosaur, a yesterday’s man whose recent involvement at Stoke couldn’t hide the fact that he’d become a footballing relic.

Several weeks later and he’s taken the helm at my team, Plymouth Argyle, and with a nod in the direction of this website’s impending evolution towards a wider coverage of the Football League, it seems only right to comment on his appointment.

Until a few days ago, Reid’s name hadn’t really been mentioned in relation to the vacancy, which was created at the end of last season after Paul Mariner was relieved of his managerial responsibilities. Mariner had still been cutting his teeth, but a combination of relegation from the Championship and a flatlining team spirit convinced the Board to seek an experienced replacement. Paul Jewell, Steve Cotterill and George Burley were, at times, each linked heavily but budgets and better offers curtailed those paths and the Pilgrims settled for Reid, whose last appointment in England was a full five and a half years ago.

The initial reaction from fans has been mixed. Argyle fans are generally a forgiving group and there’s been a fair amount of positivity: after such a long period of uncertainty, the appointment of a permanent manager with a good level of experience has come as something of a tonic. However, for every Green that is happy to give Reid doubt’s benefit, there’s an accusation of his synonymity with the backwards approach that held English football back for years. While our Devon Expressway rivals possess one of the game’s most progressive young managers, we’re now looking to the future with a man whose glory days were a decade ago.

Some Argyle fans have been crying out for a young and articulate up-and-comer of Tisdale’s ilk, but such an appointment never looked likely when the criteria was set for our new man. Not only did candidates have to possess proven experience, they also had to be willing to work with Mariner and his sidekick John Carver, who were each tied down to contracts during last season. Underlining the club’s precarious financial position, this stipulation must have deterred plenty of capable managers less keen on working with Argyle’s existing backroom staff from applying. Coupled with the issues laid out in The Herald this morning, many commentators might argue that the Pilgrims have actually done well in securing Reid.

This son of Huyton might belong to a generation marked by its suspicion of tactical innovation, but there could be some silver linings. To view things positively, the Westcountrymen have appointed a manager who’s achieved at the top level before taking time out of management after suffering a little burnout. Whether that hiatus was self-imposed is another question, but a refreshed Reid is in possession of a UEFA Pro-Licence coaching badge and will no doubt be able to draw upon his book of contacts to overhaul a desperately stale squad of players. If all else fails, he’ll at least cut the ever-frustrating Rory Fallon down to size once he sees the New Zealander in ‘action’.

The media has already taken notice: Argyle’s first game of the season at Southampton will be aired on Sky, presumably after Jeff Stelling had a word. Like a friend said when we appointed Ian Holloway in 2007: whatever happens, it isn’t going to be boring.

Lloyd
is co-editor of The Two Unfortunates. He’s 30, supports Plymouth Argyle and takes a particular interest in the fortunes of those Football League clubs west of Bristol.

8 Comments

  1. Lanterne Rouge
    June 25, 2010

    I think Reid's reputation as a dinosaur is down more to his one of the lads image and the general bonhomie associated with the Persona that is forever “Reidy”. I don't recall his Sunderland or Man City sides as being especially neanderthal, whatever those nameless wikipedians might claim.

    At Leeds, he was firefighting and he has worked with the very best including Harry Kewell and Kevin Phillips. His spell at Coventry may have been singularly unmemorable but he will still have contacts.

    In all though, I'm puzzled why Plymouth feel they had to appoint a big name when a back to basics approach with an up and coming manager like Tisdale or Buckle may have been wiser.

    Reply
  2. Jack Mayflower
    June 25, 2010

    What is surprising is how long they took to make the appointment with pre season only a week away.

    It was hoped, and of course, stated, that the long process was neccessary to find the right man. It seems much wasted time was spent courting other suitors but it's not much of a dowry when you offer a bed that already has two men in it alongside the dream of a rather large Cup.
    The new arrangement between Reid and Mariner might just gell, it might not, but one thing it isn't is carefully planned.
    It is all underwhelming and for once the bookies might well be wrong with their high ranking of Argyle's chances this season.

    Reply
  3. Jack Mayflower
    June 25, 2010

    What is surprising is how long they took to make the appointment with pre season only a week away.

    It was hoped, and of course, stated, that the long process was neccessary to find the right man. It seems much wasted time was spent courting other suitors but it's not much of a dowry when you offer a bed that already has two men in it alongside the dream of a rather large Cup.
    The new arrangement between Reid and Mariner might just gell, it might not, but one thing it isn't is carefully planned.
    It is all underwhelming and for once the bookies might well be wrong with their high ranking of Argyle's chances this season.

    Reply
  4. Lanterne Rouge
    June 25, 2010

    Jack: your mentioning the 3 men in a bed scenario makes me wonder what will happen to John Carver? – reminds me of Brendan Rodgers' ridiculously top heavy management team at Reading involving Dean Austin and Frank Lampard Sr last season.

    Reply
  5. Stanley
    June 25, 2010

    Reid doesn't come across as particularly thoughtful, unlike some of his younger contemporaries (the aforementioned Paul Tisdale, for example), but the time taken to gain a Pro Licence belies the Jurassic reputation. Also, while he hasn't been in charge of an English club for some years, Reid has remained in the game, first with the Thailand national squad and, latterly, as assistant at Stoke City. What would worry me, though, is the lack of knowledge of the lower leagues among the management trio, not to mention the potential for strained relations between the three. Other clubs have had notable success employing coaches with experience of a higher level – Danny Wilson at Swindon being the most recent example. Nevertheless, one can't help but think that Plymouth would have benefitted more from an appointee with a still-growing reputation.

    Reply
  6. Lloyd
    June 25, 2010

    I think that Tisdale, for one, will be snapped up sooner rather than later; we'll just be kicking ourselves when he starts achieving at a higher level.

    Granted that the fudge between Reid, Mariner and Carver isn't ideal, but I'd like to think that they'll be professional about it and try to make a break of the situation. Managers and Assistants have to meet somewhere, so it wouldn't be out of the question for them to hit it off. Or am I just being Green?

    Reply
  7. Lanterne Rouge
    June 25, 2010

    I was wondering how far Mariner and Reid may have been acquainted back in the Ingerlund set up of the Eighties but Reid, despite being skinned by Maradona, famously made quite a difference to the team when he came in during the 1986 World Cup and Mariner's best days were four years previously.

    Reply
  8. Frank Heaven
    June 26, 2010

    So Reidy's back in management then. I'm both pleased and bemused.

    Pleased because I fondly remember the five-part Premier Passions documentary, charting Sunderland's ill fated 1996/97 campaign. The man is a character, and the game is short of them these days.

    But bemused, because as a manager, Reid's record is patchy, and latterly, he's looked like a relic from another era. At Maine Road, he got City to fifth twice, but it was Howard Kendall's team he inherited. His achievements at Sunderland were impressive, but have since been tainted by the revelations in Tom Bowers' Broken Dreams book.

    As for the scouser's later spells at Leeds and Coventry, whatever the circumstances there, he did little to suggest he was one of the game's innovators.

    Punching walls and swearing may have motivated players back in the 1990s – and made it for great TV – but I think you'll need more than that now, Reidy.

    Reply

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