What (And Who) Next For Wycombe?
Interminable rain outside, and Wycombe shifts uneasily under its sodden valley floor; a day after Wycombe Wanderers’ 125th anniversary, it’s time yet again to contemplate another new face for the club. It has come as no huge surprise that Gary Waddock, manager of the club since 2009, has been sacked. Following relegation in May, we’ve had a limp start to the 2012-13 season, with only four points gleaned from a possible 21, and after Saturday’s grim 1-0 defeat against AFC Wimbledon, the ‘Wadfather’ has been relieved of duties.
It’s fair enough: he took us down, and up, and down again, and though we’ve been beset by injuries and rocky finances, that’s hardly unchartered waters for the 21st century manager. Gary has hardly been a hated man though — with an unruffled, no-frills demeanour and solidly dignified approach, he’s been generally well-respected and I know some fans who, though understanding of the decision, are sorry to see him go.
We’ve not had a settled leader since Lawrie Sanchez dug his spurs into our trembling flanks and rode us to hilarious FA Cup success over 10 years ago, and, as I said in my recent article on the club’s modern helmsmen, we could REALLY do with one.
So who will it be? Much of the Twitter crew called for modern day folk hero – the Johnny Byron of Bucks – Gareth Ainsworth, to lead our merrie travellers onward in a caretaker role and so it has come to pass, although no-one seems to think he would be a permanent fixture. Some hanker for the remnants of our romantic hazy days under Martin O’Neill, with then-kingpin striker and local boy Keith Scott, who currently manages Windsor.
Further up the scale, there are rumours of Gary Megson, Brian Laws, and Paul Ince. Out of these, I would favour Laws, who has a Cloughy sort of vibe and at least has done the rounds in the lower Leagues. Megson, weirdly sacked by Sheffield Wednesday not long before their promotion last season, would be the more high-profile choice, though he’s got a reputation for being shouty and stroppy. The managerial record of Ince, on the other hand, has not been auspicious, out on his ear at Milton Keynes and Notts County after very short spells, and it would feel like Tony Adams all over again if he came in.
I see that Martin O’Neill was back at Adams Park yesterday evening for the anniversary celebrations. I’m hoping some sort of covert Blue Opps is being planned to kidnap him and handcuff him to the home dugout…