Peterborough United fan Jarred looks at the stint of Graham Westley – another Posh manager to get the bullet.
Something is wrong at Peterborough United – and I’m not sure what it is. Is Darragh MacAnthony the problem? Is his policy flawed? Maybe we’ve been unlucky with managers? Was Westley the problem? Injuries possibly? For the record, I don’t want MacAnthony to sell up, I know we can do much worse, and I thought it was important to nip that in the bud early on.
I didn’t dislike Graham Westley. I think he spoke well, well he did for most of the time. He’d sometimes use words I’ve never heard of, and say absurd things like falling off bicycles then trying to climb back on it. He came across as a straight talker when he first came in – very honest in his post-match interviews, unlike Robbo – the man he replaced – who spoke like that bloke everyone avoids in your local pub. We started Westley’s reign off in a terrific manor, back to playing football that we’ve all been used too in recent years, fast flowing attacking football. It all looked so good. Probably Westley’s greatest achievement at Posh, or indeed in his footballing career, was turning Conor Washington into a prolific striker. I totally gave up on Washington, as did most fans if they’re brutally honest. I couldn’t see a goal scorer in him. Although I still don’t believe he’s as good as some say. I don’t expect him to grace the big stage, but I hope he proves me wrong, once again.
QPR came calling in January and we were looking good at the time. They lodged a £2.5m offer, fantastic money for a League 1 player and you can understand why Darragh accepted it. But here’s my issue; I totally understand we have to sell a player for a large amount each season. Our crowds are piss-poor, we need to generate money somehow. But selling your star player mid-season? For me that’s throwing the white towel in, you may as well bend over, pull your kecks down and get the Johnson’s out. I’d sell Conor Washington for £2.5m 100% but not midway through a season. It derailed the campaign. You’re telling me we’d have gone bust if we didn’t sell him until the summer? Poppycock. It sends out a negative message also. Obviously it depends on the player’s character because, essentially you’re stopping them from a life changing move, only for a few months mind. Washington didn’t seem a bloke who’d throw his toys out of the pram, ala tomlin. Maddison for example, once a bid comes in for him, he shall act like a petulant child, just you wait! Apparently we research players personalities before we sign them anyway, so that should ensure there’s no bad eggs in the camp.
Given the sale of Washington, Westley should then be automatically given some more time, patience and more than anything, at least half of that £2.5m to spend on a replacement. Darragh backs his managers in the transfer market religiously. You cannot fault the bloke on that front. Westley got his reported number one target in the door, Adil Nabi, a youngster from WBA along with another player he rated highly, another Prem kid Shaquille Coulthirst. Nabi has been locked away somewhere, he’s barely kicked a ball in a Posh shirt, whereas Coulthirst has played, but rarely scores. I think all of Westleys recruits were good ones, for the future, not the present. I think maybe this is where Westley went wrong, not recruiting for now. Although some would argue that is the fault of Darragh. Make your own minds up!
I think Westley’s sacking was harsh, but I wasn’t happy with his appointment in the first place so I’m not gutted about his departure. Regarding the next manager, it’s a tough, tough decision. You won’t find a bigger fan of Grant McCann than myself, however we need to get promoted asap. Would that appointment be too much of a risk? He’s been assistant to both Robertson and Westley. However I don’t think it’s fair to judge him on those reigns. He’s hugely popular with the players and even more so with the fans. I want Grant McCann as manager of Peterborough United. I’m just not sure when. If I was Darragh MacAnthony I’d be calling Steve Cotterill. He got Bristol City promoted from League One recently. That’s what we need. I’d have McCann as his no.2 with Grant being guaranteed to be Cotterill’s eventual successor. I just think it’s time to appoint for the now, I’m sick of hearing about development and future. We need to get back to the championship sharpish and an appointment of a manager like Steve Cotterill would go a long way in achieving that aim, as well as selling in the summer and not in January. I really don’t envy Darragh MacAnthony. I’d hate to be making the big decisions. Has anyone get Cotterills number? Up the Posh!