The King Is Dead. Long Live The King…


By Pete H

Now, a bit of time to let the dust to settle. A Monday inquest; not just into our failure to hold a two-goal lead for the second time in as many outings, but now also into what has – ultimately – cost a man his job. The chair in which the Stevenage manager should be sitting is, for the time being, empty. Of course, it’s all but a matter of time until we have someone new to fill that seat. Darren Sarll, however, has now left the building.

Maybe, however, there isn’t much time to let the dust to settle? If The Comet is right, Phil isn’t messing about; planning to meet his “preferred candidate” to become the new Stevenage manager. This Dino-shaped cat that is ever-so-slightly out of the bag might still not be as nailed on as a Bitstarz bonus code, but enough have now parted with their hard-earned cash to force the odds right in. And that’s before GW became available too!

So, why are we in this position? And why now?

Nine games remain in this less-than-inspiring league campaign. This is a Boro’ squad that should be bothering itself with the top eight in this run-in, not the bottom eight. We’re not though, are we? We may be far enough above the bottom two, but it’s no thanks to a run of form that has seen us clock up just five wins in 26 league outings after a perfectly fine start to the season. Trust us. It’ll baffle you if you think too hard about it.

It’s usually at this point that someone swaggers into the room and says “yeah, but it’s a results business”. Yes, yes it is. Since the invention of football in 1992, the game has got more desperate. If you aren’t winning today, you better win tomorrow or clear your desk. Barnet are now onto their 371st gaffer of the season and are still going down. At two years and 40-odd days in post, Darren was the 26th longest-serving gaffers out of the 92!

For Boro’, only seven managerial spells have lasted longer… and G-Wezzle served three of those spells. We’re patient enough as a club, which still begs the question why we are acting so decisively now instead of making that call at the end of term. Is it to give a new man time to get to know his squad and who he doesn’t want in his squad? Or because a certain target’s stock has risen and we don’t want to miss out. Is it both? Or neither?

Who knows and, now, who cares? The decision has been made. You can look at the stats and prove what you like about Darren’s reign as gaffer. Football, as you really should know by now, is more nuanced than that but Darren leaves with a win rate of 36% from 112 matches. This is a better return than G-Wezzle MKIII and it’s as good as Cloughie MK II – if you can compare the two tasks? Leigh or Luton; Hednesford or Portsmouth…

Take out G-Wezzle MKII and Darren has been the best of the rest during our League days to date. That’s what the headline stats tell you, anyway. Let’s face it, taking on the mess Teddy left was a tough ask but Darren did. Was he thrust into the role before his time? It’s already been said on Twitter (What hasn’t? Ed.): the right man at the wrong time. And did getting us within sight of the playoffs last term make it even harder?

Yeah, so we fell away in what was Darren’s first full campaign at the helm; Boro’ running out of steam during the last month-or-so and fading away into 10th. With the summer 2017 transfer window to deal with some of those shortcomings, hopes heightened for a full-blown tilt at the top seven. The decent start we made didn’t to tame that. Then September ended. Then came 7-1 at Luton, leads thrown away and endless waits for a win.

It shouldn’t have been like that. It shouldn’t have ended like this.


Stevenage Manager: Next In Line…

The bookies have been quick to draw up a list of anyone they can think of and stick a price next to their name. Who out there really thinks Phil Brown will not only come to Stevenage, but leave Swindon after two weeks to do so? And on what planet is Dean Saunders a good idea? If we’re going to play silly beggars, get us a price on Arsene Wenger please. On second thoughts, best not. We’re enjoying his work at Arsenal too much.

Grant McCann is apparently one of the favourites to become Stevenage manager. We say “apparently” when what it should read is, well, “isn’t“. Sol Campbell? Craig Bellamy? Really?! Sure, isn’t Lord Lucan also in the frame. It’s no shock that GW and Dino are top of the pile now, however. It’s now a question of time and if Phil can get his man. After all, the King is sadly now dead. Long live the King… whoever ends up getting the gig.