It is exactly a month to the day that the club took the decision to remove Kit Symons from his role, and today we have been privy to an announcement whereby Stuart Gray has been appointed, albeit as “Senior Coach”, with very much an interim feel about it.
According to Chief Financial Officer Mike Rigg; “The search for a permanent Head Coach goes on, but it is important to ensure we focus fully on getting results back on track while this process continues.”
As with any new appointment, no matter how uninspiring it is, the emphasis will now be on us as fans to get behind the Manager/Coach, or whatever we are calling it, to get results back on track, starting with the derby against Brentford on Saturday. Even under Kit the performances were inconsistent at best, although the lack of an appointment since then has certainly seen a further downturn in results. Gray may not have been many peoples’ first choice, but at the end of the day he is simply accepting a role that has been offered and, if anything, perhaps the lack of a permanent appointment may well add extra incentive for the former Sheffield Wednesday boss to succeed where others have failed at Craven Cottage.
Perhaps the most concerning point in today’s statement from Rigg was as follows. “While there has been much speculation linking us with many names, we have not and will not discuss the ongoing process, nor will we appoint someone unless they are 100% committed to the Club and to its future.”
We are all aware that the likes of Clarke, Pearson and Co have already turned down the role, most likely on the basis of the agreed role to be played and how that fits in with Rigg, Khan, Curbishley etc, and the so-called vision of the club. The fact that we are in a market where a good deal of potential applicants are available, yet none seem worthy to take the hot seat, would perhaps suggest that it is in fact the criteria that needs to be altered rather than the level of commitment from those candidates.
As much as Gray may well add value in a senior coaching capacity from a defensive perspective, something Rigg mentions in his release, the whole motivation around removing Kit in the first place was our “top-six vision” as stated by Mr Rigg earlier in November. Forgive me for my scepticism, but the failure to appoint a “permanent head coach” for the rest of the season is hardly paving the way the chance of a play-off place, let alone continuation in to the Premier League. More than anything, yet another appointment that isn’t a manager has just left me asking once again… What does Alan Curbishley do at our club?
With more layers than an onion we will have to maintain the support of our coaching staff whoever is calling the shots, because as fans we simply don’t have a choice. I am sure I am not the only one who thought twice about putting myself through 90 minutes of Brentford at home on Saturday, but unlike our recent appointments most of us did not start supporting the club on an interim basis and are very much 100% committed to the club!
Uninspiring, short term and vague… How very Fulhamish…