CHRIS Wilder’s departure after five years in charge of Oxford United has divided opinions.
Some are sad to see him go, while others are happy to watch him leave. Whatever your opinion, the fact is he had a success rate of nearly 46 per cent in 269 games, and you can’t argue with that.
So why did he leave the U’s for Northampton Town? I think it was a good time for the relationship to come to an end. Both parties needed a fresh start after they became comfortable, maybe even stale, and that is not a good thing in football or any relationship.
I think both United and Wilder can be happy with the situation.
Wilder gets to work his magic on another team that needs exactly what Oxford required in 2008.
He has a fresh challenge that will give him that excitement and drive you get with change.
Signing a three-and-a-half year contract gives him a cushion and time to get results.
United are left in a very healthy position in Sky Bet League Two and have a strong squad ready for the promotion push.
The manager’s job at Oxford United sells itself. It’s an attractive hot-seat for any manager looking for work or wanting to improve.
So who should the club employ as their next boss? Well, I think they should go for a hungry young manager on the rise, not someone who is established or has been there and done it.
He needs to be someone young enough to relate to modern day players, but still old enough to have had some of the old school upbringing.
He’ll understand what his players want and at the same time what they need. The new manager must be brave in his decisions and not scared to play home-growns like Tyrone Marsh or Callum O’Dowda in an important top-of-the-table clash if he feels they are the best players for the job.
Every team he puts out for United should reflect his hunger and desire to win.
He will be ambitious for the club and also for himself. He wants to move up the leagues and pit his wits against the best. It’s a relationship where both parties are using each other and they both know it.
It’s not cold or cynical. In fact, everyone gets what they want if it all goes to plan. Sounds so simple when said like that, doesn’t it? I wish my old gaffer every success and I believe he will do well at Northampton.
The next United manager will hopefully take the club to the next level and from strength to strength.
I am not in the running for the job as boss – the only application I have filled out recently was for my new gym membership!
So just like you, I await the press conference and unveiling of the new manager with interest.