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Posh's timing all out over sacking of Cooper

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Paul Fletcher | 17:17 UK time, Monday, 1 February 2010

Peterborough United introduced a novel variation to the notion of an unexpected transfer deadline day development by sacking their manager.

It certainly broadsided me and I would love to know what Posh fans make of the decision to dismiss Mark Cooper after 79 days in charge at London Road.

A cursory glance around the Peterborough 606 board clearly shows that many supporters feel that sacking the 41-year-old is the right decision.

There is undoubtedly a body of opinion that believes former Kettering boss Cooper is an honest and committed man but one who had found himself out of his depth. They feel that the board made a mistake in appointing him and has acted swiftly after recognising its mistake.

Cooper's tenure in charge lasted just 13 games, with his only win as Posh manager a 2-1 victory over Watford on 19 December.

It could be certainly be argued that drastic action was necessary if the Cambridgeshire club are to stand any chance of ending their first season in the Championship with anything other than the misery of a depressing relegation.

Posh are 11 points from safety, having played a game more than fourth-from-bottom Ipswich. They have lost their last four games and scored just once during that period.

Owner Darragh MacAnthony last week labelled the season a "disaster" and hit out at everyone from "top to bottom" at the club, reserving particular ire for the playing staff.

"I am done with defending the players," he said.

Former Peterborough boss Mark Cooper Cooper was in charge of Kettering before joining Peterborough

A couple of days later Cooper found himself in the position of having to deny dressing room unrest at the club, with rumours engulfing London Road that former boss Darren Ferguson wanted to sign several of their players.

A war of words between MacAnthony and Ferguson ensued. It was an unseemly and unwanted sideshow.

MacAnthony is right when he says that the campaign is a shambolic mess. What he must accept is his part in creating the current predicament.

Ferguson left the club in early November. The reason behind his departure was unclear but it was obvious his relationship with the chairman had broken down.

Posh had won just two games by that stage but had previously secured back-to-back promotions under Ferguson, whom MacAnthony described in the summer as "the best young manager in the country".

Ferguson had apparently been advised by his father last summer to leave the club, Sir Alex recognising the scale of the task that would face his son in the Championship.

George Boyd has been outstanding this season but it may well be that regardless of the various managerial comings and goings, Posh simply lack the all-round squad to compete successfully in the Championship.

If the nature of Ferguson's departure was unfortunate then the timing of Cooper's exit appears to be little short of ridiculous, coming as it did within five hours of the January transfer window closing.

I thought that the appointment of Cooper from non-league Kettering was a very bold move and one for which MacAnthony should be applauded.

It showed an adventurousness and originality above and beyond opting for one of the same tired old faces that peddle their proven mediocrity from pillar to post.

The Posh owner explained how Cooper had impressed him with the diligence of his preparation for interview, studying in great detail 16 DVDs that he had been given of Peterborough games.

It was enough to persuade MacAnthony to talk of a brave new era in his programme notes ahead of Cooper's first home game, the 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough on 28 November.

Of course, having promoted a manager four divisions with a brief of hauling the club to safety in a notoriously competitive and unforgiving league, it could be argued that the owner ought to perhaps have given the manager longer than two months to prove his worth.

"When Mark took over as manager of Peterborough they were in a relegation battle and in the relegation zone," said League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan.

"It is very disappointing for a club to part with a manager after only 13 games in charge when there are still 18 league games to play this season."

What makes the timing of the dismissal all the more bizarre is that the chairman can hardly be accused of failing to back his manager in the January transfer market.

Posh paid Grimsby £500,000 for Ryan Bennett, signed Scott Griffiths on a free and converted Josh Simpson and Exodus Geohaghon's loans into permanent deals.

Geohaghon, incidentally, has a huge throw, the longest I have ever seen, but many fans believe the defender's struggle to adapt to the Championship illustrates Cooper's shortcomings in the transfer market.

Cooper also dipped into the loan market to snap up Kerrea Gilbert (Arsenal), Jake Livermore (Tottenham), Izale McLeod (Charlton) and Reuben Reid (West Brom).

Two players left permanently, another couple were released and a handful departed on loan. In other words, Cooper did a busy and brisk month of wheeling and dealing before receiving his cards.

To sack him now is either an ill-timed and ill-judged decision or the necessary if belated act of a board guilty of a terrible appointment.

There have been 10 managerial vacancies in the Championship so far this season (two at London Road) and even given the over-riding likelihood of relegation there is no doubt that Posh will not find themselves short of applicants.

MacAnthony was successful in his appointment of Ferguson but has obviously reached the conclusion he made a mistake with Cooper.

His next decision will prove crucial if Posh are not going to restore some much-needed stability and credibility.

But there is no doubt that his decision to sack Cooper is the most surprising move of transfer deadline day.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I found it odd that he was even appointed the manager at Peterbough. I'm a York city fan, and we've played Mark cooper's Kettering side a number of times. Most recently a 2-0 win to York and we took them to pieces. I was wondering why this manager at the time was hot property, since his tactics were just play the long ball, and had a defender which he took with him to Peterbough with a long throw.

    The inevitable happened. He was sacked.

  • Comment number 2.

    Weird times indeed at London Road. Have they been bought out by a Russian oligarch and not told anyone about it? I still think they were wrong to sack Ferguson, given what he had done for them in the two seasons prior to this one. And to sack a manager on deadline day? The worst call of all time. Now what's the new new manager going to work with? He can't bring in his own team until the summer now, which will probably cost Peterborough the faint chance of staying in the Championship. Poor, poor move. I wonder if they'll beg for Barry Fry back?

  • Comment number 3.

    Fletch, Cooper failed to win us, the fans, over or the players.

    The team was going backwards under him and our football was awful. At least under Ferguson we were creating chances and playing attractive football.

    This season is a write-off, and at least now the new man can assess the squad before the summer transfer window and have a decent crack at promotion from League One.

    BTW, it was Ferguson who brought Ryan Bennett to the club, not Cooper.

  • Comment number 4.

    The sacking of Ferguson said all we needed to know about Peterborough and its future. The subsequent deal to sell the ground to the council, the chairmans outburst last week amd todays idiocy all confirm that Posh will return to the lower leagues for some time to come.

  • Comment number 5.

    As a Posh fan i cant really say im surprised by news of Coopers departure, but i am suprised it came on deadline day, especially after after letting Cooper try and assemble his squad over January. In a way i kind of feel sorry for Cooper, its not his fault that our players just aint good enough (apart from a couple of them) for the Championship and especially with the amount of individual errors some of our players are making, which are getting punished consistantly due to inexperience and ability. That is not the managers fault, but unfortunately i think Cooper took a step too high and too early in his management career to take charge of a club in the Championship. I was a fan who was willing to give him time and prove us all wrong but unfortunately that was not to be. I wish Cooper all the best and i hope we see him at a successful team soon as he seemed a genuine guy.

  • Comment number 6.

    I know that it looks as if Mark Cooper was not given a chance. I am not one to sack managers this quickly but in this case something had to be done. Posh have always played good football but when I have seen them recently they were hoofing it up the field and nobody wanted to take responsibility on the pitch. The team at the present are definitely going only in one direction, down. The frustrating thing is that I think we really do have the players to stay up. It is getting very late now though.

  • Comment number 7.

    Just a correction to above article. Many people are saying that Cooper was brought up 4 divisions from Kettering to Posh. I only make it three - from conference to league 2, league two to league one, and from league one to championship.

    Still a big move up, but not the 4 divisions that many people are quoting.

  • Comment number 8.

    Steve, us fans will never know why Ferguson was relieved of his duties but don't read too much into that he was sacked...Fergie in my opinion is a Posh legend but that journey is over and we thanked him for his fabulous time at the club and so now is Cooper's journey over. In our chairman Dmac we trust, he was right with Fergie and clearly got the appoinment of Cooper wrong and has acted on it. Ok the timing might be wrong in terms of transfer activity but we still have 54 points to play for!! If we are to be taken serioulsy by the footballing world again in my opinion the Posh must appoint an experienced name for the job, cotterill or alike which would show that we mean business. Cooper is a good honest man who had a dream move put on the table and anyone would of taken the chance but he was always up against it and unfortunately for him it didn't work. Us Posh fans just want some stability and regrouping and hopefully the miracle of a great relegation comeback!! Up the Posh!!

  • Comment number 9.

    BobbyPosh, its gonna sound like im contradicting myself here as in my previous post it sounds like im sticking up for him but i do agree with your sentiments exactly, especially about something having to be done!

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    The sacking is being covered here: http://posh.blogsfc.com/mark-cooper-sacked-manager-peterborough-united.html - Any comments you wish to add are welcome.

    I haven't missed a game we have played under Cooper and I have to say we have gone back-wards under him, he was in a tough job but Darragh, being as ambitious as he is, would have expected the club to take at least a small step in the right direction, instead Cooper has got a worse record than Ferguson.

    The one thing we did have under Ferguson was goals and even they seemed to have dried up, we only have 1 in 2010 so far. Cooper hasn't motivated the squad either we look like a team beaten every time a team stick one past us now, Cardiff being the obvious exception.

    I do feel sorry for Cooper as he had a virtually impossible job but he wasn't cut out to make it at this level at this current time, the club need to move forward now. I hope we can get in either Jim Gannon or Steve Coppel, but I think both will be unlikely.

  • Comment number 12.

    I never understood Cooper's appointment, unless it was financially motivated (unproven = cheap). Mac should never have got rid of Ferguson, if two adults can't work out their differences they need their heads knocking together!

  • Comment number 13.

    As a Tamworth fan I had the pleasure of seeing Cooper in both the twilight years of his playing career and the beginning of his managerial career. Both failed to impress. His playing style was 100% charging about making a nuisance of himself and the team he managed at Tamworth had the same all gusto/no guile style of play. Don't know how he managed to be a success at Kettering and from day one I expected him to fail miserably at Posh. Nothing against the bloke I hoped he would prove me wrong but he is apparantly a limited manager beyond the non-league level.

    Having said that have to thank him for the FA Cup runs at Tamworth.

  • Comment number 14.

    This is a familiar story. A team gets promoted, perhaps too rapidly; has become used to winning most games; finds it harder than they'd expected in the higher division; and sacks the manager. The story usually ends with relegation. Posh should have stuck with Ferguson, even if that meant relegation. Once a good manager, always a good manager - watch him at Preston.

    If the appointment of Cooper was a mistake (which it probably was), then sacking him after just 13 games was also a mistake. They should have given him longer, as relegation is probable anyway. One mistake doesn't cancel out another.

    But the Cooper appointment wasn't the most bizarre this season. I just can't understand Burnley appointing Brian Laws, when Alan Irvine and Darren Ferguson were available. Madness.

  • Comment number 15.

    "There is undoubtedly a body of opinion that believes former Kettering boss Cooper is an honest and committed man but one who had found himself out of his depth."
    =========================================
    Ferguson helped Peterborough to achieve back to back promotions, yet failed to make an impression in the Championship.
    Perhaps it is the club which is out of its depth?

  • Comment number 16.

    Just to clear something up to Clarkeonenil, the club didn't sell the ground to the council, Barry Fry sold the ground years back to what turned out to be a property developer mater of his. The council has just bought it from him for a massive profit from him.

    I don't think today's sacking particularly surprises me. MacAnthony has always been a man to act decisively if he thinks it's in the best interest, and he's clearly decided that he made the wrong decision when appointing Cooper. Cooper has always come across as an honest character, but signings such as Geohagen did point to his style of football.

    People from outside the club will bash the chairman for todays decision, but the fact is that he came in 3 years ago promising to spend money to improve the team, and nobody can deny that he has kept his word. When you look at the likes of Notts County or Portsmouth, where people have come in stating big spending and then sent the club spiraling to the brink, I feel very lucky that Darragh came to Posh and has been true to his word.

  • Comment number 17.

    A club statement has confirmed Fry the Fool won't be taking over on a caretaker basis - please don't go back on this Darragh, the man is the scourge of all decent Posh fans!

  • Comment number 18.

    We had no option but to sack Ferguson, he arranged to speak to five other clubs, whilst still in charge, behind our back. It wasn't results based, a little bit of research before you speak doesn't go a miss!

  • Comment number 19.

    If the nature of Ferguson's departure was unfortunate then the timing of Cooper's exit appears to be little short of ridiculous.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    What was ridiculous was the appointment in the first place. I'm afraid that those of us who have had to wait 15 years to get back to the second tier of football, following an amazing two years of success, found it really hard to stomach what we have seen on & off the pitch since November.

    The guy was out of his depth & although I still beleive it's too late to salvage our status, I want to see us at least go down with a fight, not go away to Palace with one up front when Cooper stated that we needed 10 wins from 19 to stay up.

    Cooper & Eaden were bought in to solve our defensive shortcomings. Not only did they fail to do that but they also killed off our attacking approach, replacing this with the hoooooof.

    What I find irksome is the likes of Bevan complaining that 13 games was not enough time, believe me when I tell you IT WAS.

    In my view, the timing was spot on. Not because I beleive we will stay up, but because it will give the new man time to assess & work on a successful next season. Some of us write articles about situations while some of us have to live with those dire situations.

    Fergie should never have been sacked, but I have to say that Macanthony had little choice but to realise & admit the mistake he made by appointing Cooper in the first place.

  • Comment number 20.

    Plenty of strong feeling in the above comments - exactly what we want on these blogs.

    I'm picking up on several themes here - a couple of which might not seem obvious to people who do not watch the club week in, week out.

    A - lots of fans wish Cooper well but are happy to see the back of him.

    B - lots of fans are sticking firmly by chairman Darragh MacAnthony.

    C - Nobody wants Barry Fry to take over (I have been told he won't be, not even on a temporary basis).

    Posh fans must really feel that Cooper was awful to be so sure he should go after 13 games.

    Do any Posh fans think the club can avoid the drop?

    Also - how many Posh fans wish they still had Ferguson in charge?

    Jim Mullen (post 3) - point taken, though wasn't the money laid out for a permanent deal in January?

  • Comment number 21.

    Fletch, I think most Posh fan's wish Ferguson were still in charge. The transfer policy of buying players under 23 from lower leagues was always likely to be exposed in the Championship but it was a good policy agreed by Mac and Fergie - if it was failing then either change it or stick by the manager. The fact Ferguson was talking to other clubs approaching the end of his tenure should be viewed with maturity - Mac had made up his mind and the writing was on the wall. A shame - I think they could have made us a force over the next 5 years. Have football clubs learnt nothing - constantly changing the manager brings nothing but failure and discontent

  • Comment number 22.

    Regarding the transfer of Bennett he joined us on loan with a view to a permanent move, but I think all the details were already agreed so I wouldn't class Bennett as a Cooper signing.

    Much like Mackail-Smith wasn't a Fergie signing.

    Cooper appeared to be out of his depth, tactically not good, appears not to be good in the transfer market (Geohagon is a prime example) but then again the vast majority of Fergie's signings were failures.

    I can't see anything but relegation, but what we have to do is appoint the right man to galvanise the team, get them playing the right way, go down with a fight, and try and hopefully this will make sure that the better players (most importantly Boyd) will want to stay and are ready for a battle to get promoted again next season.

    In Darragh we must trust!

  • Comment number 23.

    Many fans know when they see a very 'suspect' manager appointment!! I wish many club chairmen would actually speak with their fans before making decisions such as Cooper at Peterborough.

    Mark Hughes at Sheffield United, Joe Kinnear at Newcastle and John Barnes at Tranmere Rovers are a few examples....there are hundreds more!

    For those Scottish like myself, I knew issues would surface on the appointments of Davie Hays at Dunfermline, Jim Gannon at Motherwell and John Barnes at Celtic - there also are hundreds more!

  • Comment number 24.

    I for one don't wish Ferguson was still in charge, not after what has been said about the the way he behaved whilst in charge according to Darragh MacAnthony, our chairman.

    Do I still believe we can stay up, it's going to be a massive ask now, but if the new manager comes in rejevunates things around the club and we go on a run of winning a few games in a row, as teams so often do when new managers come in, then I think we have a chance albeit slim. This most certainly is Darragh's last throw of the dice to keep this club in the Championship.


    Fletch, just one thing, Griffiths was brought from Dagenham after a succesful loan period rather than a free transfer. You are correct on the Bennett situation though.

  • Comment number 25.

    NoGBfootball (post 23) - Interesting you mention Jim Gannon as his name has been linked with Posh.

    I would be very interested to know who Posh fans, so strongly against Cooper, would like to see in charge.

  • Comment number 26.

    I for one am upset by the decision, Cooper seems down-to-earth, hard-working and has brought some good players, i think the sideshow with Fergie Vs Macanthony has caused a huge problem for Cooper as many players seem uninterested and with players throwing tantrums our club has done nothing to help a man who was doing a good job in the lower leagues building his reputation.

  • Comment number 27.

    Fletch - I think the likely candidate is going to be another youthful figure, but one with far more league experience than Cooper. Darragh has the youth transfer policy in place, and wants a manager along the same lines so I don't think we're likely to see someone topside of 45.

    Some fans throw about the high profile names, but A) we wouldn't pay for the wages that they would likely ask for and B) they wouldn't come here with League 1 football likely next season. So it has to be someone that has at least had League 1 experience, but has an eye for youth.

    Can we stay up? It's still possible, but I rarely go to games these days thinking that we could win it, unlike the previous couple of seasons where any game was winnable, as we had a side that would create 10 chances a game, and strikers who would put away 3 of them. In this league, those same strikers aren't getting the same amount of chances, but are missing just as many and thus have struggled.

  • Comment number 28.

    I think they are a few good managers out of work at the moment who need to re-build their reputation - Iain Dowie for one? Can Posh afford someone like that though?? Would a proven Championship manager take Posh who, in all probability, will be in league 1 next season. I think not...... and therin lies Darragh's problem...... who is up to the job that would want the job??

  • Comment number 29.

    1.Not sure why the chairman appointed cooper with the team at the foot of the table in the first place, a slightly bigger gamble than giving fergie the job in league 2, clearly this was a mistake.
    2.Continuing to sign lower league players with little or no experience of the championship is a recipe for disaster and the chairman must take sone of the blame for that -its the cheap option but it won't work in this league.
    3.Anyone but Fry please.


  • Comment number 30.

    I think that peterborough have made the right decision. I'm a Sheffield Wednesday fan, and for the most part of our 2-1 victory over them, they were poor. Probably the poorest side i've seen in a good few years. That's in terms of effort, and over all quality. You can understand a manager needing time to sort of the quality of a side, and get them playing how he wants. But there should be no excuse for your players simply not trying.

    I got the impression that everyone at that club knows they are going down, and doing it in 24th position. Lord knows how they managed promotion in the first place!

    I think they would do well to hire somebody like Jim Magilton, who is unemployed, or maybe try to persuade John Sheridon to move from Chesterfield.

  • Comment number 31.

    Posh are turning into the Newcastle of East Anglia. As much good as MacAnthony has done the club you wonder if he's starting to see himself as bigger than the club. His statement last week was nothing short of a rant directed at how things are so unfair. It was hardly likely to inspire the players by basically calling them cowards. You wonder whether after so much success the real Daragh is surfacing. Mike Ashley tried to make himself into the fans favourite by sitting with them, see any comparison?
    As for Cooper I feel sorry for him. The team was already wobbling under Fergie with players just looking well out of their depth. But it's hard to figure out who is running what? The players are coming and going in the same manner they used to when Fry was in charge, and it is hard not to see his wheeling dealing hand in at least some of the moves. It seems easy to come to the conclusion someone is rocking the boat, whether its the players, manager(s) or those upstairs. Signings haven't been good enough either way and the lack of goals is really worrying.
    However at the end of it all Cooper seemed like a square peg. Trying to organise a side into a rigid long-ball machine that are used to playing expansive free-flowing football just wasn't going to happen.
    We're doomed anyway, the hope is just that we can keep hold of some of our better players or we'll be in free-fall next year and all the work that has been so enjoyable over the last 2 years will lie in ruins.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm just wondering whether everybody else agrees that the statement i saw last week from the peterborogh chairman was one of the most ridiculous things ever said in football terms.

    "Our club took chances on many of our players when nobody else did and rewarded them all with good long-term contracts that included the promotion bonuses and wage rises."

    so they signed up players that nobody else wanted, paid them too much, and wonder why they have problems?

  • Comment number 33.

    I see the new manager is being announced at midnight. Obviously Darragh has seen someone is available who he thinks is better than Cooper, and gone straight for him.

  • Comment number 34.

    I feel very sorry for Mark Cooper who was doing a great job at Kettering, contray to what the York City fan wrote earlier Cooper had got the Kettering well organised and playing a good passing style of football. Given time he would have done well at Posh.

    The thing that hurts is that he never finished his job at Kettering, Darragh has ruined Kettering season by stealing our manager and ruined his own season by sacking 2 of his own.

  • Comment number 35.

    any ideas on the fng? Must've had him lined up???

  • Comment number 36.

    Thats get things right. Ferguson was not sacked!! I think everyone who actually goes to watch The Posh know why his contract was cancelled by mutual consent!!!

    Cooper was unlucky to be involved in this mess, but he didn't have the backing of any of the players as they showed in their performances, nor the fans. They never once chanted his name at the game!!!

    Anyone that thinks we will go down and stay down, know nothing about football. The two bottom leagues are so poor that any team that has any money or talent will go straight back up. Look at Scunthorpe for that example.

    I guess those jealous Cambridge & Cobblers fans will have to wait a very very long time to play The Mighty Posh again in the league.

  • Comment number 37.

    Poshman40 (post 33) is quite right. Posh will announce their new manager at midnight.

    Obviously a very rigorous interview process.........

  • Comment number 38.

    Paul, I think that Jim Gannon is a risky choice based on his 'off the field' antics at Motherwell. He made several controversial interviews, undermined his captain and was quite happy to delay contract negotiations by months. Some managers bring baggage (Wright at Chester is another example) - so beware! LOL

    There is certainly a trend involving Scottish managers like Coyle and Strachan who move down south into the Championship. Others like Irvine (Preston, now Wed), Sturrock (ex Plymouth), Davies (Forest), Darren Ferguson, of course, are all making or have made an interesting start in this division. Posh and other chairmen should keep track of other very talented Scottish managers such as Hughes at Hibernian, McCall at Partick (on a shoe-string budget) and Chisholm at Queen of the South (Scottish Cup final appearance, also on a limited budget).

    I for one, would like to see a team like Posh establish themselves in the Championship...in the past teams like Crewe (2002-2006), Gillingham (2000-2004), Walsall (2001-2004) and all held their own in this division for several seasons - I am sure Posh must look at clubs like Barnsley and Scunthorpe and hope to emulate.

  • Comment number 39.

    Dogposh:
    Anyone that thinks we will go down and stay down, know nothing about football. The two bottom leagues are so poor that any team that has any money or talent will go straight back up.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OK so I know nothing about football then Dogposh. I'm afraid that had Cooper stayed in place then next year we would have struggled like mad. Explain Leeds United to me then to name but one. Three years in division 3 - I call it old money -& there's no guarantee that they will definitely be back up this year.

    James Brock:
    Given time he would have done well at Posh.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Time is something that we could not afford my friend. I'm not just talking this season, which is now a car crash, but next year as well.

  • Comment number 40.

    The club need to get rid of Barry Fry, BF is one for wheeling & dealing and that shows with the last manager, out of his depth and cost very little.

    Ferguson knew as manager he needed to spend to get the right players for this level, Barry Fry as usual expects to get players on the cheap thats fine in League 1&2 but not at this level and I wouldn't be surprised that's why Ferguson left because Fry does not allow a manager to do what he does best, manage i.e buy and sell players. Obviously the 'Director of Football' makes those decisions!!!!. The only thing Fry's got and thats a very large mouth.

  • Comment number 41.

    There you go guys, Jim Gannon... enjoy!

  • Comment number 42.

    As an outsider looking in, i have a soft spot for Posh, and i really respect the strong transfer policy of buying younger players from the non league with something to prove, however as it has been said so already it can only take you so far.

    I think the mistake Posh made was not supplementing these players with say the better younger players from League One and some of the younger players from smaller Championship clubs, i think they had the right idea going after the likes of Simon Francis, even though he turned you down. I think for most Blue Square/ League 2 to Championship is a hell of a jump and Posh did tell to get so many good players from non-league, but eventually the gulf will be too great. I'm hoping you can stay up, then supplement the squad.

    The problem i think with Mark Cooper was he wasn't popular with the fans from the off, and that doesn't buy you time. Then came his brand of football, which was also massively unpopular. Then finally came his signings, which to me, if i was a fan would of been the final straw. Its also good to see a manager with loyalty to his players, but a very good manager would of seen that Geohagon no matter how good he might of been at Kettering would struggle at Championship level. Also Ruben Reid and Mcleod are not going to fire you out of a relegation scrap.

    As for Gannon, i watched Stockport the year they got promoted from League 2, and they were a good side with some very good technical players so hopefully he can bring that with him. The main problems from the outside seem to be, just like Wolves in the premiership, strikers who were prolific last season, have struggled to be regular scorers up a level. Couple that with some shocking defending, sloppy goals, and Joe Lewis (who im a big fan of) looking weak on set pieces and crosses, then you have trouble.

    I think you have the squad to get out this, and hopefully now the manager as well. I just hope if you do stay up then you maybe only sign the cream of the conference and set you sights a bit higher, maybe you will have to pay more, but players that move you up a level are priceless.

  • Comment number 43.

    As a Scottish football man i think Jim Gannon could be a good appointment. He was sacked for not signing a contract at Motherwell(he was working without one). The only thing that worried me was his relationship with the media and referees. He liked to run his mouth and also to run and hide when the refs let him down. At Posh he needs to keep his head down and get on with the job. At Motherwell he only lost once in something like his first 14 games. He knows how to set up teams to be hard to beat and that has to happen with a team that are sitting at the bottom of the table.

    Darren Ferguson should never of been sacked. Even if Peterborough had been relegated this season they would still be in a much better position than when he took over. Two promotions in a row obviously it wouldn't be easy this year especially without a lot of money to spend. If they had kept him then maybe in a couple years Posh probably would be good enough to survive the Championship and would of continued making the team and club better even if they had gone down. I like Peterborough and i believe you have the right man in charge that will at least give you a fighting chance of survival.

  • Comment number 44.

    If Gannon ever manages Newcastle, would the fans sing "Gannon along th' Scotswood Road"?

  • Comment number 45.

    Many Posh supporters raised their eyebrows when Mark Cooper was signed then raised them even further when Exodus "Long Throw" Geohaghon followed him from Kettering.
    Although were prepared to give Cooper a chance they weren't prepared to see a return of one win in thirteen games and the acquisition of one of the most useless defenders ever to wear a Posh shirt as progress.
    To clear one point up: Ferguson wasn't sacked, he left by mutual consent.
    Macanthony and Ferguson have similar temperaments and it was fairly obvious the relationship between the two had broken down so one had to go and it sure as hell wasn't going to be the one who owned the club.
    By sacking Cooper, Macanthony has admitted his naivety and by signing Gannon has gone someway in restoring the average Posh fan's faith in him (Macanthony).
    Although I can't see Posh staying up this year I believe they have the nucleus of a team to do a Scunthorpe i.e. regroup in League One and launch another successful promotion campaign.
    As far as I'm concerned Gannon has proven credentials with Stockport (not sure what went wrong at Motherwell) and I believe it's a good appointment by Macanthony.
    Time will tell.

  • Comment number 46.

    Fletch,

    I just can't read this blog. The layout makes it illegible.

    Please don't sink down to one sentence paragraphs.

    That's about the same level as The Sun. And I dont read that rag.










  • Comment number 47.

    Its easy for outsiders to criticise and to be honest alot of them do have a point. However Darragh saved us from a long slow death and gave us hope. He also backed his manager and his money has trickled down the lower leagues, conference and below, he didnt just buy a "sol campbell" to pick someone at random. He made a mistake with Cooper and he's big enough to admit it and act now. Jim Gannon is a great great appointment im so pleased with it and we now have hope again. Its hope that kills you but its hope that keeps you. Up the Posh.

  • Comment number 48.

    The Midland 20 - I'm very sorry you feel that way. Apparently most people find it easier to read smaller paragraphs on a computer screen. I'll make sure I include some chunky paragraphs next time just for you.

    The new manager - what is gann on?

  • Comment number 49.

    How do the other Spice Girls feel about Posh getting the push?

  • Comment number 50.

    The Midland 20

    maybe you should give the sun a try. Looks about your level. Leave reading big papers to the big boys.

  • Comment number 51.

    Peterborough punched above their weight last season, as simple as that.

    Ive watched a number of their games and got a mate that watches week in week out. The general consensus was that the team would struggle in the championship unless championship players were bought in.
    That was before a ball was kicked.
    'Borough didnt buy well in the summer.
    Everyside that goes up a division needs to look at improving their sqaud and this rarely happens by buying players from divisions below you.

    The teams that adapt best to the PL always look to bring in experienced campaigners, now i appreciate that this always easier said than done.

    Another worrying sign for the club, as has been pointed out already, is the apparent rampaging ego of the chairman. Its never great when the chairman starts going to the press pointing out the shortcomings of the team.
    The very best chairman/ceos stay in the background. If he was unhappy with the team tell them in the privacy of the dressing room.

    What i also found strange was the lack of loan deals involing players from OT when Fergie was in charge. Fergies first transfer window at PNE and he snaps up Welbeck on loan.
    This shows that Fergie Jr isnt above getting a helping hand so who stopped it at 'Borough? My guess? The chairman.

    Its his project that has failed miserably this season so instead of slating everyone else why doesnt he admit to his own errors?
    He wanted to do things a certain way. Sign under 23s from lower league clubs and bring them on. Be quite an ego trip if it succeeded but it hasnt.
    When they go down, which they will, the better players will be off like a shot. Boyd etc wont hang about. 'Borough will then struggle to bounce back.

    The chairman cocked up, nobody else. Simple as that

  • Comment number 52.

    post 51 Nick. Is spot OFF with his comments. Fergie snr said no to loan signings from OT not the other way round. No idea why but surely it has something to do with geography and that Preston are an established Championship team.

    The chairman does have an ego, so what, its not a crime; the day i will worry is when Darragh leaves. His brave policy has worked up to now and maybe it does need a rethink at this level but taking potshots at a chairman willing to fund the purchase of young non league and lower league players is ridiculous.

    Everyone looks for silver bullet solutions when results are poor and changing your manager is no guarantee but if hes not right then the rest cannot be solved. A brave man admits hes wrong and i dont think you will find a single Posh fan who doesnt still back Darragh 100%.

  • Comment number 53.

    post 52, i think you'll find more than 1 Posh fan who isnt quite 100% behind the chairman.
    It is after all his policy that is taking the club right back down again.

    As for geography as a reason for not signing loan players? Never heard such nonsense. Robbie Keane has gone from Spurs to Celtic, not even the same country.

    Two managers have now "failed" with essentially the same bunch of players.
    t some point you have to look past the manager and ask if the team is good enough. Fergie Snr would struggle with the 'Borough squad as it is.
    You cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

    Its always a dangerous game when you blindly back someone. Thats what allows their egos to run out of control.

  • Comment number 54.

    The chairman (Dmac) may be outspoken at times but there is absolutely no doubting his good intentions and his passion and I can't say I know of any POSH fans who are anything but hugely greatful for what he's done for our club.

    A mistake has undoubtbly been made in appointing Cooper, nice bloke, out of his depth etc... But I believe in acting quickly now to recognise the mistake it can only benefit us in the long run. Jim Gannon will have the rest of the season to have a go at staying up, which I doubt we will but will then be able to start next season in L1 with a good knowledge of the squad.

    Other points, the departure of DF was far from a straightforward sacking and much more to that than we will ever know.

    Also (post 4) the sale of the ground to the Council was a VERY good thing and the long term future of the club is very bright, assuming Dmac stays and continues to recieve the full support of the fans, this season is a minor setback.

  • Comment number 55.

    .. so Nick you're comparing Celtic getting a seasoned pro who's played in Italy to Posh signing a lad who lives in Manchester, hasnt been near the first team regularly and is 19-22? nonsense is clearly something you know plenty about!

    Im not sure whether you are a Posh fan or not but if you are you have a short memory, we were on our knees 3 years ago, maybe even facing extinction. That we blindly trust Darragh isnt a dangerous thing, its the only thing. The fact hes mostly right helps.

    Theres plenty of naysayers in this world. I hear them all the time, "you shouldnt of done this, you dont want to do that, thats a waste of money." I prefer to back something more constructive and if it fails then it fails and we're no worse than where people like you said we'd be.

  • Comment number 56.

    Fletch, I believe Jim Gannon has until the end of March to make loan signings so, given that Posh probably don't have the funds for permanent deals anyway, the timing of Cooper's sacking in relation to the transfer window is somewhat irrelevant. Posh probably have one or two more loans available before they reach their maximum for the season.

    @53 (Nick): It was Ferguson's choice not to use his OT contacts to bring in players. He seems to have changed his mind after his own choice of players were found wanting at Posh..

    Some Posh fans may not like the chairman's brashness but I'm sure the majority will acknowledge that without him Posh might not still exist as a club (not one in the football league anyway).

    Also, in case you are interested, you can actually make a silk purse out of a sow's ear(http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/exhibits/purse/index1.html)

    I hope Jim's taking notes

  • Comment number 57.

    Yesterday before the new manager announcement was made, I identified Gannon at Motherwell as an example of an appointment that I new was not going to last long. - Some managers bring a lot of 'off the field baggage' that often impedes their 'on the field' work.

    I believe this is true at Motherwell. Gannon;s first competitive match saw him substitute the captain at half time because Gannon felt he was not playing well enough...the team lost the Europa Cup tie.

    Gannon has also publicly dressed down several Motherwell players and Gannon got embroiled in anti-referee comments. There is much, much more!

    I would suggest to all Posh fans that they should expect a fiery temprement and plenty of controversial moments with Gannon. Look out some of the Gannon interviews from his time at Motherwell...it's very entertaining!

    One this is for sure, with Gannon at the helm, Posh will not go down quietly!!

  • Comment number 58.

    I agree, ... I wonder how long it will take for the caustic comments, often dished out in the Peterborough Evening Teleraph, to have an impact on our new manager ... lets hope the relationship is a little better than that of Mark Wright!

    Secondly, when a chairman undermines a manager in front of the players, as was reported as the case against Cardiff City in the changing rooms at half time, then you can expect very little else than what you got in the following few weeks, with player disatisfaction and loss of respect...

    DMc has been a saviour for this club ... but if it was just about pumping money in then the Queen could win the Champions League every year. A litle man-management, good decision making and an ability to see beyound the nose and interests of Barry Fry would go a long way at the moment...

    Lets hope Jim Gannon is allowed to get on with the job in the same way they should have let Darren Ferguson get on with the job. However, I would have felt a lot more comfortable going down with Darren Ferguson than with either MC or JG ... take a close look at Gannons record ... 3 good runs in 6 years that brought him to our attention. (although we would take one of them now!)

    Tell me he has a better record than DF. Lastly, remind me how Motherwell were doing under his management... tell me how they are doing now.

    However ... people do win the lottery

  • Comment number 59.

    As an outsider looking in the Peterborough chairman reminds of one up here-a certain Vlad Romanov-not to shy in blasting the players, managers, media are anyone else who dare take a stand to him-Ferguson, Cooper have lost to someone who seems to have a massive ego, and now he's got a manager with as big an ego, if not bigger then I can see some real fireworks coming out of London Road!

    Whilst I understand that plenty of fans are delighted the chairman bailed p'boro out when the were in the soapy, it doesn't give him the right to basically act so egotistcally-yes p'boro may have survived due to his money, but if he keeps carrying on the way he is ie making daft statements, slating players etc they may be going back to whence they came from-just like hearts under Romanov-so be careful as under him and Fry, you may be worse off again in three-five years time hoping you had someone who bought the club and then let the manager do their job, instead of interfering in the dressing room, and then moaning because your club's on the slide.

  • Comment number 60.

    Well said No 58, totally agree. And I also agree with No 59 comments regard interfering in the dressing room. The way it's going maybe big Ron will have to steps in, you never know, may see another scrap in the dressing room!!!!!

  • Comment number 61.

    I wish people would stop going on about DF (i can't even bring myself to say his name). He left by mutual consent!! He was on radio cambridgeshire after the Preston game crowing about his Preston side and the state of the pitch. It was only a matter of time before that greedy arrogant Ferguson family trait would have seen him leave for a so called "big club".

    I back Darragh 100%. I remember the dark days at Posh!!!!!!

    I liked Jim Gannon's style of football at Stockport and anyone who was at the home game against them last year would have seen the best team to come to Peterborough that year.

    ItsPOSHupNorth

    Leeds didn't have fans like us and Scunthorpe, who back the team through thick and thin, good time and bad. Thats why they have struggled.

  • Comment number 62.

    flaminhaggis

    How can you even compare Romanov to Darragh!!!!!!!!

    Romanov uses Hearts as a toy in his world domination game. He's a joke!!

  • Comment number 63.

    Errr Magicposh, did we not sign a loanee defender from OT last year???

    According to BF it was wellbeck that turned us down not DF turning him down

    I suppose it depends who you believe.

    Good Luck Jim, you will need it, I just hope bad things don't come in threes on this occasion!!

  • Comment number 64.

    @63. We have loaned 2 players from Mancheter United, the defender you mentioned plus a goalkeeper. But both loans were out of necessity (after injuries/suspension) not really choice. DF made it very clear during his time at Peterborough that he wanted to be his own man and not exploit his OT contacts

    Now at Preston, DF seems to have taken a more 'pragmatic' view.

    There is no doubt, though, that Man U players are more likely to want to play at Preston than Peterborough!

    I'm a fan of Ferguson, and wish he still was (and wanted to be) at Posh, but also am tired of the one-sided view of him in the media

  • Comment number 65.

    As a Motherwell supporter I can only hope that P*sh have got Gannon to sign a contract before he took the job. Gannons problem at Fir Park was with the chairman who objected to him applying for other jobs (is Lincoln City a step up from SPL?).

    The timing of the appointment is also suspect as Gannon must have been in place before Cooper got the push, so who was actually deciding who came and went in the window? Was the chairman talking to Gannon?

    Im not saying that Gannon is a bad manager, I think he probably is a good one. Im just not sure if he is trustworthy, nor is he likly to be as good as he thinks he is.

    Up The Dossers

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm sure DF wanted to be his own man, and would not want to exploit his contacts but he would be realistic enough to recognise the potential talent of Wellbeck.

    as I say Fry stated that Wellbeck turned us down, when he was wanted by all at the club. A fact proven by DF taking him on loan at Preston.

    I too wish that Fergie was Posh, maybe up until 2/3 weeks ago so did he, but we move on and get behind JG and plan for next year, wherever we may be!!

  • Comment number 67.

    62. At 10:52pm on 02 Feb 2010, dogsposh wrote:
    flaminhaggis

    How can you even compare Romanov to Darragh!!!!!!!!

    Romanov uses Hearts as a toy in his world domination game. He's a joke!!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aye your right Romanov is looking for 'world domination'-but has dramatically failed-after supporting Burnley when he went at Hearts they were brilliant-but the success went to his head and he started having 'illusions of grandeur'. Now look at Hearts-after forcing manager after manager out the door for various reasons-mostly not being a yes man-they aren't massively troubled, but neither are they where he said they would be ie in the champions league.

    Now Darragh, correct me if im wrong seems to be doing the same at p'boro. Yes he out money in yes he wants the best for the club but are you honestly telling me that by getting rid of a manager after 13 games is the treu way to success? Or that by slating your players in public is the way to endear yourself to them? If your boss wrote in the local/national media that you were rubbish at your job are you trying to tell me you wouldn't be peeved? Wether the playersdeserved to be criticised or not isnt the issue it's how you do it-if he spoke to them on the training ground them fair enough-but again as much as he pays their wages, he has to trust them in the same way he has to trust a manager.

    Look at this way as much as he's done wonders for the club don't you think it would be better if he conducted himself in the way Lerner has at Villa? Put money into the club, lets O'Neill sign the players, doesn't come out into the media and tell his manager and players what he expects of them-if he does tell them this he does it in private and look at Villa- year on year they are getting better and better in terms of style of play, and the type of success they are having-one cup final this year maybe two and still in with a shout of fourth place.

    Compare this to Man City-admittedly doing well since Mancini came in-but he first tough game away to Everton and they lose-some games they've been poor, but they have a chance of a cup and fourth place-trouble is as soon as Mancini doesn't deliver in all likely hood he'll be out the door-the same way Copper was at peterborough-Chairmen and owners should really know by now that Rome wasn't built in a day, and as much as money can buy cetain players it wont mean instant success.

    If you think out if this way-take some of the greatest artists that have every lived-Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso et al (bear with me on this hypothetacal notion!) aand asked them to come together and for example paint the Sistern Chapel with Da Vinci? (sorry if this is wrong-art history is not my strong point) They would all put their individual styles upon it, but lets face it they wouldn't be reading from the same page in terms of style, colour, content, pretty much in the same way that you could have, Ronaldo, Robinho, Rooney, Gerrard et al and say to them go out an win the prem for us-now collectivley you would think we will canter it, but if you asked the individual in question they would all have different theories on how they should go about playing in terms of style of play, formations etc they would not agree due to varying opinion levels-this is where you have a manager for the fact he has his on ideas and gets the players to sign for the same hymn sheet as it were. The same way as you would have maybe Rafael instructing the artists into how he wanted the Sistern Chapel to look.

    Now if the Catholic Church turned around and said to rafael, no we're not happy with the way that the chapel is looking-we're going to bring in Monet to take charge it may take a different shape, maybe even a better one, but as soon as the church didnt like it they would hire another artist to be head of the project.

    So after the long winded paragraphs i guess what im trying to say is Darragh is in a way like Romanov-has his ideas of how foootball should be played and how the players should play-so I guess the solution should then be for him to run the team? That way he can slate the players, not have to be frustrated when managers dont meet his to be frank ridiculous expectations-staying in the champ is going to be hard-in reality you wont make it so why not re-build for next season, bring in some players in the summer with champ experience that way if they get promoted there better equipped for it next time, instead of thinking that by changing manager every threee months will guarantee survival-the only thing it will guarantee is non-survival.

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    The Toon Army are back!!!!

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