Big decisions

Pleased, if a little surprised, at the news that Johnnie Jackson has found a new job quicker than we have found a new manager. Jacko's appointment at AFC Wimbledon is a good fit, allowing him to remain in London and start again in what might be an easier division than League One. Fans are already speculating that the appointment might give Conor Washington and Jason Pearce fresh playing opportunities where they could reasonably extend their playing careers. Jackson commented that he couldn't wait to get started because "there is so much to get done." He is right, of course, particularly if he is calling the shots in terms of recruitment as well as looking at every other aspect of how the playing side of the club works. We may be utilising a wider recruitment model at the Valley but you have to hope that the new manager will be as loud a voice as any of the others and that he is in place before any heavy lifting takes place. The bookies view of the next Charlton Manager has made fairly predictable reading although the club has yet to give anything away. Ex-Addick Matt Taylor heads the list alongside Michael Beale with Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, Mark Warburton, Neil Lennon and Robbie Fowler being linked more speculatively. I look at any appointment in terms of how it is likely to play out for Sandgaard. He knows he has to get this right to arrest the decline of the club and save his faltering relationship with the supporters. For this reason, I believe fan perception will play a large part, I believe , in his decision. If it doesn't, he really is playing Russian Roulette because there will be zero sympathy if he gets this wrong.For that reason I am ruling out Hasselbaink, Lennon and Fowler. Hasselbaink has made no real progress after eight years in management and I see no reason why that might change. Fowler has been managing in India and Australia and you have to question his motivation. He is a very wealthy individual and I suspect 'lifestyle' has as much to do with it as success. Neil Lennon does have a significant record of success but that has been with Celtic and Hibernian in Scotland. His two year sojourn at Bolton Wanderers was a disappointment. He has spoken about suffering from depression and has a short temper which would make him a bigger risk, although he handled himself well under pressure in Glasgow and Edinburgh.Mark Warburton was a manager I would have jumped at in the past after success at Brentford (promoted from League One) and more impressively at Glasgow Rangers where he won a promotion and a Scottish Cup in his first year. His record at Forest and QPR over the last four years has been less impressive and he may be at a crossroads in his managerial career. I think he would pass muster with Addick fans but would not be a first-choice for most.Michael, Beale, 'the man behind Steve Gerrard' is a surprise favourite. He has currency from their success at Rangers and an impressive enough start at Aston Villa. However, he has never managed in his own right and I wonder if he would really want to leave what he may believe is a better opportunity as Gerrard's number Two? The glitter, at least, seems attractive to Charlton supporters.That leaves Matt Taylor, a no-nonsense centre-half (and former goalkeeper) who Chris Powell brought to the club and made Captain. He has been at former club Exeter City as manager for four years and lead them to promotion this season. He ticks more boxes than the others, having played for the club as Captain and leading us to promotion on the field and now having lead a side to promotion as manager. He also has youth on his side (he is 40).So, for me, Sandgaard needs to make a decision and take it fairly shortly.

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