The Roland Harris Column

Monday 24 December, 2001

No one's most wanted

If you were hoping for a big name manager at Valley Parade you were disappointed. At five and three Nicky Law is not even a long spelling.

As far as appointments go he is on no one's most wanted lists. The guy that was the guy who did something once in the third division. Hardly the stuff or dreams, or perhaps not, perhaps in dreams is where we want Nicky Law. We dream of him being the next man from Wycombe. The next Martin O'Niell. we want him to be an unearthed gem in the muck of South Yorkshire. He might be, I guess we will never know until we give him a go.

But what I think we can all agree on is that although we do not know if Law is a dirty gemstone or just a dirty centreback, we do know that Jim Jefferies was proving himself to be not the man for city. Experienced manager and all Jefferies was a big let down, a quitter, his attitude questioned, never his ability. He was the Stan Collymore of management for City.

Geoffrey Richmond has always done best when dealing with rookie managers. Chris Kamara and Paul Jewell were untested and achieved more than Jim Jefferies or Lennie Lawrence (Perhaps the message is to stay away from managers who the same initials. Never apoint Roy Race, Geoffrey.). Perhaps City are club that suits a man with something to prove, not a guy who gets the job as part of a career, one who gets it at the start.

Most people think that Nicky Law has a year and a half. If he is in the play off in May 2003 then he will keep the job or have his contract extended. If not the next man will get his chance.

Law comes to City with a clean slate. We are not impressed now, but we can be as Paul Jewell and Chris Kamara proved and frankly having no expectations is much better than having those which the likes of Lennie and Jim could not live up to.

My advice to Nicky Law is to keep the team as it is but kick them up the backside a few times. Gary Walsh should be his number one keeper, Robbie Blake and Ashley Ward his front men. His midfield should be Juanjo and Lee Sharpe with McCall in the middle. Gary Locke could slot in when he is fit, Eoin Jess I like, but he has not enough in the defensive element of his game and if someone will pay for him, I'd take the money.

At the back Law needs to do work. Wayne Jacobs can stay until Lewis Emanuel is ready to take over. Davis Wetherall should be back when fit. Robert Molenaar and Andy Tod look like liabilities too often so perhaps Andy Myers is the way to go. Even Gunnar Halle's mother would think he was too slow for his position now. Credit where credit is due Gunnsy is the only right back at the club so it is hardly his fault that he has to play there, we should thank him that he does, but please, lefts get a lad who can get to the other touch line and back and feed Ward with the odd cross.

That is my advice to Nicky Law, that and makes sure that whatever you do, never park in Gefforey Richmond's parking space.

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