Huddersfield Town have appointed former Blackpool and Leeds United manager Simon Grayson as successor to the sacked Lee Clark. Grayson was dismissed by Leeds chairman Ken Bates on February 1st, and just nineteen days later has moved down the M62 to the Galpharm Stadium. Of course, due to him being a Leeds lad and fan, some Terriers supporters have reservations about him taking over, but I am not one of those fans; I am delighted with the appointment.
For me, there were only two candidates for the job; Grayson, and Sean O’Driscoll. Lots of talk circulated around a return for Neil Warnock, who won promotion via the playoffs in 1995 with Town, but I was uncomfortable with him returning. There is an old adage in football – never go back – and I fear that his reputation among Town fans may have been tarnished somewhat if things had gone badly this time around. Also, he has gone on record saying that he will retire at the end of next season. Hardly a long term appointment!
O’Driscoll was always going to be a tricky appointment, if in fact he was ever on Dean Hoyle’s shortlist in the first place. He is currently employed at Nottingham Forest as a first team coach, and therefore compensation would have to have been paid. The likely outcome, therefore, was to go for an unattached manager. Grayson is definitely the best of those managers. There was a rumour that Phil Brown was going to be given the job, but thankfully our chairman has more sense than that!
Why is Grayson the right man for the job? Simple, really. He has won promotion from League One with both clubs that he has managed. In 2007, his Blackpool side overcame Yeovil Town in the playoff final to gain promotion to the Championship. With Leeds, he went one better and achieved automatic promotion in 2010 after finishing second behind Norwich City. He also achieved a near fifty percent win rate while in charge at Elland Road.
Lee Clark’s dismissal was seen as a shock, as was Grayson’s nearly three weeks earlier. Interestingly, both club statements read very similarly: “With x games still to go, we feel that a new manager will be able to get us promoted.” Blah, blah, blah. On BBC Radio Leeds, Hoyle said the fact that Grayson was a Leeds fan didn’t make any difference and that as soon as he kisses the Town badge during his first game, the fans will take to him!
Yes, he’s a Leeds United fan. Yes, he was Leeds United’s manager until very recently. But none of that matters now. He is now Huddersfield Town’s manager, and all Terrier’s fans everywhere need to get behind him and the team, and let’s all hope he can deliver.
Written by James Bartaby, We Are Going Up’s Huddersfield Town blogger
James tweets at @jamesb5374