what can we expect from les reed?
After 15 years of Curbs, I took it upon myself to analyse Iain Dowie as much as I could from 4,000 miles away. I watched sound bites, I read interviews, I looked at his demeanour on the touchline and I studied photgraphs but what I couldn't see was the ranting and raving
behind the scenes and what was playing in his thoughtful mind. There was a lot going on - the poor results, the off-field disagreements, the public legal battle with Jordan, being seperated from his family and working in an arrangement that he'd accepted but knew he wasn't suited too. Then of course on top of that during the last two weeks, he was very aware that he was under the microscope and had no control over his future prospects, even, we are told, if results went the right way.
We have not heard anything from Dowie, which is credit to him, but with an expensive court case looming, I wonder how long it will be before he takes some of the money being offered to him by the tabloids to tell his side of the story? Or has Murray and his lawyers imposed a gag on him long term, particularly as they have promised to continue to help him in his case against Tango Man?
So what can we expect of Les Reed? More Curbs than Dowie I'd expect from a disposition stand point. "I am not going to change and all of a sudden become very high-profile, cigar-smoking and so on."
I don't know about you but I liked that extra bit of spark that Dowie had. To get Curbs to come over and clap the fans was harder for him than dropping the exclamation marks in his book! (sic)
Reed is obviously a quieter, reasoned and a much lower profiled man, as proven by how little we really know about him even though he's been around the club off and on for many years. His coaching pedigree is first rate and makes the Gareth Southgate and Glenn Roeder problems over their lack of UEFA qualifications even more of a farce but Reed untried and untested in the managerial hotseat.
However the whole support structure put in place by Richard Murray will allow the Head Coach to do just that, and I expect after working in some high ranking FA jobs over the years, he wouldn't have been short of some media and people skills training.
On the continent this arrangement is very common although it has yet to see much success in England but generations of old fashioned managers and egotistical ex-players are unlikely to have either the skill-sets or the want to make this work. It is somewhat refreshing, although the press probably don't think so, that Reed has broken the chain of clubs appointing managers from the tired old merry-go-round or ex-high profile players.
In fact in Europe, and particularly France, Reed's background would make him the ideal candidate to become manager of a leading league side. The former ex-Wycombe and Cambridge United striker is in very good company in the Premiership with Arsène Wenger, Rafael Benítez and Jose Mourinho all flourishing as background men first before taking a gigantic leap into the corner office.