After a run of 2 wins and 3 draws in the last 3 matches of last season, many Northampton fans can be forgiven for thinking that they had turned a corner under Gary Johnson. Despite a productive transfer season which saw the likes of Arron Davies, Ben Tozer and League 2’s cult figure Adebayo Akinfenwa sign for the Cobblers, Northampton continued to struggle and had returned to the form which Johnson had seen over at the start of his Sixfields reign. After a loss against Luton Town in the FA Cup, the former Latvia, Bristol City and Peterborough United boss parted company with the club after an unsuccessful reign which had promised so much. His record as Northampton boss stood as 7 wins, 10 draws and 17 losses, which is a record that only the under fire Blackburn boss Steve Kean would be proud of. In a bid to stop the rot of 6 losses in 7 matches in all competitions, the Cobblers gave Gary Johnson’s assistant David Lee the title of caretaker manager, but if their fans thought what they saw under Gary Johnson was bad, the only match in Lee’s caretaker spell was a 7-2 home loss to Shrewsbury with many schoolboy errors by the Northampton defence. Lee was replaced after the match with Tim Flowers, the former Blackburn and England goalkeeper. However, he could do no better and lost his only game in charge as caretaker manager 4-1 away to bottom of the table Plymouth and they were 3-0 down after 17 minutes. This is when Northampton chairman David Cardoza stepped in and appointed a permanent manager in Aidy Boothroyd on a one year rolling contract.
On paper, Boothroyd seems ideal for the job. At his first managerial position at Watford, he unexpectedly took the Hertfordshire side to the Premier League in his first full season in charge and even though they suffered relegation from the Premier League and failed to make an immediate return to the top flight, the young manager’s reputation was still intact but after a poor start to the season, he left the club by mutual consent. After 10 months out of a job, he replaced the Norwich City bound Paul Lambert as manager of Colchester United where after half a season, the Essex side where in the top 6. However, they lost form towards the end of the season and ended up finishing in a respectable 8th placed finish. He left Colchester at the end of the season to jump up a league to the Championship where he took over as manager of Coventry City and despite a good start; he was sacked by the Midlands club after a run of only 1 win in 16 matches.
After 8 months without a job, he accepted the offer to become the Northampton Town manager and the Cobblers chairman David Cardoza said “We were looking for a special type of manager who can succeed in two equally important tasks. We need someone who can work to steer us away from the position we find ourselves in the short term, and someone who can take the club forward in the longer term.” The first thing he said was that they wanted to sort out the short term problem in stopping the club falling out of the Football League by avoiding relegation to the Blue Square Premier. That aim should be achieved quite comfortably by Boothroyd who should be able to get the best out of an underperforming team. The second aim regarded the long term plan and by this he meant promotion to League 1. With Boothroyd only signing a one year rolling contract at the club, this might not be possible under his leadership as many people like myself think that Aidy Boothroyd’s past successes should see him as a manager of a Championship/League 1 side and if he is a success at Sixfields, the job offers will coming rolling in for the popular manager.
While Aidy Boothroyd is definitely the right option for the job in the short term as he should be able to sort out a leaky defence which has conceded 11 goals in their last 2 matches and will probably use the long ball system that will get the best out of his players, such as striker Adebayo Akinfenwa. However, if they are looking for a manager who can get them out of the division in the right direction, he might not be the man because if a good offer comes in at a club in a higher division, it might be hard for him to resist. He left Colchester before the start of the 2010-2011 season to go to Coventry City despite saying he wanted to stay and push for promotion, who is to say he won’t do the same again at Northampton Town? In conclusion, Boothroyd will save the club from relegation but will be gone by the end of the season which will leave the club searching for a new manager again.
Also, can you sign this petition to help Barnet FC stay at Underhill for the foreseeable future as they will be without a stadium if the lease isn’t renewed for the stadium, which looks possible in the current state of things. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/keeping-barnet-fc-at-underhill/