last night i realized there are limits to how long a fella can write before his frontal lobe resembles the decaying shell of a butternut squash discarded on the compost heep. to say there comes a point in the day when you can no longer write only diminishes the grim inabilities i currently face. that point came 3 hours before writing this, just after i finished a brief to the grand poobah board of directors for the “company” i work for. the “company” shall remain unnamed, but just allow your imagination to travel across fields of jellybeans covered in ice cream, crystallized with sugar, and you will be as far away from my profession as you possibly could be. we are a covert enterprise. we look sharp in suits, but still operate in areas that require several applications of hand-sanitizer and an ability to flip personal conversations into weapons of mass disarray.
but because i love you readers and the bro hugs you send my way, i persevered. mrs. sunshine was packing for a trip to estonia (oops, i mean, mrs. smith is packing for estonia), so i had nothing but time to peruse the world of timbers news. problem with that sort of time is that no news of any kind exists. there was a closed practice yesterday and the day before, so you only get a description of the weather, the pigeons, food carts, and the pizza of the day served up at hot lips.
never fear, we have options. one of the constant questions running through the minds of every timbers supporter i come in contact with is who will be the new manager. that question is typically and logically followed by why was sean mcauley brought into the fold as an “assistant” when the manager has not yet been hired. even more perplexing is why sean mcauley is performing the duties typically attributable to a manager. i know people involved in sport never tell fibs, but it seems gavin must be. speaking the other day, when practice was not closed and he felt touched enough by the fact someone was asking him questions, gavin described life with mcauley
I think that what we are trying to do is, he is going to be here for a while, make sure that the players are going to be comfortable with him, make sure that they receive information well from several different sources and that we all deliver the same message. He has had more involvement.
ok. so, an assistant who sounds permanent and who is given the opportunity to have a greater impact on the standards set within training does not sound like an “assistant” at all. but, you know, sean mcauley is only a fresh voice, a fresh opinion, and is not in the consideration for the vacant managerial position. but he does have some rather managerial like conversations with gavin.
He has come in, looked at our team, watched pretty much every game that we’ve played this year. We’ve sat down, we’ve shared thoughts, shared opinions, and started to structure things in a clear path to move forward.
i get that he spent time here back in 2002. but regardless of how great his days playing in portland with the number 5 may have been, 16 games do not produce an unforgetable experience great enough for a person to give up coaching and managing at sheffield wednesday simply to become a consulting assistant manager.
though he was a caretaker manager at storied sheffield wednesday, mcauley spent the majority of his career with the owls teaching and managing the youth academy. as i wrote in my post wednesday, he has been putting the young lads in the first team through their paces. but being the international man of intrigue i fashion myself, i can sniff through many extreme efforts of disguise. if he was brought in to manage the youth then gavin and merritt would have made that clear the moment mcauley emerged into the minds and conversations of the timbers faithful. instead, gavin provides vague soundbites describing a team philosophy more similar to the communes of tolstoy’s imagination or the late sixties than a football club.
It is a collaborative effort, so what I am trying to do is get a collaborative group going in the same direction. It’s better than one or two people. We’ve included them. We’ve had a lot more meetings about the direction and the quality of training, the process in the training sessions itself, and what we are trying to achieve in each training session.
interesting. so, today, we receive some great insight into what may be changing within the organization to actually improve the club. they are going to remove titles from the management team and govern the training and coaching efforts through dialectical materialism. this finally explains the deep philosophical differences between gavin, merrritt and spencer. spencer did not, could not, call everyone bro. and the idea of calling gavin comrade was too much to handle before he was forced to wipe away the tears of laughter.
in all seriousness, if the new manager has not been silently installed already, it is a futile effort to bring a collective to the timbers organization. not one incoming manager is going to accept the current team as his. there will be a shuffle, there will be a change in the guard, and the puppet regime will topple once a new manager worthy of this club is installed. players that once played with impunity will find themselves in the soup line along with members of the coaching team. that is, if the new coach who comes in has any say about what goes on at the commune.
the cynic in me thinks mcauley has been given the duties in order to buffer gavin from the fallout. gavin was clear that he views himself as the general manager which means he does not like the managerial hot seat. being in that seat only exposes him to something he has not experienced for the last 12 years–unemployment. gavin put this team together–regardless of the input spencer may have had, they are his players because he signed them up. when the results fail to come with gavin at the head, certainly merritt will see what we all know–gavin has limited ability as a technical director and should never have been given the position to begin with. so, bringing in another fella with a wealth of experience in a league of comparable if not greater quality can only ensure he is overlooked as the root cause of the failure.
sure, i have seen the zapruder film. what of it? look, the likelihood is that we are watching a working interview. in a season that has very nearly gone tits-up, why not? nothing else could possibly make this season any more of a bust than it already has been. who knows, maybe the stern touchline behavior we witnessed this last weekend may just be the tonic.
alright, that is that. thursday is the new friday and has been so for several years so it is really just thursday without the anticipation. oh, wait, it is friday. what a long work week. enjoy your last day of work!
[disclaimer: this piece was composed earlier in the week, but mags missed his helicopter flight so he wired in his post earlier than expected.]