Appleton IN

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YF Dan
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Re: Appleton IN

Post by YF Dan » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:49 am

It's hard not to think this is a totally stupid move by Appleton.

He was ridding himself of his reputation as a ship-jumper. He was building a strong team and perhaps more importantly for himself, really establishing himself as someone who could build a club from scratch.

Now, he's gone to be a number 2?? I'm sure the money is a whole lot better. Fair play, that's tough to turn down. But, he was only half a strong season from being offered a good championship/lower Prem club. Now, he's a number two. If the team does great, the manager will get the credit. If they do badly, he'll be in the firing line too.

If he was going to Leeds, or Watford, or anyone a step or two above us as manager, he'd leave with my best wishes. Now I'm just really pissed off about his behaviour.

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Werthers Original » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:57 am

Football is very short term, isn't it? I guess he felt that if he didn't get the budget he wanted this year and we finished lower mid table, and similar next season, he would be just another run of the mill lower division manager and might never get another chance at big money and status.

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Shoobedoo » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:07 pm

What Dan said. I would have had no issues with him leaving to manage a Championship / Lower Prem side. However I hope that this move is as successful as when he left Blackpool in the lurch. Leopards clearly don't change their spots.

I am worried about the forthcoming season.

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Kernow Yellow » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:35 pm

I think Dan and Shoobedoo are being a bit harsh. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Appleton is on £200k at Oxford, on a rolling one year contract; and he's been offered £500k at Leicester on a three year deal. It's very easy to post on internet forums about lack of ambition or loyalty, but this is his job, and that's a bloody significant improvement to his terms of employment.

When you add in the questions about whether he's being adequately backed to have another good season with Us, not to mention other matters that may or may not be happening behind the scenes which might impinge on the likelihood of short-, medium- or long-term success here (club ownership, stadium ownership, backroom infrastructure etc etc), then who can blame him for going? Even before talk of the Leicester job, the sounds coming out of OUFC were worrying. Indeed look at Appleton's last three or four public utterances, and they're basically all challenging DE to get things put in place for Us to mount a promotion challenge. And none of them seem to have materialised.

I also worry for the forthcoming season. Which is why I thought it was stupid to hold back on a promotion push last season. But I don't necessarily blame Appleton for leaving. And I don't necessarily blame Eales either - the club is millions of pounds in debt already, so why should he guarantee spending that he can't/won't deliver? It's just the reality of clubs our size compared to the colossal spending power of recent Premier League champions I'm afraid...

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Isaac » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:50 pm

I agree with KY - as a club we are probably at our natural level, more or less, without further significant "investment". It's likely Appleton recognises this and you can't blame him for signing a contract worth £1.5m when his current contract is worth 200k. Another good season at OUFC and he could possibly have got a prem job (although english managers are not in fashion for these), but also, his reputation may never be as good as it is now, so perhaps he's right to cash in.

The possibly overly optimistic hope for me is the thing that the club has done well - i.e. identify young players, is hopefully something the club can do with or without Appleton.

ty cobb
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Re: Appleton IN

Post by ty cobb » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:33 pm

I really don't see how this is being used as a stick to beat Eales with (the other site is awful reading at the moment!).

All managers push for bigger budgets, Appleton has been playing the press of late to make his point. We run a player sales model and we haven't sold anyone yet this pre season but was offering £300,000 for a defender - this would suggest the money is there and Appleton was being backed. Ok we may not have a top 6 budget but we don't get top 6 crowds and probably get bottom 6 income due to our stadium situation.

If Appleton was a good manager he should be able to get a team with a mid table budget into the play offs. If he is able to get a team with a top 6 budget in to the play offs that to me is an average manager and he is doing what is expected.

As has been said I don't see how this helps with his career, if Leicester let him go I doubt he'll be able to land a job higher than mid-table in league one as there are plenty of managers out there who are out of work and have achieved more than he has. If he does this he may not have the time he had with us to turn things around - he was a little lucky to last the first season, we weren't too far off the relation zone for much of it. A harsh reading of his time with us is that he was unable to improve most of the squad he inherited despite it finishing just outside the play offs the previous season. After splashing the cash he took us up from a league where we had one of the best budgets beating a couple of Premier league B teams along the way. We then finished mid table despite breaking the clubs transfer record on a attacking winger he played at left back, this time beating a Championships B team along the way. He also took us to two Wembley finals in a competition no-one really made much of an effort in and then choked the second time around.

A more accurate reading would be he got us playing good football, got good young players in and developed them and made good use of a small squad of good players. I will be very sorry to see him go and wish him all the best for the future but I would love to know what the reasons were besides getting a load of dosh thrown his way.

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by slappy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:42 pm

It seems to me this is a natural progression for Appleton's aspiration to manage at the top level. He's done his three years of managing a lower league club very successfully, but the sporting model here relied on getting young players in on loan from higher league clubs and developing them. At Premier league level he will learn about signing the right players and managing the higher expectations. So if Leicester get rid of Shakespeare in a year, Appleton will have a year's good experience to move to a similar size club in the Premier League / Championship.

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Old Abingdonian » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:32 pm

I totally agree with Ty's analysis here: I get fed up with all the talk of budgets. I know it must be a big factor, but as Ty says, what is the achievement if (like CW last season) you simply exploit a strong position in order to achieve what you should?

Similarly, MApp is ambitious. He has made a judgement call, which may or not in the long term be the right one. If we, as fans, are the only true continuity, then surely we need to try to be optimistic, rather than wringing our hands in despair before a ball has been kicked.

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Jimski » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:38 pm

I was already fairly worried about this season from the talk behind the scenes before this Appleton news. I think of this as one of the symptoms rather than the cause of things going wrong. Really get the feeling the whole "project" is going tits-up. Really hope I'm wrong.

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by joepoolman » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:25 pm

ty cobb wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:33 pm
If Appleton was a good manager he should be able to get a team with a mid table budget into the play offs.
This has been my thought of the day. Surely Appleton should be looking at what Alexander and Rosler achieved at Scunny and Fleetwood respectively last season and backing himself to do similar, or even go one better. If anything the one thing that would make his stock rise the most would be to deliver a top 6 finish on a midtable budget, as (IMO) that's the main accomplishment potential employers would look for that he is yet to achieve. Maybe there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

For obvious reasons Appleton was 1 good season away from being a Championship manager, and I feel confident that he was 2, tops 3, good seasons and 1 move away from being a PL manager, so to leave us now to be number 2 at a midtable club feels a slightly bitter pill to swallow. That being said I have no hard feeling towards him after a frankly awesome 2 years or so, and think he has earned the right to move on if it's what he thinks is right.

Mr T
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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Mr T » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:46 pm

Loyalty is a word rarely used in sport, especially modern football, so I know I shouldn't be surprised by this move, especially if part of MApp's reasoning is the easier commute to Leicester. He may feel that he had gone as far as he could with us, and so time for a change, especially as the money will be better. And of course there may be some truth in him resenting the size of budget he was being offered by DE.

Ironic that he won't get to compete against his 3 former employers; weird the way that they all joined us at the same time!

Looking ahead I would like us to find a manager with a bit of Oxford in his blood, like Brian McDermott, though Paul Simpson would be my favourite, if he wants to go back into league football.

3 years ago I wasn't looking forward to the new season, especially with Waddock at the helm, but 'in DE we trust...'
Never a dull moment being a Yellow!
Bring back the black away shirt!

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by OUFC4eva » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:53 am

As a young boy in 1985 I was distraught when Jim Smith walked out after three years at United.
At least Jim walked into the manager's job at QPR.

But I feel worse losing Appleton. He will join Leicester today as assistant manager
with everything now agreed.

The club looks a ' shell ' to me at present. No Academy Director, No head of commercial,
no chief executive and no first team manager/head coach. Is Darryl trying to be
what Ron Noades was at Brentford? owner/chairman/manager ?! After all he signed a player

Seriously - again, we are seeing that awful default position with many U's fans.

Go with the old boys !
It never works ! So a big NO to the likes of Paul Simpson and Brian McDermott and Chris Allen
to a lesser extent.

We have to find the next Michael Appleton.

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by SWA » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:07 am

I think Danny Cowley would be a great choice. However, it wouldn't be easy to tempt him away from Lincoln.

Myles Francis
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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Myles Francis » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:55 am

ty cobb wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:33 pm
I really don't see how this is being used as a stick to beat Eales with
Hmm, really?

We have/had a manager who has stated that he wants to prove himself as a manager at the highest level. Over the past two seasons he has won promotion and then gone on to finish within touching distance of the play-offs despite not receiving the backing in January which, by all accounts, he had been pledged. He then makes a statement about how he intends to stay at the club provided the club's ambition continues to meet his own, i.e. a serious tilt at promotion to the Championship. We then have Eales making a statement about how he hopes to provide a top-six budget, but this is dependent on a player sale or sales (although a significant number of fans are of the opinion that this was a "promise" of a top-six budget.

In the background, we also now have a club with no effective Commercial Director since Christmas, no Academy Manager since February, no MD since (in reality) February/March - in essence, as oufc4eva has said, a shell of a club.

So, Appleton sees this, sees the budget he's being given, and realises he's being set up to fail here. If we end up plodding along in 10th-ish place he would be seen by the outside world as failing as he's not taken the club forward despite his chairman's public pronouncements about increasing the budget. That reputation he has rebuilt over the past couple of years gets trashed again.

As a result, he's now been given a way out. It's certainly not a good move for career progression as he's effectively going back to what he was doing at West Brom nearly 10 years ago. But that move is almost certainly less harmful than being expected to deliver more with less in his current position.

But of course, none of this can be laid at Eales' door....

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Re: Appleton IN

Post by Dr Bob » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:29 pm

As I said after the Sartori bid was rejected, that decision really puts the spotlight on Eales to deliver. Not looking good so far...

What is particularly worrying, sat here in the East Midlands, is that a failure to fill key off-field positions was a central reason for Forest's failures in recent years under Fawaz Al-Hasawi. Hopefully in Oxford's case this will only be temporary, but given Myles' points about how long some of these posts have been vacant, it is disconcerting.

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