As a Posh fan who witnessed the grim days of the mid-1980s under John Wile’s management, and a journalist who experienced the eccentricities of Graham Westley close up, trust me when I say the club is in good hands right now.
Darren Ferguson didn’t exactly hit the ground running after he became Darragh MacAnthony’s first Posh managerial appointment, 2007, and he had better players at his disposal than Grant McCann.
It took Ferguson half a season and a summer to get Posh moving forward, and he started out a division lower than McCann.
And, unlike McCann, Ferguson was initially unencumbered by great expectations from the Posh fanbase.
A decade ago Posh fans thought a promotion push in League Two was the height of excitement. Now the hard of thinking and the unrealistic panic when the club aren’t mid-table in the Championship.
In a way MacAnthony and Ferguson have made the Posh manager’s job tough for anyone else, never mind a novice like McCann.
Has McCann made mistakes? Of course he has. He’s admitted to some as the season has progressed.
Surprisingly, for such a creative and attacking player, his defensive signings (Ryan Tafazolli, Luke McGee) have been better than his forward recruits.
He’s yet to master the art of making inspirational substitutions, he returns to the midfield diamond far too often for comfort and his selection of Jack Baldwin ahead of Dominic Ball on Tuesday night misfired badly.
He’s also over-indulged Leo Da Silva Lopes too often and his introduction of teenage striker Deon Moore to the first-team squad was baffling.
The okey-cokey policy regarding Shaquile Coulthirst was peculiar, but his cull of some of the more ambitious signings of previous eras was impressively ruthless.
And McCann is, for want of a better phrase, ‘proper Posh’. I’d rather the club was in the hands of someone who knows what the club’s fans want and, more importantly, what MacAnthony expects.
He’d never admit it publicly, but MacAnthony possibly realises the game might already be up this season. Failing to find a striking combination that works 33 games in will prove decisive as will the mysterious loss of form of captain Chris Forrester.
I’d be surprised if Posh finish in the top half, but they should still stick with McCann regardless.
Club heroes do deserve more time and more patience.
McCann is a student of the game. He is certain to learn from his errors.