POSH COMMENT: McCann is the man for Peterborough United job

Chairman Darragh MacAnthony should do this summer what he should have done last summer and make Grant McCann the next manager of Peterborough United.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 5:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 6:52 pm
Grant McCann (right) with Darragh MacAnthony. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

I remember writing in the Peterborough Telegraph last year that if Dave Robertson and McCann were to run the team, the latter should have been made manager.

McCann is worshipped by the fans for his deeds as a Posh player. He appears to be worshipped by the playing squad whose respect for the former Northern Ireland midfielder is total.

These cries from within the camp (I’ve heard it from new, old and fairly recent signings, Adil Nabi, Gaby Zakuani and Michael Smith, in the last few days) to give Grant the job are genuine. They are not pleas from players keen to gain favouritism with a potential new boss.

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Grant McCann after Posh won 4-3 at Shrewsbury.

Football management is not a popularity contest, but players will run harder and faster for people they respect and like. And they all respect and like McCann.

The chairman is also a huge fan. There is no relationship to create with a demanding owner. The bond is already there. McCann is a certainty to implement the flowing, exciting, all-out attacking passing style MacAntnony loves to watch, as we all do.

Of course it would be a gamble to appoint another rookie, but McCann is no Robertson or Mark Cooper. He’s been in and around senior professional football for the last 20 years. He’s been a class act for most of that time.

Anyway Darren Ferguson was a rookie when he first turned up at London Road and he didn’t do too badly.

Grant McCann after Posh won 4-3 at Shrewsbury.

Anyway every managerial appointment is a gamble. Even with his pedigree, Gary Johnson was a Posh gamble, one that ultimately failed.

I look at the list of supposed contenders and none excite me, although I’d take Steve Evans in a heartbeat if McCann is not appointed on a full-time basis.

There would be no slacking on his watch, although he might be a bit too much for players only just freed from the shackles of Graham Westley.

Evans might not fancy the job right now. If he doesn’t get the Leeds gig, he must have a chance of Championship football somewhere else.

Steve Cotterill’s Bristol City were a joy to watch on their way to the League One title last season, but he had a bigger budget than he’d get at Posh. He might also lack the personal skills to get the best out of Posh’s young players. McCann won’t. He already knows what makes them tick as they showed for most of the match at Shrewsbury last Saturday (April 30).

Karl Robinson relied on high-class loan strikers to get MK Dons out of League One last season which is not a route Posh tend to take.

Sean O’Driscoll’s best days are well behind him, Adrian Pennock is unproven at Football League level, while Accrington Stanley have thrived since James Beattie left.

Those who back Uwe Rosler seem to have missed the fact that Mark Warburton was the brains behind their success together at Brentford, while Mark Robins was sacked at Scunthorpe which ought to exclude him from the selection process.

As reader Jack Thorpe said in the PT last week ‘be happier with unproven than with already proven to be average’.

Former Spurs and Birmingham winger Jose Dominguez revealed his candidature to the Peterborough Telegraph this week, but he’s not even the best Portuguese manager called Jose.

That would be far too left­ field an appointment even for a chairman whose been happy to back hunches before. Good ties with the Sporting Lisbon B team isn’t particularly attractive.

I would applaud the appointment of Chris Powell (a promotion winner at Charlton at League One level) or Dougie Freedman (under­-rated), but why bother with outsiders when there’s an insider, hopefully, raring to go?

I don’t believe McCann has been tainted by association with two failed regimes. I don’t believe Westley was a man persuaded by alternative opinions too often.

So Darragh, give Grant a go. His presence in a decision-­making role would ensure a feelgood factor immediately enveloped the ABAX.

You know it makes sense.