by Ben Mynott @ben_mynott
Why Mark Bonner should remain as Cambridge United manager, even if we get relegated to League 2:
Mark Bonner has done phenomenally well as Cambridge United manager. He has presided over an unexpected promotion to League One (playing some great football too), achieved an impressive mid table finish last season and guided us to THAT win at St James Park. All of this on a shoestring budget; I don’t know the exact numbers but our League 2 budget was very much mid table at best, and the League One budgets have been widely reported as bottom 4 budgets.
So to-date, he has massively over achieved. This season, until we dropped into the relegation zone, he has still been over-achieving. He’s back to about par for budget now, but has had to deal with the perfect storm of injury crises. Both left backs out injured. Numerous centre backs out. Key midfielders Adam May and Liam O’Neil (ok, so the latter may not be “key”) out long term. 1st choice keeper out for 2 months. Replacement left back gets injured 44 minutes into debut. Promising striker Fejiri suffers setback after setback. I could go on. Bonner has tried his best to fill the gaps in January; Morrison and Ryan Bennett look great at this level, Liam Bennett is thriving having been brought back. McGrandles has shown promising signs. We have to hope that George Thomas gets fit soon and provides the much needed creativity we need.
I’m pretty sure the club also tried to find a striker, but couldn’t get their first, second or even fifth option. Decent strikers in January are notoriously hard to come by. I’d rather stick with what we’ve got than go with a panic signing; remember Tolaj anyone?
I agree things look pretty dire right now. I was optimistic until the Cheltenham game. Now I fear relegation is more likely than not, but it’s not yet guaranteed. I can’t see anyone getting more out of the current squad than Bonner; he knows them, they know him. I think he still has their backing and they’ll put their bodies on the line for him. He clearly works his socks off. He bleeds amber and black. He talks more sense than any previous manager I can recall. I mean, he really talks sense. I hardly ever disagree with his post match assessments. As Bonner said last night, get behind the team during the match, urge them on. If you want to give him hell at the final whistle, do so. But the toxic negativity during the match helps nobody. What good does calling Joe Ironside a carthorse do? It’s not exactly going to inspire him to give his all for the club.
I remember Derry-ball; terrible. He talked nonsense too. Joe Dunne was a nice guy but clueless. Colin Calderwood had ideas above his station and certainly didn’t bring success. Richard Money couldn’t hack it in the league. I could go back further: Martin Ling? The stuff of nightmares. Even back to pre conference days, we’ve not had a decent, successful manager since Roy McFarland. Mark Bonner is home-grown, loyal (he said no to Rotherham) and successful. He will work harder than any of the aforementioned to help this club succeed. Compared to other “home grown” managers (John Taylor, Gary Johnson at least at Cambridge) he’s been far more successful. He’s still the right man for the job…even if that job is getting us back into League One. I mean, what are the alternatives? Who remembers the panic appointment of Steve Thompson? Ian Atkins? Changing manager so late on rarely is successful. I can’t see anyone doing a better job than Bonner. Moreover, I can’t see anyone better wanting to come to the Abbey.
So for all the reasons above, Mark, you get my vote of confidence. But maybe make your substitutions a bit earlier in the game please?
Leave a Reply