The times they are a changing at Chesterfield FC and following the departure of John Sheridan and the transfer of Jordan Bowery to Aston Villa, the Spireites Jury delivers its verdict for the first time this season.
Richard Rutherford said: “The removal of John Sheridan came as no great surprise although perhaps the timing of it did.
“I agree with many people, that this decision should have been made at some stage last season, or at the latest at the end of the season, giving the new manager time to assemble a new squad and spend the new players budget for the season.
“To make this decision now is strange and would seem to suggest that there are other matters involved. Something that may of course never be revealed. I have seen all the team’s games this season bar the most recent one at Gillingham. Although we have created numerous chances, the overall performances have shown to me that this side is not good enough to mount a promotion challenge.
“The selling of Jordan Bowery to Aston Villa is good business. Villa must have seen something in him that I haven’t.
“While he was a developing player at League One or Two level, I am not convinced he has the skills to make a Premier League player. I may be proved wrong and indeed, hope I am.
“His departure leaves us very short up front. I hear that reinforcements are due this week, through the loan system. This is vital as we need some quality injection.
“We particularly need more quality in midfield, as this is a very weak area for us. A good wide player is also a must, to begin to supply Marc Richards, who so far has been very disappointing as has the other major pre-season signing Sam Hard.
“The most important step now is to appoint an experienced manager to arrest the decline and help us move forwards. There are plenty available at he moment, such as Brian Laws, Mark Robins and Gary Meson.
“I am not too bothered who the new manager is, so long as we don’t give the job to Tommy Wright or Mark Crossley. This will of course be the most cost effective option. An upturn in results and performances may also encourage this.
“I have nothing against them, but they have to regarded as part of the old regime. A new broom is needed to reorganise the team, get the best out of the players, particularly the new ones, improve fitness, and also to have a different range of contacts if we are to bring new players in.
“If not, then I can only see mid table mediocrity at best. We must always remember that when you are in League Two, the spectre of the Blue Square Conference is never far away. Bigger clubs than Chesterfield have fallen thorough the trap door. To even contemplate this, is unthinkable.’’
Lesley Brentnall was encouraged by what she witnessed in the 1-1 win at Gillingham.
She said: “The draw against Rotherham was a decent performance and not one that you would expect ended with the departure of John Sheridan!
“Major questions need to be asked of Chris Turner and Dave Allen regarding the timing of this decision. I like many others attend the Fans’ Forum in May where assurances was given that John would be fully supported both off the field and financially to get us back in League One.
“While last season’s dismal performance would have earned most football managers the boot I admired the board’s loyalty that Sheridan must get it right.
“So how can a man be given all summer and our budget to plan for next season then only four games to implement it? That’s the blanks only Dave and Chris can fill in! One can only assume it must have been a serious change in circumstances that lead to these events!
“I was pleased that Tommy Wright has been given immediate control on the pitch and his first priority is to mend the fractured moral of the team, after attending the game at Gillingham I can say that is the first time in a long while that the players looked happy to play, they regrouped and looked liked they was all in this together.
“While I don’t like to see any football manager lose their job it was nice from a fan perspective to see Tommy and Mark Crossley come over and applaud the away fans for our long journey - something we never saw under John Sheridan’s tenure!
“The week’s drama wasn’t finished there was another massive shock losing Jordan Bowery to the Premier League - what an opportunity for the young lad!
“I can see from the club’s perspective that this as fantastic financial incentives for all involved, I hope we invest the money wisely and strengthen if needs be. Jordan will be missed but with Richards, Westcarr, Boden and Lester I have a feeling that we will be just fine.
“Especially after the performance on Saturday - that win is just round the corner! ‘‘
Jonathan Howes does not mind who is manager as long as the team is winning regularly.
He said: “The board decided to relieve manager John Sheridan of his duties, however, I understand that he is still an employee of the club.
“Is it ‘garden leave’ until they can pay him off? Or will he return later in the year in a ‘different role’ because they can’t afford to pay him off?
“Many rumours are circulating suggesting there is more to this than recent results. To use Chris Turner’s own words: ‘One or two other things were in the mix, so the decision was made’
“At the Fans’ Forum in May, Dave Allen wholeheartedly backed Sheridan. However, he did state that if, by Christmas, Chesterfield were not in a very healthy position in League Two, then John’s tenure as manager could be at a critical point.
“Maybe something unreported has occurred to change Mr Allen’s support for John, which we have not been officially informed about, perhaps they will not pay him off because of these ‘other things in the mix’? No doubt, all will be revealed in the fullness of time!
Tommy Wright is caretaker-manager for the foreseeable future with the continuing support of Mark Crossley, Shane Nicholson and Jamie Hewitt.
“I really don’t mind who is the manager, provided we win matches and collect three points as often as possible!
“We conducted excellent business this week, allowing Jordan Bowery’s move to Aston Villa (good luck to Jordan). He scored 12 goals last season and may well have got 15 to 20 this season, we therefore need to replace his position in the squad as soon as possible, with a player that will fulfil this expectation!
“However, I am already concerned with our lack of goals scored so far this campaign and with Jordan gone, we are at even more of a disadvantage.
“In conclusion, the team need to take it one game at a time - compete with passion, commitment and honesty – remember, ‘if you don’t shoot, you don’t score,’ as when they cross the white line, the outcome is in their hands.’’
Grant Stothard believes that losing Jordan Bowery could be a blessing in disguise
He said: “Our prospects could be better with a new manager. I don’t blame the board for having a look at Tommy Wright and Mark Crossley to see what they can do differently. That will give them time to see who is available and what they can bring to the club. The board say they are ambitious and want to get into the Championship, if that is the case then this time they will have to get the right man and not go for the cheap option.
“How will losing Jordan Bowery affect us?
“We will lose his pace and his ability to pull defenders out of position, but it could be a blessing because it might give Lester and Richards chance to play together.
“I believe that Richards would benefit from balls played for him to run onto. Jack could supply them with his ability to hold the ball and slip a pass through. We all know that Jack will not play 90 minutes in every game, but if we started with that pairing we might score a couple of goals and that would allow Jack to be subbed if he was struggling. At least it is an option and worth a try.
“Tommy said that he wants to play attacking football, let’s hope that he does because the way we have been playing is certainly not the case. From what I heard on the radio on Saturday, we took the game to the opposition and could, with a bit of luck come away with a win.
“Promotion would have been unlikely with John Sheridan in charge. Now it will depend on what happens next and who ultimately gets the manager’s job.
“The new players will take time to settle in and form new partnerships. Hird looks shaky at the minute, but he with Trotman will form a good partnership.
“Forbes is doing a good job even if he is playing out of position.
“Togwell, like Hird has not started too well and appears unsure what his role is.
“Richards as I have already said will come good when we play to his strengths. So it’s hard to predict what will happen because a new manager may not like the players brought in by JS.
“Also it will depend when and if we get someone new. JS should have gone last November, then maybe we would not be where we are now.
“I fervently hope that we can go straight back up and then build on that to push towards the Championship.’’