WHY NEIL WARNOCK CHOSE TO STAY AND WHAT NEXT

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WHY NEIL WARNOCK CHOSE TO STAY AND WHAT NEXT

Postby Sven » Wed May 15, 2019 2:05 pm

Inside Cardiff City's London summit: Why Neil Warnock chose to stay and how the Bluebirds plan to bounce straight back up
By Paul Abbandonato

Warnock and the Cardiff City hierarchy held two days of crunch talks to decide the future


Wednesday 15th May 2019


So, it's official. Neil Warnock is staying at Cardiff City.

Cue wide smiles and grins in and around the Welsh capital.

If it's not exactly time to put up the bunting, let's just say the importance of this news isn't lost on tens of thousands of Bluebirds fans. They can rest easy in the knowledge that Warnock, the promotion guru himself, will be driving Cardiff's Championship challenge next season.

Not everyone will be in agreement and that's fair enough. Football provokes different opinions. Some feel a younger manager is required, as opposed to the short-termism of 2019/20 under Warnock.

The vast majority of fans, however, have made their views crystal clear with chants of 'There's only one Neil Warnock' and 'We want you to stay,' even though Cardiff were being consigned to their relegation fate.

Never before in the history of football can a team have gone down with such unity among manager, players, fans and club hierarchy.


Why risk that incredible goodwill and togetherness by losing perhaps the most popular manager in Cardiff's 120-year history and risking freefall with another Russell Slade or Paul Trollope-type appointment?

Make no mistake, Warnock's popularity among Cardiff's paying customers played a significant part when he sat down with Bluebirds chairman Mehmet Dalman and chief executive Ken Choo for two days of London talks to plan the future.

People power, you might call it.

In a way, you sense the talks were a little bit of posturing. Warnock didn't really want to go. In his own words, he feels "a responsibility" to the fans to "put them back where they have just come from in the Premier League".

He has been positively humbled by their backing in recent times and wants to repay that loyalty with promotion.


Cardiff owner Vincent Tan wasn't enamoured with his club being relegated. However, he and his fellow directors know just how popular Warnock is and were never really going to push the button on him going.

Yes, that didn't stop Tan ruthlessly ditching Malky Mackay, but this is an entirely different situation with a manager the Cardiff hierarchy have a much greater belief in.

Dalman had Warnock's back. Such is the chairman's smooth talking, you sense he could sell ice to the eskimos. With Dalman on board, Warnock was always likely to stay.

So why the talks then, if we knew this was always going to be the outcome?

Well, the fact is Cardiff were relegated and a debrief had to take place from either side about the reasons why. More importantly, a full and frank debate to plan for next season in the Championship was required.

Cardiff will be back in arguably the most demanding league in world football. A Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday relentless grind where anyone can beat anyone else. Bigger clubs than Cardiff City have failed to make the top two this season. There can be no guarantees in this division.

If you're going to go for it, then it needs to be the whole hog. Two feet fully in.

It is here that Warnock, Tan, Dalman and Choo were in 100 per cent agreement. They each coveted the same thing. Promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Tan wasn't actually at the talks, he was in Malaysia, but he still held sway here and was kept fully abreast of proceedings by Dalman and Choo.


Having had two successful bites at promotion already, Tan wanted a manager with the know-how to get Cardiff there again.

Given Warnock's eight record promotions - including three from the Championship - Cardiff knew they already had the best man for the job on their books.

As for Warnock, at 70 and with one last season in him, he wasn't prepared for the proverbial pipe and slippers management armchair ride. He wanted his swansong to be with an ambitious club aiming to go places. He needed a guarantee Tan was on the same songsheet.

The two men, each strong characters in their own right, were in perfect harmony. They could be good for one another again.


The underlying issues and the transfer targets

There were one or two underlying issues that needed to be resolved, but that was easily manageable.

The more important one was the squad; players who could go and a transfer budget to enable Warnock to challenge for promotion.

The Bluebirds believe that with around £10m-£15m, Warnock can bring in the newcomers he needs. Talks have already begun with one midfield target, so the planning has started in earnest.

If Cardiff had brought in a new, younger manager, he could have demanded as much as £50m in the transfer market. That was simply unfeasible, another reason it made eminent sense for Warnock to stay.

The base of a promotion-winning team is already there. They've done it once.


Morrison may have struggled at times in the Premier League, but he'll probably be a Captain Colossus again at the next level down.

Warnock spoke about the need to bring in another centre-back as possible cover, but that won't be a priority.

It's in midfield where the biggest change is required, given Aron Gunnarsson, Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa have left the club. Joe Ralls, a Warnock favourite, will play regularly next season, but two quality midfield signings are being targeted.

Warnock can build his front four around Bobby Reid next season. Josh Murphy, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Junior Hoilett will have key roles, but another winger may also be brought on board.


It's what happens up top that could prove the key. During the London discussions, Warnock and the board agreed this would be the most complicated capture, given goalscoring centre-forwards are worth a small fortune. Cardiff don't want to blow the whole budget on one.

Kenneth Zohore was brilliant against Manchester United. It may shock some Cardiff fans, but he actually put in one heck of a shift too. Combine that work-rate with his undoubted talent and you have one heck of an asset.

He could be the biggest test of Warnock's man-management next season. If Zohore fires, the manager will be able to spend more in other areas of the team.

Gary Madine returns and the jury remains out on him. Warnock hasn't given up belief in his £6m man, even if most of the rest of Cardiff has. But he has just helped Sheffield United to promotion.

The likes of Callum Paterson and Kadeem Harris are also there as options.


So the discussions centred around three quality newcomers, who are good enough to go straight into the starting XI, and two to three others who can be used as back-up. Utility type footballers, almost.

Of course, the squad could be weakened with the loss of West Ham target Etheridge, plus Manga, Bennett and Mendez-Laing, who each shone in the Premier League.

Silly money could yet be put on the table, in which case they will be sold, but the agreement at the meeting was "to do everything we can to keep hold of our prized playing assets".

They seem up for the challenge ahead, too.


A succession plan?

Of course, many Cardiff fans want a succession planning process put in place for next May when Warnock will depart, promotion or not.

But that's easier said than done. You can't expect Warnock to groom a younger manager for the job 12 months down the line because they could have completely different ideas on a style of play.

If Cardiff wanted to rebuild with a new manager, they accepted it would have taken three to four years to get things right. If they wanted promotion, they had to go for it next season and see where that takes them.

Doubtless in January, the hierarchy will review the situation and start appropriate planning.


For the time being, the key was ensuring Warnock stayed.
Attachments
Warnock and Choo.jpg
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Etheridge.jpg
Etheridge.jpg (36.64 KiB) Viewed 4080 times
Warnock and Tan.jpg
Warnock and Tan.jpg (52.65 KiB) Viewed 4080 times
Players.jpg
Players.jpg (44.35 KiB) Viewed 4080 times
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WHY NEIL WARNOCK CHOSE TO STAY AND WHAT NEXT

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Re: WHY NEIL WARNOCK CHOSE TO STAY AND WHAT NEXT

Postby Welsh Giants » Wed May 15, 2019 9:32 pm

Well if we put faith in zohore and madine like this article suggests the boards promotion plans are not going to go well at all imo.
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Re: WHY NEIL WARNOCK CHOSE TO STAY AND WHAT NEXT

Postby Ninianman » Wed May 15, 2019 10:17 pm

Thought it might have something to do with living in Llantwit Major and on a very good wedge,no brainer really,im glad he’s staying though
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Re: WHY NEIL WARNOCK CHOSE TO STAY AND WHAT NEXT

Postby Llan_Blue » Wed May 15, 2019 10:34 pm

Ninianman wrote:Thought it might have something to do with living in Llantwit Major and on a very good wedge,no brainer really,im glad he’s staying though

Bit of a weird post he’s a 70 year old millionaire I doubt he’s just staying for the money or his love of Llantwit Major where he will probably move from as soon as he packs it in at the end of this season.
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Re: WHY NEIL WARNOCK CHOSE TO STAY AND WHAT NEXT

Postby Forgot Again » Thu May 16, 2019 1:00 pm

Why doesn't the OP state the quote by Mr Tan that he wanted Warnock to stay?
Keeping the faith since '74.
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Re: WHY NEIL WARNOCK CHOSE TO STAY AND WHAT NEXT

Postby HarriRhys22 » Thu May 16, 2019 6:44 pm

Forgot Again wrote:Why doesn't the OP state the quote by Mr Tan that he wanted Warnock to stay?
Llan_Blue wrote:
Ninianman wrote:Thought it might have something to do with living in Llantwit Major and on a very good wedge,no brainer really,im glad he’s staying though

Bit of a weird post he’s a 70 year old millionaire I doubt he’s just staying for the money or his love of Llantwit Major where he will probably move from as soon as he packs it in at the end of this season.

Warnock rents a mates property in Ogmore by sea not Llantwit, he must be on £1m/year plus bonuses and apparently worth £17m so why would he leave his contract early?
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