Is Time Running Out For Liam Manning ?

The MKDSA Media Team

Following on from the growing discontent within the fanbase with signings, performances and our league position the MKDSA Media Team were having an group chat and this was the outcome from some of our leading writers on the current situation .

Ty Jenner – Trash Talk and Match Reporter

It’s a difficult one because I understand the general consensus of aiming the blame at Liam Manning. Unfortunately it hasn’t been the season we all hoped for so far, but the players that have been brought in to replace Twine, Darling, Kasumu, Parrott and co. from last season are simply not good enough. I think Sweeting and anyone else who involved with the signings that were brought in during the summer has to take some of the blame as well. The upcoming fixtures are seriously important, especially with games against fellow sides in the bottom 4. Burton and Forest Green in my eyes are must win games, in regards to Peterborough, Fleetwood and Pompey I think it’s more hope than expectation. If we don’t win 2 maybe 3 games in December in the league, I personally think he will be gone before January.

Luke Payne – Payne’s Player Ratings

I think we could be looking at the next three league games. Two winnable home ties against Burton and Fleetwood before going away to face Portsmouth for a second time this season. 

A key talking point this season has been improvement. The idea that every game is a better performance even if the result is poor. If the points don’t come from games against other teams in the bottom half then our chances of survival seem unlikely at best. With this being said if we can get some points on the board in that time then I could see us gambling on giving Manning the transfer window to rectify the mistakes made in the Summer. 

If Manning does go then our new manager would need time to prepare for the January transfer window. Leaving it much later would make it even more difficult for whoever takes the reigns next. Besides, we don’t want to look ho ho hopeless at Christmas!

Steve Manning – Match Preview

Liam Manning is on borrowed time, and has been for some time now whether his most ardent of supporters would care to admit it, or not. I can’t see him lasting beyond the next two games against Burton and Fleetwood if these end badly for the team.His record this season has been abysmal, beyond any drop off that had been expected from the near promotion experienced from the last one. 

So how much time has the Dons head coach got to turn this campaign around? History tells us not much at all, previous bosses have been sacked at this club for less and that statistic has seen some notable names fall at Stadiummk. But who is to blame? Who can ultimately shoulder the blame for the situation Dons find themselves in here? The Players are the ones who step out on the pitch, ultimately its their responsibility to win those games – yes – but also they are not doing that. It is not them who are going to lose their jobs.

They were all recruited to the data led system Liam Sweeting relies on for the model here at MK Dons.The recruitment model is set up to the philosophy that is embedded from top to bottom at the club. Possession with intent; possession is good but without that intent this group will not achieve anything.

Thanks for the memories Liam, it might be time for you and your backroom to move on. You have one job, prove us wrong…

Alfie Marlborough – Trash Talk , Match Report, Throwback Thursday

Liam Manning is treading on thin ice right now and will be sweating over his future at the club in the coming days and weeks should results not improve. The clubs issues run deep both on and off the field and things much change if the club want to survive in League One. 

For me, the next two games against Burton and Fleetwood have to be wins or that may just be that for the Manning Era which has provided plenty of positive memories in a fairly short period of time. Is it harsh to blame this on Manning? I think so. Recruitment which is heavily influenced by Sporting Director Liam Sweeting has been poor and the vast majority of the players we have brought in are simply not good enough for our level. But at the end of the day – football is a results business and the manager will always be the one held accountable for the team.

Despite my current feelings, I still have faith and do not want anything more than for Manning and the coaching team to turn this form around and will back them until the very end.

Franco Volpe – Tea Boy

You have to go back 18 months to the restructure at MK1 when Andy Cullen departed. A new structure was put into place at the club to align and control the “football operation”. Liam Sweeting (Sporting Director) and Simon Crampton (Performance Director) positioned to support the then manager R****** M***** and John Goodman in the Academy. Winkelman’s view was one of ” change provides opportunity, and we are taking this opportunity to modernise our Football Club which will lead to a fundamental change in how we operate …we are all about development, both on and off the pitch”.

Fast forward through two pretty successful summer and one winter transfer window and a 2021/22 seaon which saw Liam appointed as head coach and a third place finish in League One. High profile player departures for big money, exceptional loans going home leaving MK Dons recruiting an exceptionally high number of new recruits, many younger and way less experienced than the ones they replaced.

The policy of stats based recruitment combined with a “do they fit our thinking” type of selection criteria presumably done with the consensus of Chairman, Directors (LM & SC) and Head Coach it leaves a very grey area of who gets the blame when things go wrong.

The club clearly changed its policy on player recruitment this summer in an attempt to stabalise the revolving door of arrivals and departures.

Manning’s task of integrating so many young inexperienced players was always going to be tough, perhaps noone imagined how tough as we were still ridng the wave of last seasons over performances. He is undoubtedly responsible for performance and delivery of results and in patches of late we are playing better but without winning games we are in trouble.

We’ve sacked managers for less in the past but that was under a different structure where the manager was more responsible for player selection. Winkelman wants his new structure to work but he also needs to avoid another relegation on his watch. So its a real test of the system, nerve and the clubs bank balance. For me its all about the next two games. If they arent wins a bad defeat at Portsmouth on the 17th could be the last we see of Liam. The clock is definitely ticking.

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