Only two games in and Brian Dutton had already provided many talking points for Walsall fans. His new system, formations, and personnel choices have caused many conversations, and have left fans wondering whether he is indeed the long-term solution to help move the club forward. So what are the options for the end of the season, and will Dutton be offered the Head Coach position permanently?
Dutton remaining in charge
There is a realistic chance that Dutton could remain in charge beyond the end of the season, with Clarke already appointing a No2, and Dutton wanting the opportunity to show he is capable of the Head Coach position. So what are the options for if he stays.
Dutton is new to being a Head Coach, and if given the role could look to bring in a No2 who is more experienced, but perhaps doesn’t want the limelight of being the top role. This is a model that has been successful at Walsall, with Dean Smith, and Richard O’Kelly. Having an experienced assistant to help guide, and lend an ear to Dutton, could help him develop and grow in the position
A secondary option would be to employ a Director Of Football. A DoF allows the Head Coach to focus on the team, and less on the ‘other side’ of the role with contract renewals and new player negotiations both handled by the DoF. When working well together, the Head Coach will identify targets, and the DoF will take it from there. With Dutton’s experience being mainly in Non-League, this does limit his contact book. Experience in either an assistant, or DoF would allow Dutton to grow his contacts, and aide him as he begins his journey in management.
Dutton leaving the role as Head Coach
The alternative scenario could see Dutton decide that the type of role isn’t for him, or the board may want someone different to take the club forward. A new Head Coach coming in may see him leave the club for good, or revert back to the Assistant Manager role.
When a role becomes available and a hunt for a new manager is on, many people with a connection to the club are mentioned. It seems the case that after years of this, fans would rather fresh faces come in, to hit the reset button if that’s what the board decide.
Fans wont be against seeing familiar faces. But they would want it to be because they are the best for the job, not because they are receiving any preferential treatment.
Knowing the speculation of the role will increase as the games and months go on, whatever the board and Brian Dutton decide, we know Walsall fans will get behind the club, with full support for whoever is leading the team.