This is a look at reasons why keeping Dutton may be a good thing, (reasons why he should go coming soon!). Much has been said about him, both good, and bad, but lets take a look at some of the positive things about Dutton as manager.
Fits with Fullarton
One of the biggest roles Fullarton will have as Technical Director, is mentoring the Head Coach. For this to happen, the Head Coach needs to be less experienced than Fullarton, which Dutton has. They also need to fit the ethos and mind set of Fullarton, which again, Dutton does. The focus on youth, and coaching players, will be high on the agenda when looking at a club identity. This is also something that Dutton has shown in his early days as a manager, with debuts to several young players, and some first teamers improving under him.
A Technical Director will want someone they can work with, for the benefit of the club, not someone they will clash with. Dutton seems as though he is a good fit for someone above him pulling more of the strings. Dutton needs guidance, and it is one of the biggest reasons that he should be given time, to allow Fullarton the chance to improve him.
Much has been said about Dutton as a coach, which he will be able to focus on with a Technical Director taking a lot of the responsibility away. He also eluded to being a one man band, which again, is no longer the case. Maybe the young, hungry Head Coach, and the calmer, experienced Technical Director would be a successful blend.
An eye for a diamond in the rough, and a way to improve them
The recruitment will largely be driven by Fullarton, but with Dutton’s influence too. If, and it is a big if, Dutton was responsible for the recruitment of Adebayo, Jules and Osadebe, then it shows he has an eye for a player that he can develop, a diamond in the rough. This idea of bringing in raw talent, nurturing them, and selling them on, is a good business model for a smaller club, and if Dutton’s claims are true, then he has made the club a lot of money by doing so.
The truth is, we won’t know who was responsible, but given Dutton doesn’t come across as an out and out liar, you have to take what he said with an air of fact to them. All three came in needing work, and the team have missed the influence of the two who left in January. Could Dutton have a similar mindset with recruitment as Fullarton?
This will be an important factor of who is the manager going forward. The Head Coach at Walsall won’t have the luxury of bringing in the finished article, however, they will get the chance of working with players who need a home, and need someone to give them a way to help improve them. Looking at the players Dutton has brought in, then it backs his claim that he should be given the role permanently.
The side had improved?
This is a controversial one, but the trend of results do tell a story. Firstly, 3 wins in 18 isn’t a great record, especially for someone trying to secure a contract, but the results and points picked up significantly improved when you look at his tenure. Breaking down his 18 games in thirds, the points haul becomes clear. His first six games saw a return of just two points, followed by the next six games which saw an increase to four points. In his last six games, he has picked up 10 points, which is a significant jump, and also places Walsall 6th, in the form charts.
His argument is that he inherited a side that needed picking up. After chopping and changing, things have become more settled in terms of formation and players. Yes he does make odd changes at time, but generally, the side are better. He has managed to tighten the defence, which has now kept nine clean sheets all season, six of which were under Dutton. The increase in points return shows that whatever Dutton is doing on the training field, is working, and that the team are responding to it.
It does seem more and more likely that he won’t be at the club going forward, and that may even come this week. The question is, had he done enough to deserve the chance to at a summer re-haul, aided by Fullarton?