No question should be off the table as Chesterfield's never ending story of failure goes on

Dave Allen, in his own words, '˜doesn't do failure' but his football club certainly does.

Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 10:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 12:46 pm
Chesterfield FC v Maidenhead United. Fans dismay.

The Spireites have not yet found the bottom of the pit they’ve been falling into for the past three years.

With more than one quarter of the National League season gone, Chesterfield find themselves above the relegation zone only on the merit of goal difference.

It’s the never ending story at the Proact.

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That story, since Paul Cook left, has gone a little bit like this: a manager is appointed, recruits badly, loses games, the fans and his job.

His replacement can’t turn it around with the squad he inherits, gets his own inadequate players in but ultimately the job is too big and it ends in tears.

Repeat ad nauseam.

Dean Saunders, Danny Wilson, Gary Caldwell and Jack Lester have all had a go.

Ninety-five of the 170 games Town have played in the post-Cook era have ended in defeat and they’ve conceded 290 goals – 110 more than they’ve scored.

On Tuesday night, the visit of Maidenhead took on the kind of ‘must win’ feel that has engulfed the Proact in the days leading up to previous managerial departures.

And yet this time there’s also a sense that Martin Allen, whose Spireites are winless in 10 and by his own admission in yet another relegation battle, is not in danger.

Were he not the direct result of Dave Allen’s intervention, a direct appointment by the owner himself, he might have had to clear his desk already.

And there’s also this question to consider – will the continual sacking and appointing of new managers cure what ails this club?

It hasn’t thus far.

Everyone at the Proact, from the top down, should expect to answer questions, to get to the root cause of this alarming decline.

From League One play-off challengers to National League strugglers in three years is a staggering turn of events, scarcely believable.

So no question should be off the table, no decision maker off the hook.

The owner pointed the finger at managerial failure when he made his comeback to the Proact spotlight on the day he unveiled Martin Allen.

Can they all have been so bad, however?

Has the club, since the departure of Paul Mitchell, adequately addressed its recruitment woes?

Each manager likes to work in a different way, but the club’s scouting policy surely cannot be scrapped and reinvented every time the name plate on the gaffer’s office door changes.

Shouldn’t the club have its own identity and culture, one that a manager should fit into?

Once again, we’ve seen enough to at least be highly concerned about the make up of another Chesterfield squad.

Where is the pace? Where is the guile, the craft to unlock defences and create good goalscoring chances?

Where are the goals?

In comes giant targetman Tom Denton to win all the headers, but no one gets on the second ball.

Some players, incredibly, look unfit.

How is that even possible, for a professional footballer at a full-time club?

If they’re carrying knocks, fair enough, but if not, why are they not fit?

Just like last season, there’s a lack of natural width and the speed that both excites fans and terrifies opposition defences.

The defence is painfully slow.

And there’s confusion, situations that supporters and onlookers struggle to comprehend.

Players dropped, only to return a game or two later.

Partnerships chopped, changed and changed again.

Robbie Weir, transfer listed and deemed surplus to requirements, only to reappear in the starting line-up.

Joe Rowley, heading out on loan then staying put, so impressive according to his manager in a midweek friendly but not in the matchday squad come Saturday.

At least one other team have been praised by the boss for their young, hungry players, but the Spireites put faith in experienced, aging operators who are simply letting themselves, the manager and the club down.

It keeps Martin Allen awake at night, the fact that he doesn’t know his best team – and after 13 games it’s a living nightmare for supporters.

Ironically, if any other manager was in the hot seat, we’d be calling for Martin Allen, the man who knows how to get results, the man with the impressive win percentage.

Sacking him is an admission that the owner got it wrong.

Backing him says the problem really lies elsewhere.

Is it not now time for a root and branch review of the club’s leadership structure?

Why not call upon the Andy Holts of this world, who run clubs like Accrington so well, and ask what they’re doing so right, in order to stop getting it so wrong.

Alternatively, why not sell up?