However, one of the things which upset me most about last Saturday’s fiasco was that Brian Carey was left carrying the can. It wasn’t Carey’s team, but he had to come out and face the music afterwards, and had to address the question of where Dean Saunders was when, quite frankly, it wasn’t his question to answer.
What Saunders decides to do when an under strength Wales have a hastily-arranged friendly, and what the board decide he ought to do in those circumstances, is up to them. It’s not down to Carey.
Carey’s time as manager had to end when it did, and the decision to appoint him has been cast into further relief lately with the sacking of Darren Ferguson, the man passed over for the job. That’s all irrelevant right now though. The past is the past. What is relevant is that Carey, an outstanding servant of the club and a thoroughly genuine and decent man who feels Wrexham’s suffering very deeply, was thrust into a ridiculous situation last Saturday.
It made me think of a farcical state of affairs which, bizarrely, is commonplace in one of Europe’s top leagues. Incredibly, and uniquely in Italy as far as I’m aware, managers remain under contract to their clubs after they’re sacked, until they get a new job. Therefore, if their successor is sacked before they find a new employer, they are contractually obliged to stand in as caretaker at the club that dismissed them!
Carey was in the same daft position. The bottom line is that it wasn’t his side which played so utterly abysmally against Hayes and Yeading. Or should I say it wasn’t his team which made Hayes and Yeading, who were in the Conference South last season and had won just three out of seventeen games previous to last weekend, look like a team of world-beaters. But he was left to carry the can.
I’m not going to be a slavish apologist for Carey; I can’t pretend I agreed with every decision he made. Particularly, I couldn’t work out why, with one substitution already made, he opted to change his left back at half time when nothing was happening creatively, meaning either Adrian Cieslewicz or Marc Williams wouldn’t be coming on later to turn the game.
However, his hands were tied to an extent. The bench he was given featured a goalkeeper for only the fourth time this season, so it was an outfield option down. This was a particularly surprising decision bearing in mind that we were fielding a player who, a week earlier, was unfit with a hamstring injury. Silvio Spann lasted just over half an hour and his options were further reduced.
So yes, it was awful. Yes, Carey made calls I didn’t agree with. But at least he was there to make them.