There’s a lot to be said for reputable sources, and yesterday I backed Football Insider as a reputable source. Today, that’s been trumped by the Athletic.
Of all the sources out there, I put more respect on one that does not require traffic to generate income. The Athletic is a subscription model, and therefore it isn’t prone to hyperbole or rumour. It tends to deal in fact and, if that’s the case, Mark Kennedy will be the next Lincoln City Head Coach.
I said yesterday I couldn’t see the Carrick rumours having legs, not really, but Kennedy I can see. It seems as though they’re backing the former Liverpool winger to head to Sincil Bank this summer, and that makes me think there could be legs in it. Those of you who watched my dog walk video earlier will know that I’m not vehemently against Kennedy coming in as manager; and if the reports are true, then it’s probably fair to sum up my video in less time.
I’ve looked at it like this; Michael Carrick and Mark Kennedy have been neck and neck for days now, with Stephen Bradley the man in the frame prior to that. Whatever your opinion of those men is, they must be much closer in terms of ability than you think. The board are not fools; Clive is not a fool. They’re not going to take two candidates who are miles apart and interview them, they wouldn’t waste their time. Therefore, there’s either something negative about Carrick fans are not seeing, or something more positive about Kennedy. Given that Michael Carrick has been Man Utd caretaker, but has zero experience of life in the third tier, I think his stock is higher with fans than it should be. As for Mark Kennedy, the fact he managed Macclesfield is a red herring that makes him look like a failed manager when he feels a lot like a coach constantly developing.
I did a little research and there are a few indicators that Mark Kennedy might have a reputation in football circles he does not yet have with the wider football supporting world. For instance, I saw Rob Edwards’ name mentioned as a possible Appleton replacement before he left Forest Green; who replaced Edwards as Wolves U23 boss? Mark Kennedy. I saw fans excited about us possibly getting Ian Foster in from the England U19 setup; Kennedy worked closely with England U21 manager Lee Carsley at Manchester City. Kennedy became a player-coach at Ipswich under Paul Jewell, then was intrinsic in the Ipswich Town youth setup under Mick McCarthy. During that time, players such as Myles Kenlock, Josh Emmanuel and Teddy Bishop came through, to name but three. However, it will be a 12-game spell at Macclesfield that Wikipedia expert would judge him on if the reports from the Athletic are accurate. By the way, during that 12-game spell, it was Forest Green Kennedy’s side beat (yay), and he got a tune out of a certain winger named Theo Archibald. Also, Kennedy would have kept them in the league against all odds if it weren’t for the points deduction they suffered.
A week ago, if you’d said ‘Mark Kennedy’ to me, I’d have said ‘what, the kid who was once at Liverpool?’. After a couple of hours on Google, I’m now seeing a respected coach, but he’s a bit like a winning scratchcard. You might not see much from the front, you have to put the effort in to understand that he has the potential to be a winner. Plus, he’s taken the time to coach at all levels of the game, seniors and youth, League Two and Premier League, which could indicate a well-rounded individual.
There’s still no official word, but I would no longer be too disappointed if, in a day, week or months, Mark Kennedy did emerge as Lincoln City Head Coach.