CHRIS DUNLAVY

Mill­wall will be worse off af­ter Kenny Jack­ett’s de­par­ture

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

WAS any­body sur­prised to see Kenny Jack­ett leave Mill­wall? The man has been turn­ing dross into gold for six years now but even he could see the writ­ing on the wall.

The good times – the brief surge into the top six, the re­mark­able run to the FA Cup semi-fi­nals – were but an adren­a­line rush; swift, ex­hil­a­rat­ing but far re­moved from the hum­drum re­al­ity of life at the Den.

Since the sale of Dar­ius Hen­der­son and loss of pro­lific loa­nee Chris Wood to Le­ices­ter, Mill­wall have ut­terly lacked in­spi­ra­tion, threat or goals.

Had the sea­son lasted just a fort­night longer, the Lions would have been rel­e­gated from the Cham­pi­onship.

And the in­escapable fact for Jack­ett is that it doesn’t look like chang­ing. Run sen­si­bly but tightly, the club can­not af­ford to com­pete for top or even mid-level Cham­pi­onship play­ers.

They rely on un­earthing gems like Steve Mori­son, signed from Steve­nage for £130,000 and sold to Nor­wich for £2.3m, to sur­vive.

But even a ma­gi­cian only has so many rab­bits. And with in­creased won­ders, but the club feels stag­nant. Gates are down. A mate of mine liv­ing in Penge is a reg­u­lar at mid­week games.“I al­ways have a crack­ing night,” he told me last week.“Good chat, good food, a few pints. The football’s the only thing that lets it down.”

Mill­wall can­not al­low that feel­ing to spread, and even if Jack­ett did keep them up again, it would be an ugly busi­ness.

The Lions need a new face and fresh en­thu­si­asm, what­ever di­vi­sion they are in. And Jack­ett deserves a crack at a club with the fi­nan­cial mus­cle to merit his con­sid­er­able tal­ents. para­chute pay­ments set to skew the play­ing field even fur­ther, Mill­wall are be­ing grad­u­ally squeezed out of the Cham­pi­onship.

Jack­ett does not want a rel­e­ga­tion on his CV, that is for sure. But as an hon­ourable and de­cent man, I’m sure he also re­alises Mil­wall need new ideas. He has worked

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