The Football League Paper says...
Stevie G? Robbie is a better bet
THEY missed out on Steven Gerrard, but MK Dons may end up counting their blessings after appointing Robbie Neilson as their new boss.
Yes, there’s no doubt that Liverpool legend Gerrard would have helped put extra bums on seats at Stadium MK and garnered the club plenty of extra publicity.
But it would have been a risk putting someone without any managerial experience in charge of a team toiling in the lower reaches of League One.
What knowledge does the former England international have of third tier clubs and players when he has been more used to the highest levels of the game?
Some will say that Neilson doesn’t have League One experience either and that is true, but he has management experience with Hearts in Scotland over the last couple of years – and he’s been a success.
He’s won the Scottish Championship with Hearts, led them to third in the Premiership and left them in second place in the table. The critics will argue that Scottish football isn’t as competitive as football down south but it’s still a record not to be sniffed at.
Dons chairman Pete Winkelman’s claim that Neilson is ‘the most exciting young manager in the UK by a country mile’ might be a bit over the top, but you can understand his delight at bringing a manager from the top of Scottish football to the bottom of England’s third tier.
You can understand, too, why Neilson has decided to take the job. Former boss Karl Robinson had six years at the helm, an incredible length of time these days, so Neilson can be assured he will be given time to do the job.
In addition, it is a good time to take over. The Dons are under-performing and there is a chance, in time, for Neilson to add another promotion to his CV. His first home game in charge, against AFC Wimbledon next Saturday, now has even extra spice.