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25% => The Boardroom => Topic started by: DRFC on Saturday, May 15, 2021, 18:47:45



Title: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: DRFC on Saturday, May 15, 2021, 18:47:45
Hello!

Doncaster Rovers fan here. As you may have seen, it appears that Richie Wellens will announced as our new manager on Monday. He made a fair few appearances as a player for us, however as a relatively inexperienced manager I am not entirely sure what to expect from him in terms of style of play, tactical setups, how he operates in the transfer market etc.

One concern that has been raised by Rovers fans is his character. As a player he was somewhat fiery and on a few occasions rubbed people up the wrong way. Is this still the case with Wellens as a manager or has he mellowed with experience?

Also, could you shed any light on his departure from Swindon? From the outside it does look like he pissed off at the first sniff of a pay rise which is a bit worrying considering our recent record with managers, however there's often more to it in these circumstances!

Good luck for the new season and your own managerial search. I am relatively local to Swindon so I always like to see Swindon and Rovers in the same division so fingers crossed for a speedy return to L1!




Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Crispy on Saturday, May 15, 2021, 19:02:30
Hello!

Doncaster Rovers fan here. As you may have seen, it appears that Richie Wellens will announced as our new manager on Monday. He made a fair few appearances as a player for us, however as a relatively inexperienced manager I am not entirely sure what to expect from him in terms of style of play, tactical setups, how he operates in the transfer market etc.

One concern that has been raised by Rovers fans is his character. As a player he was somewhat fiery and on a few occasions rubbed people up the wrong way. Is this still the case with Wellens as a manager or has he mellowed with experience?

Also, could you shed any light on his departure from Swindon? From the outside it does look like he pissed off at the first sniff of a pay rise which is a bit worrying considering our recent record with managers, however there's often more to it in these circumstances!

Good luck for the new season and your own managerial search. I am relatively local to Swindon so I always like to see Swindon and Rovers in the same division so fingers crossed for a speedy return to L1!




That isn't the case, turned down several moves before leaving for Salford, but the lack of backing from Power was the reported final straw.



Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Pookemon on Saturday, May 15, 2021, 19:03:08
Plusses
- plays to a plan and is tactically aware
- seemed to get the best out of players including ones that had been deemed difficult to manage at other clubs
- entertaining team that scored alot of goals

Minuses
- Recruitment was patchy
- lots of injuries
- fucked off for more money, having said that we are a club in turmoil so can't really blame him.   RW said chairman needed the compensation and there's probably some truth in that.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: DiV on Saturday, May 15, 2021, 19:03:50
I might be in the minority with my opinion on Wellens.

Truthfully itís hard to gauge.

He got relegated with Oldham who had mad problems behind the scenes.
He rocked up here and did a good job rebuilding in the summer. Nearly all of his* signings were success stories. He gambled on some players with questionable history with injuries but they all came through with flying colours

Got us promoted and we had to rebuild again. On a reduced budget (as did most due to the pandemic I expect) and all his* signing were gash, complete and utter gash. He built this team that got relegated. Despite the fact he left a long time ago his finger prints are on this team.

However,

We are a shit show behind the scenes. I have no doubt Power (our owner) wanted the compo package for Wellens. Even if Wellens had wanted to stay - I think heíd have been forced out.

He definitely had his hands partial tied this season. I donít think we had one of the worst budgets going though.

Heís never moved down here so I can see the appeal of working a lot closer to his home in Manchester.


If look at his spell at Oldham, here and Salford - winning L2 with us seems to be the exception rather than the rule.


*we have Paul Jewell as DOF so still have no clue who made which signings. Were  they Jewell, were they Wellens?

That probably didnít answer your questions about what to expect.
He might be really good or really rubbish.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Nemo on Saturday, May 15, 2021, 19:07:14
More good than bad, he's excellent at analysing the game so post match interviews are quite a lot more than the usual platitudes. Not a big one for involving the kids though, not sure if your youth academy is a big part of your set up or not but he didn't much fancy ours.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Red Frog on Saturday, May 15, 2021, 22:43:25
Also worth adding heís interested in the club rather than just the team and will promote community engagement. Heís a good modern coach who reads the game well and had us playing our best football in a decade. This yearís debacle is down to the chairman not having the means to keep last yearís team together.  I had a great deal of respect for him and hope he fulfils his potential with you.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Jimmy Quimm on Saturday, May 15, 2021, 22:48:04
As above he done us proud before it rapidly went downhill which was down to the chairman more than Wellens and If you're lucky you will also get Tommy Wright as part of his coaching staff😀


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Flashheart on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 03:09:48
turned down several moves before leaving for Salford,


Or so we are told.

And what moves anyway? If I turned down the opportunity to shag Ann Widdecombe, would it necessarily mean I said no due to loyalty to my wife, or maybe that I just didn't want to shag Ann Widdecombe?

DRFC: If he can recreate what he achieved with us last season then you have one hell of a manager on your hands, but there's question marks over whether or not he can do that. Time will tell.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Peter Venkman on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 11:04:26
The football at times is as good as we have seen in nearly 30 years.

Expect him to sign some duff players he managed a fair few for us, we aren't sure if it was all Wellens doing or partly/wholely Paul Jewell/Ben Chorley but for me he signed some stinkers and some crackers.

The shit.....Tyler Reid, Adam May, Cameron McGilp, Sidy Sanokho, Sam Smith, Admiral Muskwe, Jordan Stevens, Matej Kovar, Joe Fryer.....giving Tayler Curran(ahem) a 3 year deal

The poor....Gabriel Zakuani, Hallam Hope, Matt Palmer, Matthieu Baudry, Jonathan Grounds, Brett Pitman

The good....Rob Hunt, Eoin Doyle, Jerry Yates, Anthony Grant, Paul Caddis, Steven Benda, Diallang Jaiyesemi, Matt Smith, Akin Odimayo, Jack Payne

He signed some good players with injury records which were great when fit which wasn't often, Zeki Fryers, Lloyd Isgrove, Jordan Lyden

He has a plan B but that often isn't good enough and we still get easily beaten by teams we should be beatibg, he is obviously a motivator as we got a rag tag blend of players which be blended into a decent unit getting solid results consistantly.

The bad....he fell out with a few players in his time, Broadbent and Doughty come to mind most.

His substitutions were sometimes too late to affect the game, but he got a few right too in his time.

He is very economical with the truth in pre match interviews, saying one thing and doing the opposite, saying players are not fit and then they are in the team, this is probably mind games to put off the oppo but TBH it never did it just came accross as lying.

Rarely did he himself take the blame for defeat.

He post match interviews used to send me to sleep he has one of the most boring monotone voices and hardly ever gives a straight answer to questions.

It took him several months to get us playing in a style he wanted so don't expect miracles straight off the bat unless he has a good squad of players there who know his passing style.

He will sign goalkeepers who are good with their feet often at the expense of actual ability as a goalkeeper, the same can be said about him signing defenders, he will sign central defenders who can pass a ball long or play out of defence, and teams will learn that and press the defence into mistakes, which our players made, often, rather than hoofing it clear he prefers to play out of defence which is scarey at times and often used to cost us goals.

But when it works its great to watch, a high pressing game with lots of passing and inverted wingers cutting inside which is exciting creating a lot of chances for the striker, given time to get the players in he will be a success for you I am sure.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: hefty toe on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 11:19:42
I would say that Wellens is a good coach. Established a clear style of play - passing football and pressing. Had he stayed I think Swindon would have avoided relegation. He did a good job at Oldham despite their relegation as they had significant off the field trouble. Don't know why Salford sacked him but think he might have had a falling out with G.Neville. Wellens has quite an intense personality like G.Neville.

The area in which he might be less good is the transfer market. A lot of his good signings were players that he had worked with previously (most notably Doyle). He has signed a lot of injury prone players which in fairness is partly due to budget constraints.

If I were a Doncaster fan I'd be pleased with his appointment. He'd continue Doncaster's recent tradition of playing good football.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Posh Red on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 11:27:45
Clearly a better coach than Sheridan, and if it was a choice between Evans or him then Iíd prefer him.

We were not very good with him at the start of the past season, although I still believe we would have stayed out of the bottom four.

But for me, I donít think Iíd trust him again


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Jimmy Quimm on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 11:31:39
We went to put of the league briefly and had two really good home wins


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: TheDukeOfBanbury on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 11:42:15
Excellent Manager - End of thread.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Quagmire on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 12:36:01
Excellent Manager - End of thread.

Is he though?

Last season was superb, no doubt about it, and the football was great. But he still has to take a lot of responsibility for this car crash of a season.
His recruitment this season was fucking awful, absolutely awful.
He also has a tendency to fall out with players - Vigouroux, Broadbent, Anderson and Doughty to name a few.

I loved him when he was here, but can we really call someone an excellent manager based on a season that was only 3/4ís complete?


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Panda Paws on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 12:51:15
Have I missed the public fallout with Doughty? Was it anything more than a rumour that everyone involved said was nonsense?

I think he's a top manager and carries next to zero blame for this season. He had his hands completely tied. Donny are lucky to have him, and he's happy to have them.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Jimmy Quimm on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 12:54:38
Just the usual speculation like Williams and Cooper all without fact to present to a forum or other media outlets


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: DiV on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 12:56:20
Did we have second worst budget in L1 last season?
Yes or no?


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Panda Paws on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 13:13:36
Did we have second worst budget in L1 last season?
Yes or no?

No one knows for sure but we'd have been bottom 4 for sure. The cost cutting this season was brutal, not just on the player side but operationally too. No overnight stays etc. The playing budget was minimal and the players we did get were set up to fail.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: DiV on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 13:29:12
No one knows for sure but we'd have been bottom 4 for sure. The cost cutting this season was brutal, not just on the player side but operationally too. No overnight stays etc. The playing budget was minimal and the players we did get were set up to fail.


No doubt everyone has had to cut their cloth accordingly with the pandemic.
No doubt weíve had it worse due to Power and a fuck ton of off field issues.

Was our budget bottom 4? donít know.
Could Wellens have used the money better? Probably.


I think Wellens future career will go on to show which was the Ďrealí Wellens.
L2 Champions Elect or Worst team of all time.

His still deserves his fair share of blame for this season & of that my opinion wonít ever change.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Jimmy Quimm on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 13:32:34
Wellens may argue that was the best he could get in with the funds handed to him but I he'd stayed I still think we would have stayed up


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: pauld on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 14:37:15
If I turned down the opportunity to shag Ann Widdecombe, would it necessarily mean I said no due to loyalty to my wife, or maybe that I just didn't want to shag Ann Widdecombe?
You'd be punching well above your weight there and you know it.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: hefty toe on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 14:40:04
I think some Swindon fans have forgotten how poor we were under Phil Brown. Wellens improved things very quickly.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Flashheart on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 14:53:21
You'd be punching well above your weight there and you know it.

Fair point.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: 4D on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 15:18:06
I think some Swindon fans have forgotten how poor we were under Phil Brown. Wellens improved things very quickly.

Not that quickly,  we lost 4-0 at home to Carlisle  ;)


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Quagmire on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 16:25:02
Not that quickly,  we lost 4-0 at home to Carlisle  ;)

John Sheridanís Carlisle.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 16:45:08
John Sheridanís Carlisle.

Thatís not fair. At that point weíd have been beaten by Supermarine.

Letís be honest, love him or loathe him, want him back or want him to manage Oxford, heís been arguably the most successful manager since De Canio who spunked money up the wall like a Labour Chancellor (couldn't resist) or a pissed up Arab Prince at a London casino. If Wellens had legitimately had the funds De Canio had weíd probably be on our way to the PL by now. But he didnít and weíre not. When the financial shit storm is resolved to EVERYONES satisfaction letís see who is available to take our club back up the league pyramid. Wellens may or may not be available, if heís not weíll have to see who is and who wants the job. FWIW LL is not over enamoured with the prospect of Robbie or Arthur Fowler being the next manager at Swindon Town.

Lastly in footballing terms, weíre bottom feeders who once in a while have a little bit of success from a manager who invariably is going to piss off at the first sign of interest from higher up the pyramid, as are any players who show some promise and if we have an owner like the current one theyíre fucking going whether they want to or not. Letís not delude ourselves. Our last glory days died when McMahon spent shit loads of money and failed to emulate Ardiles and Hoddleís success.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: theakston2k on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 17:31:50
Impossible to know one way or another. Our league win seems to be an outlier in comparison to his other seasons. Played some decent football but even when we won the league we were very suspect defensively.

Iím still not convinced that there wasnít more luck than judgement involved in the league win, up until after the Bradford and Crewe defeats we were struggling and stumbling on the Fryers & Baudry partnership seemed to transform us. Also the goal scoring return we got from Doyle was an absolute one off and a massive part of our success.
In addition the original plan was for Adam May to be a starter and again we managed to bring in Grant late in the day once it was realised May was a massive mistake. Seems to be a case of how good at rectifying his early mistakes dictates success and obviously didnít fancy it this season so bottled it.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: That Nestor Lorenzo Heade on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 20:07:23
Simple - he got us promoted as champions in his first full season. 


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Quagmire on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 20:14:32
Simple - he got us promoted as champions in his first full season. 

Except it wasnít a full season?


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 20:15:11
Except it wasnít a full season?

FFS, He got us promoted as Champions.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: JBZ on Sunday, May 16, 2021, 20:21:22
And, for part of the season, presided over the team that subsequently tumbled back into div 4.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: NotHarryAgombar on Monday, May 17, 2021, 09:01:26
For me Wellens was like a breath of fresh air - he arrived after a season and a half of sterile hoof ball under David Flitcroft, followed by about a year (over two seasons) of Phil Brown - who by te end had completely run out of ideas - there was no discernible style of play, and the team selection was increasingly random - almost as if the shirt numbers were pulled out of a hat.
We also had an unbalanced squad, with the two best players from the previous season (Matt Taylor and Marc Richards) having a combined age of over 70). I would discount the day one loss 0-4 home to Carlisle as he had had about 3 days in the job.
It quickly became obvious what RW was trying to do, there was a style and pattern of play (hindered a bit by the fact that inherited player fitness levels werenít high enough as they hadnít heard up for a highpressing game.)
The first ďfullĒ season - ultimately curtailed by COVID - was very good . We had a winning team, exciting style of play, and Wellens recognised the importance of engaging the fans and worked on that.

This season, the policy of having player with poor fitness histories - on the basis you might get 25-30 games out of each - failed because of the relentless Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday treadmill without the usual gaps.

Obviously we are disappointed by how he left - but none of us really knows the full facts around that - clearly COVID issues constrained the budget - living alone 200 miles from your family in a pandemic must be tough mentally.
We also donít really know who was responsible for which transfer signings.

I think if given time he will do a good job at Doncaster.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: singingiiiffy on Monday, May 17, 2021, 09:03:19
time to let go chaps


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: JBZ on Monday, May 17, 2021, 10:03:34
time to let go chaps

Yes


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Berniman on Monday, May 17, 2021, 10:39:31
Stating that a manager did well for us when asked for opinions is not letting it go?

There are still people on here bleating about wanting Di Canio back FFS.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Benzel on Monday, May 17, 2021, 10:44:08
He was great, how he valued the club/community bond was just what had been missing from the club for years.
He'll only get better imo, he's by no means perfect but then he's only got 2.5 seasons of experience so of course he isn't.

Sent from my CLT-L09


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Robinz on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:02:51
Wellens seems to have a special ability to make a silk purse out of a pigs ear.

Yes, he had Doyle, Yates Isgrove and especially A Grant, BFG and Wooley

[email protected] hell with those key members missing this season is it no wonder why we went down like a whores drawers :::::(

Power you need to go now  :badmood:   


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Flashheart on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:05:58


Yes, he had Doyle, Yates Isgrove and especially A Grant, BFG and Wooley



There were 22 other teams in this league that also did not have those players. 21 of them finished above us.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Robinz on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:12:53
FH

These teams also didn't have Curren or a loser of a manager for 60% of the season.



Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Robinz on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:14:52
Also,

Take away the players I mentioned STFC would not have been promoted from the 4th division either


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Flashheart on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:31:22
FH

These teams also didn't have Curren or a loser of a manager for 60% of the season.




I know that. That's MY point. (Along with the fucked up recruitment at the start of the season)

Pointing out the players we lost is no excuse for any manager. While you can expect some disruption, an unsettled Swindon squad should still at least be able to finish mid-table-ish in L1.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Berniman on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:34:00


I know that. That's MY point. (Along with the fucked up recruitment at the start of the season)

Pointing out the players we lost is no excuse for any manager. While you can expect some disruption, an unsettled Swindon squad should still at least be able to finish mid-table-ish in L1.

TBF - our sqaud this year, though nowhere near as good as last year, was good enough to stay above the bottom 4 this season - our management team wasn't


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Tails on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:35:51
First thing would be never take him at his word. If he says a player is out, don't be surprised to see him starting! He plays fast and loose with the truth a lot.

But otherwise not many complaints from me. Football was mostly very good and attacking, recruitment was also mostly good (although he did sign a lot of injury prone players). He did a lot for the community as well and he really helped build some bridges with the supporters and the club in the way he'd go out and be active with the squad. This really shouldn't be taken for granted as the animosity between the fans and the ckub itself has been very high for the past few years.

I was a Wellens fan. Disappointed with the way he left but I suppose it makes more sense now we know what we know. He turned down Blackpool to stay here so can't fully question his loyalty. I was expecting him to join Donny the minute he left Salford so not at all surprised. Not sure how he'll do in League One but it seems a good fit.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:39:53
Confirmed with Noel Hunt as Assistant


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Robinz on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:42:39
From here and watching only on ifollow

The Defence looked really poor
Midfield looked totally lightweight
Second rate forwards
And a string of goalkeepers that were simply not good enough.  

Remember we were moving up a league that is supposed to be better quality than the 4th

We simply didnt stand a chance

 
 


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Flashheart on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:44:06
TBF - our sqaud this year, though nowhere near as good as last year, was good enough to stay above the bottom 4 this season - our management team wasn't

I know.

That's what I said:
Quote
Pointing out the players we lost is no excuse for any manager.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Flashheart on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:45:50
He turned down Blackpool to stay here

How do we know that? And if he was offered the job, what were the conditions?


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Shrivvy Road on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:50:18
How do we know that? And if he was offered the job, what were the conditions?
I do remember Power and also Wellens saying about Blackpool


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Tails on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:53:30
How do we know that? And if he was offered the job, what were the conditions?

It's pretty common knowledge.

I'm not privvy to the specifics though.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:55:01
Look forward, guys. Not back.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Bob's Orange on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:58:05
Good luck to him at Donny. I think this is probably a bit of a make or break job after poor shows at Oldham and Salford. If he has managed to bottle the formula for STFC in league 2 then he'll do well.

At least we can put the rumours about him coming back to bed now and hopefully look forward to a positive new chapter or 2 in our book.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Tails on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:58:21
Look forward, guys. Not back.

Am I being wooshed here? I thought the OP asked for an opinion on Wellens?!


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Monday, May 17, 2021, 11:59:21
Heís joined them now. Let him form his own opinion now. Itís been done to death on here.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Bob's Orange on Monday, May 17, 2021, 12:00:14
I do remember Power and also Wellens saying about Blackpool

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51661118

That said the Blackpool approach could have been after Wellens had agreed his new contract but either way there was interest in him from Blackpool.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Shrivvy Road on Monday, May 17, 2021, 12:51:15
Heís joined them now. Let him form his own opinion now. Itís been done to death on here.
To be fair it's being done to death in a thread about him


Title: Re: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Benzel on Monday, May 17, 2021, 13:35:11
Heís joined them now. Let him form his own opinion now. Itís been done to death on here.
I dunno if you're aware but the season had finished, so it's gonna be a while before they can do that.

Sent from my CLT-L09


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: flammableBen on Monday, May 17, 2021, 22:27:14
80% bollocks 76% wellens


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: 4D on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 12:21:29
Richie who?


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Nomoreheroes on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 06:31:34
I hope he does well for Doncaster - Noone has mentioned the fact that he's taken Noel Hunt with him. I wonder whether Hunt is a bigger part of the puzzle than we have given him credit for?


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: ibelieveinmrreeves on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 16:20:27
Assistants often are, I think. Unsung heroes when it's going well.


Title: Re: What should we expect from Wellens?
Post by: Jimmy Quimm on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 16:37:20
I hope he does well for Doncaster - Noone has mentioned the fact that he's taken Noel Hunt with him. I wonder whether Hunt is a bigger part of the puzzle than we have given him credit for?

It's strange that he didn't go to Salford as he wanted to stay with his family in Reading