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  Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
McAllister right for Coventry?
Gary McAllister has no managerial experience
Liverpool midfielder Gary McAllister is to replace Roland Nilsson as manager of the Sky Blues.

Is he the right man to revive Coventry's fortunes?


  Read the latest on McAllister here

Despite sacking player-manager Roland Nilsson last week, Coventry are again giving the top job to a Sky Blues old boy with no managerial experience.

Having played for Coventry for four years, McAllister will be a popular choice with the fans, but has admitted he will need an experienced right-hand man.

Motherwell's boss Eric Black could be in the frame to assist, as might Leeds' highly regarded number two Eddie Gray.

Can McAllister bring the glory days back to Highfield Road?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your e-mails below.

I have great faith in the big man and believe his professionalism and his natural enthusiasm for the game may just be the spark to reignite some of the under-acheivers at Coventry. Good luck!!
Steven Lam, Scotland

The only bad thing about Gary Mac signing for Liverpool was the fact that he was 36 years old, everything else has been perfect. A true committed professional who deserves the best of luck at Coventry.
Mike Patterson, Liverpool

He has been brilliant for Liverpool over the past couple of seasons
Anthony, UK

I think McAllister can do as good a job as anyone else. Nilsson wasn't given long enough to make a real impression, whereas for some absurd reason Strachan (also an ex-player with no managerial experience) was allowed four or five years to do nothing but get us relegated.

If Gary can get a solid right-hand man, there's nothing to say his passion for the club cannot take us back where we belong. It'll be good to regain his experience as a player as well. Good luck to him.
Gavin, UK

I wish Gary Mac all the best. He has been brilliant for Liverpool over the past couple of seasons. Before that he has graced many sides from Leicester through to Leeds and Coventry. Whoever he has represented he has served well and played the game in the right spirit. I'm also sure he has the right knowledge of the game to do well.

Saying all that, I worry that this might be a big job too soon. There are too many examples of former players taking on a manager's job at a league side and failing. Coventry have their own example just recently with the now departed Nilsson.

You wonder sometimes when these clubs will learn their lessons. Boro should be an example to everyone. Under Robson they flattered to deceive for a long time before they really started to fall down the league table.

Although Gary may not be the ideal choice, it is an understandable one
Andrew Heath, UK

It's only now that they've appointed someone who has spent his time developing coaching skills etc that they are starting to do quite well for themselves.
Anthony, UK

Coventry have been left with little real choice. Financial restraints have meant we cannot afford to pay compensation to clubs for managers such as Ronnie Moore or the wages required by Joe Royle or any other manager with top flight experience.

In addition, the choice of Gary Mac immediately improves our playing staff and adds a player who may have the ability to bring the best out of Lee Hughes. Although Gary may not be the ideal choice, it is an understandable one.

With the (long term) support of the fans and the board, and a return to the stability the club enjoyed during the years previous to 2001 we may enjoy the sort of football Coventry were playing during the early years of Strachan's management.
Andrew Heath, UK

Could be a very good move, McAllister obviously has a very good footballing brain, will be able to lead by example on the pitch and should be able to gain the respect and commitment from both the players and the fans.

The financial situation at Coventry is very worrying, however, the board have already hinted that key players will have to be sold to appease the bank...aka Safri, Hedman and Lee Hughes.

Gary's the man!
Steve C, UK

Without the quality players can anyone make a success of the job! Hope he isn't the next scapegoat for a poor state of affairs. Wish him all the best and can't help feeling he's going to need it.
David Johnson, UK

The same questions will arise: will he get the funding and more importantly, will he get the time? As a Liverpool fan I would like to say cheers Macca, that 30-yarder at Goodison was one of the best goals I've ever seen!! Good luck.
Scott, UK

Gary's the man! No managerial experience, true, but definitely all the right qualities. It may take time (or not, with luck) but watch the Sky Blues go - back to the Premiership at least!
Steve C, UK

Bring on the youngsters, buy back Dublin, have an inspired playing season yourself, get the best out of Lee Hughes, clear out the old duffers, and you might just do it. Good luck Gary!
Paul D, England

Thank you for your service to Liverpool and for that wonderful goal against Everton which turned the season. Good Luck at'll need it.
Martin, Ireland

I don't know how Gary Mac will do as a manager but I want to thank him for everything he did last season at Anfield to help us win our five cups. Ta Gary, you'll always be welcome back at Liverpool.
Laura, Liverpool

The Coventry job may be just too large a task
Adam, UK

Having proved himself as a player, this is undobutedly Gary McAllister's biggest task yet. The resources are hardly the best around, considering the glamour that was available to him during his time at Anfield in his days as a player.

However, I feel Coventry have made a mistake in appointing McAllister. Someone with more experience, ie Craig Brown, would be far more appropriate but I'm sure he'll relish the challenge - no matter who he's in charge of.
George Wheaton, England

Although he has had an average footballer's worth of experience in the past two years at Liverpool, the Coventry job may be just too large a task. With limited funds and a team that may not set the First Division alight as it is at the moment, Coventry needed not just someone with plenty of playing experience, but someone with plenty of managerial experience as well. All that said, good luck Gary!
Adam, UK

Gary McAllister showed during his stay at Liverpool that he has a good footballing brain and has matured during the twilight of his playing career. He was also visibly a character who 'fathered' and inspired the younger players around him, in a world-class team.

It's true that he lacks managerial experience, but as a player-manager he will make an excellent leader...from the front, where it really counts. This ability to steer his team more directly will hopefully make up for the lack of managerial background.

I've been a season ticket holder for as long as I can remember, but sorry - not any more
Paul, Coventry

As a Liverpool fan, I'd also like to say a big 'thanks' to Gary for his unstinting efforts while he played for LFC. He's a credit to his profession, his country... and his advancing years!!
Guy Harris, Norway

Will Coventry FC ever learn? How many more inexperienced managers will they employ? I know we are struggling with debt, but come on guys - Macca, the four years he was here he only gave us one season of decent football. I've been a season ticket holder for as long as I can remember, but sorry - not any more. We'll be in the Nationwide for a long time to come.
Paul, England, Coventry

I think it's ridiculous that someone with no managerial qualifications and experience can be given a job like Coventry. Surely clubs must learn the lesson of Everton, with Walter Smith leaving and them bringing in David Moyes, who has turned them around for the last ten games of the season.

He had experience with Preston North End, a lower league club, and he has the experience for a bigger club like Everton. Also, Brian Kidd at Blackburn had no experience and did nothing there, and went back to being a number two for David O'Leary with his tail between his legs.

Gary McAllister does not deserve it, and he will not do anything at Coventry!!
Anton Hoenderkamp, England

We have to give him time to sort things out with the squad
Chris, London

I think McAllister will do a good job as he has an excellent footballing brain, providing he surrounds himself with experienced people.

Although, with the financial problems that Coventry have, I am not sure how easy it would have been for any manager coming in, let alone a brand new one. We have to give him time to sort things out with the squad as we have too many players who don't really want to be there.
Chris, London, England

After the disappointments of the last two seasons where, despite decent players (like Hadji, Breen, Hedman and Bellamy) in the squad, we have failed to win games, McAllister has a real task on his hands.

We're broke as well and there is a definite chance our best players will leave this summer. It's a risk to take on an untried manager as we just found out, but Macca has the right motivational skill and that's what's been lacking. Not sure about glory days, but Premiership would be good, it's what the fans deserve.
Owen Morgan, UK

Gary McAllister has been a great player and may make a great manager, but why are Coventry putting someone with no experience in charge and then looking for an experienced coach/manager to be his assistant. Shouldn't it be the other way around, letting Gary learn his trade?
Andrew, UK

I only hope and pray that the number two brought in is somebody such as Eddie Gray
Mark Cassidy, England

Gary McAllister - nice bloke, good player, born captain...but a manager for my beloved struggling Coventry City, who are in debt and having to release our best players because we can no longer afford their Premiership wage contracts, I don't think so.

We need a disciplinarian, and for once, someone who is not the players' friend if we are to restore the Sky Blues back to the Premiership, which will be a hard task. Even Peter Taylor, who HAD prior managerial experience and more so Dave Bassett, could not rejuvenate a flagging club such as Leicester.

I only hope and pray that the number two brought in is somebody such as Eddie Gray, who has a sound background is junior management with Leeds Utd youth set up, and who has the ability to bring young players on through the ranks.

We have seen the likes of Charlton, Middlesbrough and Fulham all leapfrog us and grow in strength in the past five years. Meanwhile, we have stagnated and the club has become increasingly affected by off-the-field matters and personality clashes in the boardroom. Gary McAllister....I hope that you and your chosen number two will be the breath of fresh air that we need so badly!
Mark Cassidy, England

As a life-long born and bred Coventry fan, I can only wish him well. Good choice until proven otherwise I think, after all, he is an intelligent footballer. Let us hope he can improve things at the club, as it has been fairly hopeless of late.
Robin, UK

The last two managers have had no previous experience, one got us relegated and the other was sacked
Anthony, UK

This is a good move - the Mac needs to get his teeth into management and his respect gained as a player will help enormously. He's intelligent and resilient; both vital qualities for management in today's game.
Tom Quinn, London, UK

I did not fully agree with the sacking of Nilsson but nothing can be done about that. However, I would have expected the board to appoint someone with a bit more experience than none.

The last two managers at Coventry have had no previous experience, one got us relegated and the other was sacked for not getting us promoted, so why appoint another? Will McAllister do the job? Only time will tell, but I hope so.
Anthony, Kenilworth, UK

I think it's a good decision depending on who his number two is, Ray Graydon or Craig Brown would be good choices. The team have to take a lot of blame for Roland's sacking.
Jon, England

I believe he could bring back the spirit in the club that seems to have dried up this season.
Aaron, UK

Coventry should have got someone with experience
Paul Rose, UK

What a mess. Surely after Nilsson, Strachan, Butcher, the powers that be at Coventry realise that we need someone experienced at the helm? I adore Gary Mac as a player, and as a person. But he's unproven as a manager, and coming to a team with massive debt and very few good players left (most of whom will leave this summer).

He'll struggle, and then be made the scapegoat. I hope I'm wrong, we Coventry fans are naturally pessimistic. But I'm not convinced we're any better off now then we were two weeks ago...
Susie Witterick, UK

It is a good move for Coventry, and let's hope we'll be playing Premier League football soon.
Wayne Kavanagh, Coventry

Haven't they learned their lesson?? Managers invariably need coaching experience before taking the plunge at a big(ish) club. McAllister will DEFINITELY fail in delivering promotion next season. Coventry should have got someone with experience, even if they were young.
Paul Rose, UK

I wish Gary luck, and thank him for his short stay at Anfield. I hope he cherishes his now heavy medal collection!
Nick, England

See also:

24 Apr 02 |  Coventry City
Coventry turn to McAllister
24 Apr 02 |  Coventry City
McAllister faces toughest test
17 Apr 02 |  Coventry City
Grey skies for Sky Blues
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