So we’ve brought you up to date with the incoming traffic and the next logical step is to look at those who have waved goodbye to us over the last few weeks. As things stand, the count stands at two from the playing staff, but there are also a couple of moves, from the back room staff that are worth a mention.
First up (or out) is David Lee. I think that this has officially been put down as a cost cutting measure, but stories of the diddy youth team coach starting legal action suggest that there may be more to it than that. Lee was removed from his post pretty soon after the season ended which pretty much scotches any rumours about his sacking being down to his decision to play for Bolton in the Masters tournament.
Next is less of a goodbye, more of an “enjoy your holiday”, as Bill Green leaves his old role (whatever that was) to take on the post of full time European scout. It’s nice to know that we’ve got someone looking further afield for players but we can only hope that the forgotten man of the Latics administration has a bit more of an impact in his new job.
Onto the players now and the most recent departure is that of Andreas Johansson. I did have a sneaky feeling that the Swede may have played more of a part under Chris Hutchings which shows what I know. Andreas pops back off to Scandinavia with AaB in Denmark. There’s been no mention of a fee but with a year to run on his contract you can bet Latics won’t have been asking the earth.
Hopefully the biggest departure of the summer will be Lee McCulloch who finally got the move to Rangers that he requested back in January. No matter what your thoughts on the situation are, you can’t hold him wanting to play for his boyhood team against him.
In any case, the time was right for a move. Lee may have been key to Paul Jewell’s tactics but his limitations were becoming more obvious as the club tried to progress. With the departure of the manager who made him the cornerstone of his side, the Scot’s time was always limited.
The signing of Antoine Sibierski made it obvious that McCulloch was expected to leave and, whilst the move may, to some extents, draw a line under the Jewell era at Latics, at least we have a replacement in place.
I’ve made no secret of not being his greatest fan, but a Latics side with McCulloch in it has usually been stronger than one without him. The role he has played in our progress should not be understated. If nothing else if leaves us with memories of some great, and important, goals. None less so than the one that arguably settled our top flight status in that game against Reading.
Lee goes with our best wishes (as do all of the above) and we hope that if enjoys his time at Ibrox as much as we’d enjoy a run out at the JJB. I’m sure he’ll say hello to Andy Webster for us whilst he’s at it.
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