MK Dons – No Way Back

For those of you who follow my articles here on All Out Football, you will know that the topic for most of them has been the fate of MK Dons.

It has been a turbulent season for the Dons, and one of ups and downs, but mainly downs. Just when the side went on a good run and some fans had hope of survival, the Dons lose four games back-to-back.

The most recent in that run of defeats came on Saturday (21st April) at Southend, as Dan Micciche and his players fell to a 4-0 defeat.

The result saw the announcement less than 24 hours later that manager Dan Micciche had parted company with the club by ‘mutual consent’, after just 15 games in charge.

Whilst this decision can be justified on the basis that he had evidently failed to deliver on his only objective, it would be simply unjust to place all of the blame at the feet of Micciche.

Let’s rewind to January 2018. MK Dons have just lost to Northampton Town at Sixfields and the end of the game soon sees the announcement that manager Robbie Neilson has left the club.

So, with the club in a relegation battle, in desperate need of some motivation, some management, who did the club turn to?

Did they turn to a man who knows how to survive in relegation battles? No, they didn’t, they turned to Dan Micciche, a man whose experience extends as far as managing the England U16’s and coaching Dele Alli when he was 10.

Many fans often used the argument that he”cares about the club”. Whilst I do not deny this, you cannot justify a managerial appointment like that on the basis that someone loves a club. If that were so, then every fan of every football team should be on the odds for a vacancy at their club.

Ultimately, Micciche was not the right man for the job, and that boils down to two men; Pete Winkelman and Andy Cullen.

By making an unsuitable appointment, they pretty much signed on the dotted line for an 18/19 season full of financial losses, even more empty seats than usual, and a visit to Forest Green.

As a result, they also damaged, perhaps fatally, the career of a promising young manager. They did this by giving him just days in the January transfer window.

In fact, the club has been subject to years of mismanagement, from the end of the 14/15 season onwards.

Pete Winkelman dresses up his ‘vision’ for the future at every given opportunity. He wants the Premier League; he wants a full stadium week in week out; he wants trophies; he wants success.

However, he simply cannot fulfill his own ambition. The harsh reality is that MK Dons will be playing one tier above the National League next season, which I doubt is what Winkelman had in mind.

The reality is that MK Dons are never going to be as big as Winkelman wants them to be without investment.

Am I suggesting Winkelman sells up? No, I’m not, because that could open the gates to a catastrophic owner taking the helm. All you have to do is look at a handful of teams around the country to see what poor ownership can do.

So, what am I suggesting? I’m suggesting Winkelman starts trying to get investors. I’m also suggesting he appoints an experienced manager for League Two. I’m also suggesting he gets the training ground, which he has been banging on about for years, sorted out.

I really did not expect MK Dons to be in this position at the start of the campaign. No one did and, frankly, it’s gutting for MK Dons fans.

The club simply needs wholesale change from top to bottom. Get some money in at the top, get a good manager and backroom staff in, and get rid of those uninterested players.

Can MK Dons be competitive in League Two? Of course they can, but it will mean Winkelman getting things right on his end of the bargain, something he has failed to do on too many occasions in recent years.

Winkelman will address the media on Monday, and what the MK Dons fans need is honesty. Honesty about what has happened to their club in the last three years. Three years that have seen three different managers, two relegations, and an absolutely shambolic group of players.

What’s next for MK Dons? Time will tell.

What do you think, MK Dons fans? What needs to be done? Leave your thoughts below.