It was confirmed last night that Vinny Perth was dismissed from his position as Dundalk head coach.
The decision was made by the Dundalk owners, American investor group Peak 6. A decision that many fans have criticised as harsh.
This has all come off the back of Dundalk’s Champions League qualifier defeat to Slovenian champions NK Celje. They were beaten 3-0 in the one-off game in Hungry on Wednesday. A game that they played well enough in but let themselves down by sloppy mistakes at the back.
While the current Premier Division champions remain in the Europa League an extended run in the Champions League was the golden goose.
While the news isn’t the most surprising the timing certainly seems to be.
Dundalk haven’t played to their usual high standard this season. Especially since returning from the break forced by Covid-19. They haven’t won a league game since returning from the break. With their only win coming in their FAI Cup tie against Waterford.
They currently sit in 3rd place in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division. Eight points adrift from Shamrock Rovers who lead the pack. Rovers can stretch that lead as they face Dublin rivals Shelbourne this evening.
Their recent form and Champions League result just hasn’t been good enough.
Saying that with the shortened season and everyone under pressure many believed Perth would remain as Dundalk head coach until the end of the season.
Especially considering Vinny Perth has been with the club for seven and a half years. Spending six of those years as assistant manager to Stephen Kenny.
As we know Vinny Perth took over as the main man in 2019 when Stephen Kenny departed the club. Perth led his side to another league title in his first season as head coach with John Gill by his side.
Unfortunately for the Dublin man he couldn’t emulate that success in his second season. He wasn’t helped by the Covid-19 break, but nobody was. Ultimately the writing seemed to be on the wall for Vinny Perth.
The next goal for the club was European success and once that failed to be delivered it was time up for Vinny Perth.
Who Is Next Into The Dundalk Hot Seat?
Heavy speculation online seems to suggest that former Manchester City coach Mark Burton will step into the role full time. The Canadian coach recently worked with Vinny Perth and Dundalk up until a few weeks ago upon the request of the Dundalk owners.
This might seem like a rushed decision. But in my humble opinion it’s a wrong decision.
Dundalk already have a perfectly good Alan Reynolds at the club. Stop messing around and make the obviously right decision.
Reynolds knows the league very well from his time as a player, coach and manager. Winning a league title with Shelbourne in 2006 as a player. Along with winning the First Division as Waterford manager in 2017.
He was also on the coaching staff at both St. Patricks Athletic and Cork City when they won the FAI Cup in 2014 and 2016 respectfully.
He is a young manager at only 46 and has a vast knowledge on the league.
He has proved at Waterford he can handle the pressures of managerial life in the Premier Division. Not only handle it be excelled at it. Comfortably keeping his Waterford side in the Premier Division.
The Future of John Gill
Give Reynolds the reigns and let him be the only voice in the dressing room.
This will mean making the necessary call and getting rid of John Gill. He has served his purpose. It is only an extra voice that isn’t needed in the dressing room. Get him out and give Alan Reynolds the reigns. Sorry John.
Due to his League of Ireland experience the dressing room leaders will respect that. It is a step up that he can handle and could bring success back to Dundalk.
We must remember Stephen Kenny wasn’t the most in demand manager when he joined Dundalk. But he worked miracles with the Lilywhites.
Maybe Reynolds doesn’t want the managerial role. He is balancing his current role at Dundalk with his Ireland Under 21 assistant manager role. But if it is something, he feels he can handle then that’s the man for the job.
What Now For Vinny Perth?
In fairness to Vinny Perth he has handled the situation very well.
It was a tough season for everyone at Dundalk even away from Covid-19. Losing the services of Ruaidhri Higgins to the Republic of Ireland national team early this year was a big loss for the club. Along with the recent tragic passing of Harry Taaffe which deeply saddened everyone in the League of Ireland community.
Like I said early it was odd that Vinny Perth didn’t see out the season as Dundalk head coach.
But now he must evaluate what went wrong and how he moves forward from this.
Perth has a lot going for him as a coach. He worked and learned under Stephen Kenny, he is still only 44 and guided Dundalk to a league title and FAI Cup final during his first year on the job. He can proudly call himself a league winning coach.
With Perth recently completing his FAI Pro License course this is only the beginning for him.
We will see Vinny Perth back in the League of Ireland soon. When a good job becomes available you can assure his name will be linked to it.
You would think it will be at least next season until he is back. I wouldn’t imagine he will be rushing back before this shorten season is done and dusted.
One bad blip doesn’t make him a bad manager. Stephen Kenny had a tough time at it with Shamrock Rovers back in 2012 and to say he dusted himself off from that fiasco would be an understatement.
It also can’t be forgotten that Vinny Perth contributed so much to Dundalk away from his year and a half as head coach. During all the success Kenny brought to the club Perth was his right-hand man all the way.
Maybe if the American owners weren’t at the helm, he would have got more time because of all he gave to the club.