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OPINION: Forest Green will be in a better position without Rob Edwards, insists former boss Frank Gregan


 I’ve often wondered what rocket scientists say to their proteges when something goes wrong. ‘It’s not rocket science’ is a phrase that becomes redundant in that situation but at Forest Green Rovers it’s an apt description of what’s happening at the moment.

The coach/manager/bloke who picks the team has packed his bags and headed off to the circus that is Watford Football Club. You don’t have to be a member of MENSA to work out why. He’s joining a championship club with a parachute payment that might just be enough to see them back in the Premier League in the next twelve months. Ergo, Rob Edwards could be a Premier League manager this time next year. Good luck to the bloke. 

However, given Watford’s history of changing direction more times than the wind he could be on the dole by Christmas. Due to the finances in the modern game it’s guaranteed that he’ll not have to apply for Universal Credit but could be lying on a beach in Dubai with a bank balance that could likely last him a lifetime if he chose to go down that route should he be shown the revolving door. Again, not rocket science, it’s an absolute no-brainer for the guy. He’d always have been looking over his shoulder wondering what might have been if he had turned the Watford opportunity down.

As far as Forest Green are concerned, in my opinion, they’ve won a watch from one of those claw vending machines at the fair. Pick any prize off the top-shelf Rovers because Edwards joining Watford will probably benefit the Vegan Demons. It’s a Brucie Bonus if he is still under contract and the club receive a compensation payment. That would be an amazing piece of business but even without comp, I think the club will be in a better position without him.

Harsh? Perhaps but remember that he inherited a very strong squad and almost saw all of their good early and mid-season work undone by a massive collapse at the end of the season. Four wins from the last 17 matches. That’s the kind of form that has a board of directors gathered around a table considering the gaffer’s position. I’m sure the club would have stuck by him because Dale Vince is a decent and loyal boss but I’m not convinced it would have been the right decision. League One is a whole new challenge and I think a new gaffer is exactly what is needed to meet that challenge head-on.

I’ve seen Dale’s comments on social media and it’s fair to say that he is not best pleased. I think he feels betrayed and shafted both by Watford FC and Rob Edwards’s representatives. He has a very valid point but football tends to be a scruple-free zone. My advice to Mr Vince would be not to judge football folk by his own high standards and relax in the knowledge that he has made Forest Green Rovers a club that can now attract a Head Coach of the very highest calibre. It’s not rocket science!

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