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DAGGERS DICTIONARY

"Kettering"
Dominating a match for 90 minutes and yet being unable to score.

 

 

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Next Match


20 October 2018
3:00pm
Boreham Wood
Away
Emirates FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
 

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13 October 2018
Wrexham
Home
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Lost 1-2


     On This Day


In 1996,The Daggers drew 0-0 with Carshalton Athletic Away in the ICIS League Premier 


In 1998,The Daggers drew 3-3 with Bromley at Home in the Ryman League Premier 


In 2002,The Daggers beat Northwich Victoria 2-0  Away in the Nationwide Conference 
Report



In 2013,The Daggers drew 2-2 with Northampton Town Away in the Sky Bet League Two 


 

 


Daggers, not swords

Burnett out!
by Hardy on 29/10/2015

It is time for a change of manager at the Daggers

Why the Daggers need a change of management

Wayne Burnett has been in charge of the club since John Still's sudden departure to Luton Town in February 2013.

After being promoted from Still's assistant to interim manager to the end of the season, with the club in a safe mid table position at the time, the club had a run of poor form which resulted in the Daggers falling to a position where only a Barnet defeat on the last day of the season kept them in the Football League.

As a result, it was a bit of a surprise when it was announced that the appointment of Burnett had been made permenant on the 2nd May 2013, with a two year contract awarded.

The first two seasons

2013/14 was Burnett's first full season in charge and the Daggers finished a creditable 9th in League Two, although 11 points off the playoffs and 2 from being bottom half. The writing was on the wall though regarding what was to come as, after a great start to the season, with the club cruising along 4 points off the top of League Two, showing some decent home form and playing with a bit of style, something changed after they beat Wycombe 2-0 at Victoria Road on the 30th November 2013.

After the Wycombe game Wayne Burnett publically ripped into the team for no obvious reason for a "pathetic performance" in a radio interview on BBC London, which I listened to live and was gobsmacked by at the time. A Dagenham Post written version of the Wycombe interview is here.

Since that date, the club's home form has been dire. Up to and including the Wycombe game the Daggers won 6 of 9 league games at home. After that date, they won just 2 more at home in the rest of the season, both 1-0 and both somewhat fortunate. AFC Wimbledon were beaten on New Year's Day hanging on with ten men and Oxford United were beaten by a bizarre twice deflected shot from Luke Howell.

In the calendar year 2014 the Daggers won just FIVE games at home, including cup matches and friendlies, form that would have seen them down had it been over a football season, not a year. In November 2014, the club went out of the FA Cup in a replay, not able to score in 180 minutes of football against a poor Conference team, Southport, with the route to the 3rd round and some decent cup income open. At the end of 2014 the Daggers were sat in the relegation places after a shocking performance at home to Stevenage on Boxing Day.

These two opportunities to cut losses and replace Burnett were spurned and in the second half of the 2014/15 season things at home improved a little and the club won 6 home games to pull themselves out of the mire to finish 14th. No one can claim that the football was great to watch though, and the main catalyst to the change of fortune was Burnett finally spotting that his chosen captain while Abu Ogogo was injured, Brian Saah, was a liability. This was something which many people had pointed out for months, and was solved by loaning in Abu Obileye and recalling out of favour fans favourite Scott Doe, while Saah was sidelined.

New contract

With the perceived issue in sacking Burnett around the end of 2014 having been the cost of doing so, it was somewhat bizarre that the board then decided to offer Burnett a new two year contract and put themselves back in a deeper hole with a man that was clearly tactically naive, and out of touch with the fans.

The end of the 2014/15 season saw Burnett and a whole raft of players out of contract, and delays in addressing the situation, including additional delay from Burnett in signing the new contract that the club offered him, meant that a number of the better players in the squad, particularly club captain Abu Ogogo, Scott Doe and Billy Bingham, were able to walk away on free transfers. They may well have done anyway, but the situation with the manager didn't help.

Another oddity was with another fans favourite, midfielder Luke Howell. Luke was apparently offered a renewed contract, but on a reduced wage. Understandably he delayed signing this in order to see what else was available and then when he came back to take up the offer, was told that offer was withdrawn. The result is he then signed for Boreham Wood, as did Scott Doe, and is now playing a division below the Daggers.

Burnett's post match interviews, particularly after the occasional win, have also been bizarre in the extreme. The one he gave after the win against Carlisle in November 2014 was a total rambling mess and he obviously has a vast chip on his shoulder about how he feels he is not appreciated by the supporters which comes up at regular intervals.

The Carlisle interview is here.

2015/16 so far

This season, as at the end of October, the club have once again not won at home yet, and are rock bottom having dropped points to several of the clubs immediately around them in the table already. There is no consistent selection or tactical formation and the habit of losing leads due to trying to protect what we have in the second half of games that has been a feature of much of Burnett's time in charge has once again raised its head. In all 14 points have been dropped from games where the Daggers have led, and 5 points from games where two goal leads were held, after tactical changes at half time.

The Daggers hit rock bottom with a dire performance at Accrington Stanley, battered 3-1, out fought and out played, with 18 goal attempts against 2 for the Daggers.

Once again, Burnett's selected captain, Andre Boucaud, while undoubtedly a talented footballer, is not obviously a leader of men, yet is an automatic selection when available. To date, the club have won three games all season, and in all three Boucaud has been away playing for Trinidad & Tobago!

The atmosphere around the club, which actively fostered a spirit where "we are all Daggers" for many years, and which made the place special, has been largely lost. The players no longer bother to applaud the fans at the end of the game and a couple of times there have actually been altercations between supporters and the management team when frustration has boiled over.

It is all about money

The excuse offered for this recent consistently poor performance is nearly always the lack of money. What else should fans expect from the "pub team from Essex"?

The Daggers undoubtedly have one of the smaller playing budgets in the Football League, and as a result cannot expect to be able to compete with some of the big money clubs, but that has always been true and the club have always survived, and at times prospered, on good recruitment and a battling quality. Teams must have hated coming to Victoria Road down the years, against a fit, motivated and tactically aware team that never said die. Now an away day in Dagenham is almost a "gimee".

It seems to me that the spirit has gone, and I believe that is coming from the team management, although other factors like the change of the club badge to a 50p Microsoft Paint picture and the swapping of the home and away benches have also contributed to the alienation of many.

The key though is the club's home form, which is where the majority of Daggers fans see the team perform, and the apparent lack of ambition to do more than survive. This is driving more and more of the hard won support we gained over the years of success under Garry Hill and John Still away again, and as a result the budget issues will only get worse and worse.

It is time for a change, and time to make it quickly.


 

 

 

 

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