TAYLOR’S TIME AT THE DAGGERS
Well, Taylor’s Out! 2 wins from 12 league games - simply not good enough.
Here I will take a look at Taylor’s tenure at the club and the reasons behind why he has left.
If we look at when Taylor first took charge of the club and it is something every Dagger will be forever thankful for. We were on the brink of collapse and Peter Taylor came in at a time of need to help our club. That is something that should never be forgotten and something (regardless of what he did during his time at the club) that is greatly appreciated.
This is something @OnceADagger rightly highlighted on Twitter following the announcement of Taylor’s departure:
It was always going to be difficult at the beginning with financial uncertainty and no owners. Therefore, Taylor was tasked with putting together a squad capable of fighting relegation - he had next to nothing money wise. The season began and it was a struggle as expected with two points from eight games; but the second of those points was a goalless draw against eventual play-off winners Salford!
Two wins on the trot came off the back of that Salford draw though Dagenham were still in the drop zone. Matters off the pitch followed the same upwards trajectory as new owners were announced on September 14 2018! The Daggers were saved and everyone connected with the club couldn’t explain their sheer joy and relief.
So it was clear at this point many fans’ expectations changed and they wanted the side to start performing instantly. Though the owners were adamant that staying up was the aim for the 2018/19 campaign. Signings followed that impressed many with the likes of Onariase, Clark and Balanta all being welcomed to Victoria Road.
Now, this may seem a while ago now but it was just last year that we were ‘Walking in a Taylor Wonderland’ due to these new arrivals. This fantastic winter period is probably the highlight for me of Taylor’s tenure with victory over Salford in their own backyard! As well as a great comeback win against Orient on Boxing Day and that is a day that will live long in the memory.
As the season went on anger grew within the fan base though as they wanted better results from Taylor’s men. Five victories at the back end of last season saw the Daggers end on just 56 points and twelve off relegation.
The summer that followed this year was a major reshuffle as the owners gave Taylor the funds necessary to mount a promotion push. It was time for the retained list before any new players came in and it was rather short as you can see below! This excited many.
However, the summer began with some very disappointing news as Daggers fans learnt that top goalscorer Conor Wilkinson had a release clause in his new 18-month contract. The disappointment came as they found out due to Orient triggering this clause and it was a massive blow for the club.
New signings were the only way to overcome this disappointment and they came flooding in...
The one that pleased most was signing the fans’ favourite Manny Onariase on a permanent deal; he was one of 5 defenders brought in. This confused many, just why we needed so many defenders, but there were a fair share of attackers signed also. Grant, Dobson, Quigley and Luque were all introduced to the Daggers faithful.
With football league experience in the Daggers’ ranks and new captain Clark taking over from Ben Nunn - there was a lot of optimism. This optimism was also fuelled by a strong and exciting statement from Peter Freund where he wrote ‘So my mindset is this- next year we return to the Football League and we don’t look back.’
The season got underway, the second of the Taylor era, and the opening fixture was disappointing to say the least as a poor performance saw Dagenham fall to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of part-time Woking. It was an average August where inconsistency was rife but the players were yet to gel we were told - that was the explanation for three wins out of the first seven.
It was the 0-3 home defeat to Boreham Wood that concerned many above all as the performance matched the result - awful. Following that, Taylor’s men went 11 unbeaten from the back end of August through to early October - including 5 wins and six draws. Some of those draws could so easily have been wins so some supporters were still not satisfied with the results despite the unbeaten run.
Since then that dissatisfaction has grown amongst supporters and Taylor is seen as the one to blame. The reason that dissatisfaction has grown is the results since the run ended as they read just 4 wins in 17 in all competitions. Those wins include one over Hullbridge Sports, Wrexham, an impressive 6-1 victory over Aldershot and an FA Trophy win over Sutton AET.
The most humbling of defeats was no doubt away to Carshalton as the Daggers were defeated 2-1 in the FA Cup - not reaching the First Round. So, 4 wins in 17 in all competitions and 2 from 12 in the league ultimately spelt the end for Taylor.
The 3-0 defeat yesterday was the final nail in the coffin as the negative football that led to the defeat was there for all to see.
The connection has been breaking for around 10 months and it completely broke a couple of months ago as calls for him to leave grew and grew.
The owners have made the right decision by relieving him of his duties but now they have another big decision.
Who are they going to get in? Who are they going to get in to take us to the football league and not look back?
I will write about the contenders and who the fans want in my next piece.
Thanks for reading,