McCall staying despite the Hearts

Stuart McCall rubbished the idea that he would be joining Hearts and Mark Lawn quickly and unequivocally stated that the City boss was not going anywhere as for the first time in a long time the idea of the number one who was the number four leaving came up.

Of course McCall has left before – to Everton and to Sheffield United – and his return as manager was viewed as a totemistic mark to turn around an ailing club but few – when McCall was appointed – investigated the angle that City were recruiting a manager who may be prized by others.

A look at Stuart’s CV before City reads perfectly. An International who went to the World Cup. A player who won six League Championships and played in the wrong end of the English League. A leader on the field for a club who credit him with being one of if not the driving force behind promotion. Well respected coach of a team who have had a season in the Premiership.

Had he not been our Stuart McCall then he would still have been an outstanding candidate for the job and one we were lucky to have. The fact he was our cult hero masked the fact that his track record on the field points – as much as it every can – to a great manager off it.

Like Trevor Cherry or Roy MacFarland before him he came to City a rookie manager but a vastly experienced player and no doubt a few other clubs looked at McCall and noted him as one to watch. Roy Keane got the Sunderland job on the strength of his playing CV and once Paul Ince proved himself at League Two level – twice – Blackburn got interested.

McCall is in that field of players you can hang your spirit on and should City do as we all hope they will this year then expect those links to become more frequent.