A season of doom and gloom for Adrian Pennock and Gillingham?

Mike Holden by Mike Holden / 21 July 2017, 10:06

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Adrian Pennock and Gillingham ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League One season.

Background

When Adrian Pennock replaced Justin Edinburgh last January, Gillingham were eight points above the drop zone but they finished just one point in credit after winning only four of his 21 matches. Pennock has since lifted the lid on all manner of problems behind the scenes, clearly implying that he inherited a shambles. Key players Bradley Dack and Cody McDonald have since departed. The £750,000 received for Dack is unlikely to reinvested in the squad due to a potentially costly court case with former caterers.

Personality

Pennock has been very outspoken during his short time at the helm, recalling in detail a number of issues that most managers would keep to themselves. Indeed, chairman Paul Scally later revealed that he has told his manager to turn it in. So already we can surmise that Extraverted Feeling is Pennock’s dominant function, which would mean he is driven by values more than logic. If he assembles a squad that understands and respects him, his ability to create harmony and cohesion within the group could be a major strength.

Quote

"The physio department was a disgrace, an absolute disgrace. There were so many problems and people in that department were making things unbelievably awkward. Those little things just add up. They mess your plans up. Some players were saying they didn’t do enough or they had three days off a week. What a load of rubbish. You can’t blame the last regime for that. They were unfit. It’s their responsibility as professional footballers. They are in a privileged position. They can’t pull the wool over my eyes."

Verdict

Big changes were required at Priestfield in order for Pennock to make any headway because his relationship with numerous players was beyond repair. The question is: how many new faces does he need to turn the groundswell of goodwill in his favour? The suspicion is the current turnover - seven out, seven in - might not be enough. In terms of quality, the net result is undoubtedly weaker. You could argue at least five of the seven newcomers need to perform above expectations for the Gills to avoid the drop.

Prediction: relegated

Adrian Pennock

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