Daryl McMahon: A diamond in the rough at Macclesfield Town

James Richards by James Richards / 02 December 2019, 07:47

It is very easy to praise managers when things are going well on the pitch, after all, that is what the are paid to achieve but some don’t get anywhere near the credit they deserve when things off it are not so rosy.

Daryl McMahon is in his first job as a manager in the EFL and to say it has been a baptism of fire would be like saying Cristiano Ronaldo has done alright since turning professional. Pretty much the understatement of the year.

McMahon, currently in charge of League Two crisis club Macclesfield Town, should be not only getting a pat on the back for what he is doing with the Silkmen but also having his name sung from the rooftops of the Cheshire town. 

Football is about opinions but if you don’t agree McMahon should be getting huge credit for the work he is done at Macclesfield, you’re plain wrong and here’s why...

It was hard enough to begin with

Keeping a side like Macclesfield in the Football League is a hard enough task without asking the players to turn up without receiving their wages yet McMahon has had to motivate a bunch of professional footballers who are being paid late – if they’re lucky – on an almost monthly basis.

This off the field upheaval has seen bigger clubs than Macclesfield really struggle yet McMahon has always managed to keep a lid on things even when players have been striking and fans protesting.

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His record speaks for itself

As a player McMahon was a hard-working midfielder playing for several lower league clubs following a brief spell at youth level with West Ham. He ended his career at Ebbsfleet United and took over as manager following a stint as caretaker in 2015 and what he achieved was remarkable.

Ebbsfleet United are a tiny club compared to many of the sides currently plying their trade in level five and six of the English pyramid but McMahon, having seen his side lose in the National League South play-off final in his first season, managed to win the final a year later after a 96-point campaign saw them finish second.

In his first season in the National League McMahon led Ebbsfleet to the play-offs again, finishing above the likes of Wrexham and Leyton Orient. His side would lose to Tranmere in semi-finals but only after extra-time. He left the club in November 2018 following a superb three-and-a-half-year spell in the dugout.

Always positive

How many managers hardly need an excuse to whinge about the slightest problem?

Well, even in the most turbulent times McMahon has maintained a positive attitude and quietly gone about his business. Not once has he used Macclesfield’s off the field issues as an excuse and he has backed his players despite the challenges they have faced since he took over from Sol Campbell.

This has helped keep the Silkmen focussed on what they are doing on the pitch keeping well clear of the relegation places so far.

Tactically astute

Taking over from Sol Campbell was always going to be a tough gig. The former England defender had pulled off the great escape and was a big character, but McMahon has shown himself to be an extremely intelligent tactician during his brief years in management. Constantly studying the opposition, he sets his sides up to best deal with their threats extremely effectively.

The Silkmen have lost just once at Moss Rose all season and never give anyone an easy game. When you have the lowest budget in the league, this kind of record keeps you up and McMahon’s attention to detail has made all the difference.

At 36, McMahon has laid the foundations for what should be a wonderful career as a manager. His name is constantly linked to jobs elsewhere and that is both a massive compliment but also richly deserved.

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