Leaving aside the charade that Shane Keegan is now team manager, Saturday’s game against Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds was the 10th league match which Filippo Giovagnoli has been in charge of Dundalk for.

While a new season brings a fresh start, his record over those 10 games is far from impressive reading.

The article as it appeared in The Argus on March 23rd 2021

Just 13 points out of a possible 30 on offer makes his the worst start of any manager since the late Sean McCaffrey managed nine from his first 10 games in that dramatic 2012 season in which the club struggled to survive both on and off the field.

Either side of that Ian Foster, Stephen Kenny and Vinny Perth all managed 18 points from their first 10 matches but the budgets of the first two could be deemed significantly less when they started while in Perth’s case the side did improve after a shaky start which saw him lose Robbie Benson and Patrick McEleney to broken legs in his first league match in charge, ironically in a 1-1 draw with Sligo Rovers.

Giovagnoli – whose patrolling of the sidelines at The Showgrounds for the second half on Saturday shows who is really still in charge – will undoubtedly argue that this is a new season and a fresh start after a debut campaign in which he prioritised other competitions.

That may be fair too as, of the last 10 managers the club has had, he is the only one whose 10th game fell in a different year. However, given the budget and ambition of modern day Dundalk that excuse will not wash for long unless results improve.

Trevor Anderson, who had the worst record with just 6 points from his first 10 league games in charge, got away with the excuse of rebuilding for far too long.

While it’s much too soon to judge Dundalk or its boss one game into a new season, his league record to date doesn’t make impressive reading. He’ll now have to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Perth and even John Gill – who lost his first four matches in charge 15 years ago – and start picking up results so that when such statistics are reviewed after 20 games in charge he is much further up the list.

Last 10 Dundalk managers’ points total from first 10 league games in charge:

Martin Murray – 19 points from his first 10
Trevor Anderson – 6 points from his first 10
Jim Gannon – 14 points from his first 10
John Gill – 12 points from his first 10
Sean Connor – 10 points from first 10
Ian Foster – 18 points from his first 10
Sean McCaffrey – 9 points from his first 10
Stephen Kenny – 18 points from his first 10
Vinny Perth – 18 points from his first 10
Filippo Giovagnoli – 13 points from his first 10