Date: 18th September 2016 at 2:52pm
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Saturday 17th January 2017 – the day Steve Davis, Crewe Alexandra manager, takes reigns of the railwaymen for the 250th time. Those 250 games have made him 6th longest serving manager still in English football, ironically our opponents Grimsby Town’s manager, Paul Hurst is the fourth longest serving. The Grimsby gaffer accumulating over 5 years in the hot-seat.
During his time in charge of The Alex, the Crewe Alexandra supporters have witnessed a relegation and two trips to Wembley; one of which achieving promotion, the other achieving Johnstones Paint Trophy success. The most memorable matches out of the 250 being against Cheltenham Town and Southend United at Wembley, most memorable goal being that of Nick Powell vs Cheltenham at Wembley.

Despite reaching the 250 match landmark, Davis remains focused on the match rather than the achievement, he told us this by saying ‘I am not one for knowing how many games I’ve been in charge of. It is a nice figure to get to, especially with managers not given a great deal of time anymore’ he put his thoughts on milestones into context by saying ‘I think it was my 100th game when we got stuffed and that wasn’t very memorable, it’s all about the result for me’ – source official club website.

Davis first took charge for a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Oldham Athletic, however Dario Gradi was still the official man in charge then but, Davis became officially in charge a couple of days later – Gradi moving to technical director, a role he took when Steve Hollands was the railwaymen’s boss. Davis’ first official game was a 4-1 home defeat to Colchester United. His soul objective would have been to keep the railwaymen a league side. However a fabulous unbeaten run qualified us for the playoffs. We beat Southend 3-2 on aggregate and Cheltenham 2-0 in the final, goals courtesy of Nick Powell and Byron Moore.

Over 250 games in charge, Davis has gained, lost, retained and regained fans belief in him as manager. As the end of the relegation campaign, some protests occurred against both Davis and certain board members. Predominantly known by fans as ‘the Davis out protests’, the efforts were unsuccessful – Davis remained in charge and started this league 2 season positively. I personally believed Davis should have gone last season, not only due to poor results but the negative approach and play I and other faithful supporters endured. Another factor determining my opinion, was if he was at any other club he would have been gone. It isn’t that I believe he is a bad manager, but what I do believe is League 2 is his level and he never quite cut it in League 1. The way we have started this season though, positive play signings and results, has changed my opinion of the gaffer’s future. I would like to see him maintain this early season play and possibly get promoted, then if we do – see how he copes with the old third divisions demands, at the second time of asking.

On the other hand a point that must be considered is, the lack of finance available to Davis compared to other then league 1 clubs. Also Crewe would have been seen on an unequal playing field when compared to teams such as; Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic and Coventry City – who were ‘bigger ‘ than Crewe, and could afford better wages for better players, Coventry bring ex-international and marquee transfer Joe Cole in. The finances never boded well for the Alex and I do believe they played a big part in our lack of success.