It no doubt came as a surprise, albeit not entirely out of the blue, the obligatory corner flag picture accompanied the statement entitled: ‘Club Statement: Daryl McMahon’ - he’s out. 

On the eve of the clash with the league leaders Daryl McMahon has left the club by mutual consent after a victory on Tuesday which evidently merely papered over the cracks. 

The broken foundations which were once again exposed at Glanford Park last Saturday in another uninspiring defeat - this time to a relegation-fighting Scunthorpe. 

A Dagenham & Redbridge side bereft of confidence, creativity and a sense of direction slumped to a fifth defeat in six games - McMahon concluding ‘we’re on the floor’ and ‘we have to accept that’. Only there was little belief in him, and it seemed in himself, to find a way off of the floor.

The beginning of the end came at the start of this month as Josh Walker and the marquee signing of his reign - Paul McCallum - both departed within a week. The challenge was whether he could deal with these circumstances but we’ve got our answer now.

Ultimately, it’s come to its inevitable conclusion but I, like many, given the owners’ loyalty, thought they’d wait until the end of the season and then see the rebuild commence. Not least because of that quote that ‘there is no manager better than Daryl in this league’ at the last fans’ forum - granted, a lot has happened since then! 

The last straw I think was the breakdown in his relationship with the players, questioning their character on a weekly basis three years into the job, it spoke to something much deeper and was clearly unsustainable.

The dressing room has been on his side, in vehement defence, throughout the lowest points of the past three seasons - recently that has appeared quite different.

A quick look back at his reign. He arrived in January 2020, the side languishing precariously above the relegation zone - the first appointment under the new ownership. His progress has been undeniable, in a disruptive period, the first full season saw the Daggers finish in 12th.

Then came the 2021/22 campaign, proving his best finish, coming agonisingly close with a point separating us from the play-offs. That just about summed up his reign, a nearly era, where it has become clear he can only take us so far. However, how far he has taken us, looking forward instead of over our shoulder, cannot go unnoticed.

Who comes in next to take us to that next level is obviously the big question, undoubtedly the most crucial decision for the new ownership - they have got to get it right. That would look like a manager who has done it before for me, having tried experience and then relative youth in the dugout, I’d rather look for someone who is proven.

Quite who fits that description among the names being bandied about, I’m not sure, There are calls for Strevens - a similar story to McMahon on the cards there? Thankfully, it’s not my job to appoint a replacement, as I don’t believe there is an obvious choice.

Hopefully they’ve got someone lined up, if not I’d be happy to have a caretaker until the end of the season. As I say, it’s imperative this decision is the right one. I have doubts that someone can turn it around and get us into the play-offs this season -  it’s possible, but an almighty task.

Meanwhile, we’ve got the small matter of heading to the league leaders - who knows what implications this will have on the result and potentially the title race? Then we travel to Maidenhead on Tuesday with hopefully a replacement in place by then.

I don’t think we’ll ever get one ordinary week, let alone one ordinary season, at this football club and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Come On You Daggers!