THE story of the return home of the local boy ‘done good’ is as old as the Bible, think Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat, or even Greek King Odysseus, returning home after the Trojan wars.

This huge weight of expectation is also likely to be applied on new U’s boss Des Buckingham, who’ll be expected to lead the club to the promised land of the Championship.

Buckingham was a youth team player and coach with United. He’s also a fan of the club. He left to travel the world to master his craft, before returning back to the city of the dreaming spires where he now takes up the mantle of head coach.

However, the phrase in football ‘he’s one of our own’ can be a double-edged sword. While returning to a former club as a manager has worked for Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, it was not so much for Frank Lampard who had two spells in charge of Chelsea and was statistically the club’s least successful manager.

READ ALSO: Des Buckingham addresses lack of Football League experience

If Buckingham gets it right, he’ll be seen as the new messiah, with all the additional adulation that being from Oxford will bring. That is until such time as he gets it wrong, and then he’s the false prophet. So why would anyone choose such a high stakes gamble?

There is a strong desire in us all to go back to a previous way of life, especially when there’s a sense of ‘unfinished business’. To right old wrongs and enact those early fantasies of ‘if only I was in charge’.

I wonder if this was the pull for Buckingham, having honed his coaching skills and tasted success overseas, he’s now ready to try his hand in League One.

But being back in his native Oxford is very different to being in Melbourne or Mumbai. Early on in all our careers, we’re allowed to experiment and get things wrong. But Buckingham is no novice and he’ll have much greater scrutiny now than he’s ever had.

Nonetheless, having strong roots in your local area is going to give him a positive boost – sometimes we need to be close to family to find success. 

However, being a head coach at first team level in the UK is new to him, and it could be that it might take him some time to relearn about the club and become comfortable with the English game again.

Buckingham will need to face both the board and the fans’ expectations of immediate success on the pitch, and comparisons with Liam Manning’s time at the club are inevitable. But he’ll also have to win over staff and players who are bound to be wondering ‘what’s the new gaffer like?’.

However, I’d be counselling patience for the new boss, who will ideally need time to assess what he has at the club and what he needs to do to maintain a successful promotion campaign.

If I was to take a guess at how Buckingham will do? The U’s may slip out of the automatic promotion places before Buckingham’s influence bears fruit in the last month or so.

Gary Bloom was the club psychotherapist at Oxford United for five years.