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Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Right Royal Mess

After Reading part company with Brendan Rodgers, Nobes rants about the high sacking rate of managers this season.

Like the chain of dominoes knocking one down after the other, the departure of Brendan Rodgers and Jim Magilton from Reading and QPR respectively continued what has been a destructive week for managers.

It began with Plymouth moving Paul Sturrock upstairs before the chairmen at Sheffield Wednesday and now at Loftus Road and the Madejski felt the urge to pull the trigger.

Of course, with reports of an altercation with a player, there may well be reasons other than results for Magilton leaving after just half a season.

However, in the week that football remembers the 50th anniversary of Bill Shankly taking over at Liverpool, you'd think he would have done the same sort of thing many a time in his career - it's what happens, or happened, in football.

The general point though is that there have been 22 managerial changes in the Football League this season. Four of those have been resignations - Hans Backe decided to leave troubled Notts County, and Mark Robins, Gary Waddock and Paul Lambert all left to join other clubs.

Eighteen managers been sacked by their club before Christmas this season therefore. How many of them were truly justified though?

How many of them were managers who had had the time and resources, the backing of their chairman, and the patience to try and achieve results?

How many of the situations really deserved the manager getting the boot? How many were the result of the men who appointed them, who never get called into account, deciding a change was the only way for things to improve?

And, most damning of all, how many of the changes have actually worked?

Are Lincoln City any better off with Chris Sutton in charge than they would have been with Peter Jackson? No, in fact, they are worse off. Imps chairman Steff Wright should resign for his continued mis-handling of the club.

Are Northampton doing any better now Stuart Gray has been replaced by club playing legend Ian Sampson? Not at all. The fans might have a hero at the helm, but he cannot match his playing career with his managerial performance.

Ferguson and Rodgers - promising young managers both sacked this season

Has rookie Steve Staunton done any better than the experienced Colin Todd at crisis club Darlington? Was the manager really to blame for the Quakers being marrooned at the bottom of the table and staring relegation to the Conference squarely in the face?

I could go on. The sacking of Rodgers in particular was a complete betrayl of the club's policy of building a new team, playing a new style, with the former manager of the club's Academy in charge of the first team.

Chairman Sir John Madejski, not known for sacking managers easily, has completely failed his man - not the other way around.

And what about Peterborough? The disgraceful sacking of Darren Ferguson was laughable enough. To replace him with a Non League boss in Mark Cooper was even worse.

In medieval times the town Cooper used to make barrels. Posh owner Darragh MacAnthony appeared to be scraping one when choosing Ferguson's successor. The Cambridgeshire outfit will pay with relegation to League One next spring playing ugly,
long-ball football.

The hope of a club, just one club, once, having the decency and foresight to implement a plan, appoint a manager, and give him season after season after season to build and get it right is, for me, now dead.

Shankly must be turning in his grave.

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