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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Walking Wounded

As Simon Davey swaps managerial chairs at Darlington for Hereford United, Nobes looks at other managers who have walked out on clubs - only to regret it later.

Simon Davey was in charge at Darlington for just three months

The natives are restless. Just three months into his role as the man to turn around Darlington's fortunes, Simon Davey's decision to resign for "personal reasons" only to pop up at Hereford has angered Quakers fans.

Darlo were a sinking ship when the former Barnsley boss assumed the reins. Although he was unable to save them from relegation to the Conference, the side had showed enough promise to suggest they would be a force next season.

Summer recruitments were already brought in by the Welshman as he set about constructing a team capable of restoring Football League status at the first attempt.

Now, after his resignation, that mantle will fall to long-term assistant Ryan Kidd. Davey, however, has made an even quicker return to League Two with the Hereford job.

It's fair to say many Darlington supporters will wish him absolutely no success whatsoever. His departure has left a bitter taste in the mouth, one they hope will be partially helped if Davey's time at Hereford is an unsuccessful and short one.

The Edgar Street job is a tricky one - trying to please fans used to attractive football and punching above their weight under former boss, and new Shrewsbury manager, Graham Turner.

A season spent languishing in the bottom half saw Turner's successor John Trewick sacked - a sign of how, perhaps unrealistically, high expectations are at the West Midlands club.

Davey will have a tough task on his hands, therefore. He will also hope to avoid the same kind of ignominy that other managers have felt after walking out on a club in an attempt to better their career.

Here are some of the managers who probably wish they had stayed loyal to their clubs.

Phil Parkinson

Parkinson was one of the most promising young managers in the game in 2006. He had just led unfashionable Colchester United to promotion to the Championship for the first time in their history.

However, a month later he resigned his post at Layer Road and made the move to Hull City.

The Tigers, established in the second tier, would offer him greater resources and the impressive KC Stadium the stage for his development as a manager, he thought.

By Christmas, he had been sacked. A poor start to the season, which had seen the Yorkshire outfit struggling towards the foot of the division, saw him axed. Colchester went on to finish the season in 10th, 11 places above Hull.

Parkinson subsequently moved on to Charlton - where he suffered demotion to League One in 2009. He and the Addicks remain there next season.

Ian Holloway

The bubbly Bristolian acted like he had won the jackpot when he landed the manager's job at under performing Leicester City in 2007.

He had left Plymouth Argyle - where he had impressed on a budget - in acrimonious circumstances to make the move to the East Midlands. He shouldn't have bothered.

Despite spending good money, the Foxes slid to an agonising final day relegation to League One and Holloway was promptly fired. Plymouth finished in the top half.

It was to prove only a minor blip, however. Holloway returned to football and masterminded Blackpool's rise to the Premier League last season - as Plymouth slid out of the top two tiers.

Brendan Rodgers

For a long time, the Northern Irishman worked in the shadows - as a youth team coach at Reading and then under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

However, he took on his first managerial job at struggling Watford in 2008 - playing an attractive style of football which led the Hornets to a comfortable mid-table finish in the Championship.

He turned his back on the club who had given him his break as a manager though, and left to join old club Reading. His reign with the Royals was short-lived and unsuccessful as they toiled towards the bottom.

He was sacked in December and has yet to find re-employment. Both Watford and Reading finished in mid-table in last term's Championship.

Steve Cotterill

Having worked his way up the pyramid as he performed miracles at Cheltenham Town, Cotterill was given his big break in management at Stoke City in 2002.

The Potters had been freshly elevated into the Championship and had a solid start to their campaign under Cotterill.

However, when the call came from new Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson to join him as assistant in the top flight, Cotterill jumped ship and left Stoke in the lurch after just 13 games.

Wilkinson and Cotterill endured a miserable spell on Wearside though, and were sacked before the season's end. Stoke, under new boss Tony Pulis, survived in the second tier.

After subsequent spells at Burnley and Notts County, Cotterill now finds himself at Portsmouth in the Championship - below both top-flight Stoke and Pulis.

Iain Dowie

Crystal Palace's promotion to the top flight in 2005 had been the stuff of fairy tales. New boss Iain Dowie had turned around the club's fortunes in the space of a few months before leading them to play-off success.

He almost kept them in the Premier League, and then failed to take them back at the first attempt as they lost out in the play-offs. Dowie resigned - before controversially taking up the post at top flight club, and Palace's bitter rivals, Charlton.

It was a poor decision. The Addicks badly struggled under Dowie, who was soon fired. He has had short and unsuccessful subsequent spells at Coventry, QPR, Hull, and as assistant to Alan Shearer at Newcastle.

Still out of the game now, his mismanagement had a large part to play in Charlton's rapid fall down the ladder to where they
now find themselves in League One.

Paul Ince

The former England international began his managerial career at lowly League Two side Macclesfield before making the leap to fellow basement boys Milton Keynes Dons in 2007.

He led the Dons to League Two title and JPT success in his first season - earning him the call to take over the vacant manager's job at top flight club club Blackburn Rovers.

Without any regard to how briefly he had been a manager, Ince decided to make the step-up. A promising start gave way to a dreadful run which left the Lancashire club in a relegation battle.

Ince was given his marching orders before Christmas and successor Sam Allardyce managed to keep the Ewood Park outfit up.

A humiliating return to Milton Keynes last summer was the next move for Ince but a disappointing season saw him hand in his resignation. He is currently without a job.

Martin Allen

The man known as 'Mad Dog' began his managerial reign at Barnet before enjoying a hugely profitable spell at Brentford.

On leaving Griffin Park he took on the challenge of helping MK Dons win promotion from League Two in 2006.

Despite having one of the largest budgets outside the Championship, Allen produced a team playing poor football that only managed to finish in the play-offs - where they lost out to Shrewsbury.

Surprisingly, he was then offered the chance to manage at second tier club Leicester. However, just four games into the new season, he departed after a breakdown in relations between himself and chairman Milan Mandaric.

He next turned up for a turbulent and unsuccessful stint at League One Cheltenham - where the Gloucestershire club suffered relegation under his management.

Sacked last season from Whaddon Road, he remains out of the managerial game. Milton Keynes, after enjoying success after his departure, have consolidated in League One.

Davey has been warned.

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