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Friday, June 10, 2011

Managerial Sackings Review

In total, 38 managers left clubs during the past season - 25 of them were sackings.

How many of those managerial changes actually worked though? Or were they just a case of trigger happy chairmen pushing the panic button to no effect?

Nobes analyses every managerial sacking in the Football League this season.

Sheffield United - August 14

OUT: Kevin Blackwell
IN: Gary Speed

United underperformed in missing out on the top six last season and an opening day draw followed by a 3-0 home loss to QPR saw the axe fall on Blackwell.

He was replaced by coach Gary Speed who hardly improved matters before leaving to manage Wales. Micky Adams came in but by then the Blades were struggling badly and ended up relegated to League One.

Verdict: Nonsensical. Giving Blackwell the summer and then sacking him after two games was a farce. He should have gone during the close season or been given more time.

Southampton - August 30

OUT: Alan Pardew
IN: Nigel Adkins

Verdict: A harsh sacking, as Pardew had done a good job during his time at St. Mary's.

They redeemed themselves by appointing a proven boss in Adkins though and he duly delivered the expected promotion back to the Championship. Ruthlessly effective.

Leicester City - October 1

OUT: Paulo Sousa
IN: Sven-Goran Eriksson

Verdict: Sousa had been poached from Swansea but a poor start where his brand of football took time to have an impact, coupled with new owners at the club, saw him dismissed.

The experienced Eriksson oversaw an improvement and Leicester have the big name boss to match their lofty ambitions of establishing themselves back in the top flight.

Hereford United - October 4

OUT: Simon Davey
IN: Jamie Pitman

Verdict: Davey paid the price for walking out on Darlington and making the move back up to League Two at Edgar Street.

The Bulls struggled badly for goals and points and he was jettisoned with them propping up the rest. Physio Jamie Pitman proved his healing powers to gradually steer United away from the bottom two.

Notts County - October 24

OUT: Craig Short
IN: Paul Ince

Verdict: Another season of ridiculous managerial turnover at County began with the sacking of summer appointment Craig Short after a steady start to their third tier campaign.

Notts expected more and former Blackburn boss Paul Ince was given the task of delivering it. A good FA Cup run apart, he didn't.

Bristol Rovers - December 15

OUT: Paul Trollope
IN: Dave Penney

Verdict: Paul Trollope failed to arrest the slide in form at the Memorial Stadium which had begun the previous campaign.

He was given the boot and Dave Penney was charged with hauling the sinking Gas out of the bottom four in League One.

Preston North End - December 29

OUT: Darren Ferguson
IN: Phil Brown

Verdict: A risky appointment the previous season cost Preston, as Darren Ferguson's lightweights found their porous backline rooting them to the foot of the Championship.

He was replaced by Phil Brown who took time to rally his troops before a late surge gave North End hope. They fell short in the end, and were left cursing making their change too late.

Burnley - December 29

OUT: Brian Laws
IN: Eddie Howe

Verdict: Laws had been a shock selection as Burnley boss and, after failing to keep them in the Premier League, he never convinced as he tried to get them back up.

In came highly rated Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe who helped engineer an immediate upturn followed by a sticky spell. In the end, they fell short of their goal of a top six spot. Hopes are high for Howe next year though.

Crystal Palace - January 1

OUT: George Burley
IN: Dougie Freedman

Verdict: Palace only escaped the drop on the final day of the previous season, and once again found themselves embroiled in a relegation fight under the experienced George Burley.

Eagles legend Dougie Freedman was drafted in and, aided by excellent home form, managed to navigate Palace to Championship safety for another year.

Barnet - January 1

Mark Stimson
IN: Paul Fairclough

Verdict: Mark Stimson always appeared a gamble to take charge at Underhill and a poor away record and ineffective team saw the Bees struggling in the relegation zone.

Fairclough assumed control, followed by Martin Allen and finally Guiliano Grazioli as Barnet saved their Football League status on the very last day of the campaign.

Walsall - January 4

OUT: Chris Hutchings
IN: Dean Smith

Verdict: The Saddlers appeared dead and buried and destined for League One when Hutchings departed. It all seemed too little too late.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man though. Smith orchestrated an incredible turnaround in results. The Saddlers, on the bottom for so long, ended up a point above the relegation zone after a great escape.

Stockport County - January 4

OUT: Paul Simpson
IN: Peter Ward

Verdict: Financially troubled County were always expected to struggle in League Two, so the decision to sack Paul Simpson with the club outside the drop zone appeared harsh.

Ward took over as caretaker, a role he held for four months before Ray Mathias replaced him. By then, the Hatters were rock bottom and relegation to the Conference just waiting to be confirmed. It was.

Charlton Athletic - January 4

OUT: Phil Parkinson
IN: Chris Powell

Verdict: Athletic were play off losers the previous season, and were in contention for the top six again when Parkinson found himself dismissed by the club's new owners.

Charlton hero Powell was his replacement but, after a bright start, he oversaw a second half of the season slump which saw end up in the bottom half.

The appointment may have appeased fans, but Powell has struggled to prove that taking the gamble on him is going to pay off.

Ipswich Town - January 7

OUT: Roy Keane
IN: Paul Jewell

Verdict: Eighteen months of underachievement under Roy Keane eventually saw the fiery Irishman given his P45 from Portman Road.

Seasoned Championship campaigner Jewell succeeded him and fortunes improved on the pitch. Expectations for a promotion challenge next season under him seem well grounded.

Aldershot Town - January 10

OUT: Kevin Dillon
IN: Dean Holdsworth

Verdict: Despite leading the Hampshire outfit into the League Two play offs the previous term, Dillon never won around fans at the Recreation Ground.

With the Shots sliding down the table he was issued with his marching orders and Newport's Holdsworth brought in to replace him. He helped stabilise things and lead the club to a comfortable mid table finish.

Peterborough United - January 11

OUT: Gary Johnson
IN: Darren Ferguson

Verdict: Posh were League One's entertainers, with goals flowing at both ends under Johnson. However, with hopes high of an immediate return to the Championship, he parted company with the club after a poor run.

Ferguson returned to London Road - where he'd made his name - gaining more wins and clean sheets and taking them to promotion in the play off final.

Sheffield Wednesday - February 3

OUT: Alan Irvine
IN: Gary Megson

Verdict: A bright start gave way to a struggle and, after the takeover at Hillsborough by Milan Mandaric, Alan Irvine was soon on his way with a top six challenge fading.

However, his replacement, Owls legend Megson, failed to bring fresh impetus and Wednesday ended up in the bottom half. The pressure's on for much better next season.

Brentford - February 3

OUT: Andy Scott
IN: Nicky Forster

Verdict: An up and down season saw Scott's successful spell in charge at Griffin Park brought to an end amid fan disenchantment with the football on display.

Forster took over as caretaker, leading the Bees to a top half finish and an appearance at Wembley where they lost to Carlisle in the JPT Final.

Northampton Town - March 2

OUT: Ian Sampson
IN: Gary Johnson

Verdict: Sampson oversaw a famous night for the Cobblers with a win over Liverpool at Anfield in the League Cup.

They struggled badly for results in League Two though and, with Town slipping down the standings, Sampson was relieved of his duties to avoid them dropping down.

In came Johnson, who failed to improve matters. Wins in their final two matches eventually saw them safe though.

Bristol Rovers - March 7

OUT: Dave Penney
IN: Stuart Campbell

Verdict: Penney was in charge for just 13 games at Rovers, a run which saw them sink even deeper into the relegation mire after Paul Trollope's departure.

He was swiftly removed, and Campbell took on a player-manager role - he was unable to prevent relegation to League Two though.

Coventry City - March 14

OUT: Aidy Boothroyd
IN: Andy Thorn

Verdict: One of English football's most trigger happy teams lived up to their reputation with one win in 16 leading to Boothroyd departing after less than a year in charge.

Thorn took over as caretaker and City, who had been top six challengers before Christmas, eventually saw themselves safe in lower mid table - enough to earn him the full time gig.

Scunthorpe United - March 16

OUT: Ian Baraclough
IN: Alan Knill

Verdict: The Iron had put faith in coach Baraclough to replace Nigel Adkins, but the rookie's ugly brand of football combined with a relegation struggle led to his sacking.

Knill joined his former club from Bury, but came in much too late to help keep Scunny in the Championship.

Port Vale - March 21

OUT: Jim Gannon
IN: Mark Grew

Verdict: Gannon had been appointed following Micky Adams' decision to leave Vale for Sheffield United. However, he never won around directors, staff, players, or fans.

As their top seven challenge flagged, he was given the boot and Grew promoted to caretaker. The Valiants failed to make the play offs though, and Adams has now returned.

Rotherham United - March 22

OUT: Ronnie Moore
IN: Andy Scott

Verdict: Millers legend Moore had been expected to deliver promotion to the South Yorkshire outfit. A sticky spell of form saw him surprisingly dismissed though.

Scott eventually suceeded him, but by then United were already looking unlikely to claim a play off spot. He will be under pressure to deliver the goods in 2011/12.

Notts County - April 3

OUT: Paul Ince
IN: Martin Allen

Verdict: County's FA Cup run had seen them slide down the table due to inactivity.

When they looked unlikely to make their games in hand on others count though, Ince was fired.

Allen was poached from Barnet and inspired Notts to survival with a late run of results.

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