20 & Counting

Yesterday morning the news broke that Brian Laws (pictured below) had become the 20th managerial casualty the top four divisions of the English game, so far this season.

It’s only December, for crying out loud.

His now former employer, Sheffield Wednesday, released a statement siting the club needed ‘fresh energy’ and ‘motivation’ for a club, which, on Saturday lost 3-0 at Leicester City.

Taking a win less streak back almost two month and included 12 matches in the process. This coincided with, Plymouth Argyle changing manager last week when Paul Sturrock was relieved of his duties, after 100 games in charge in his second stint in charge.

This begs the question; Will the next managerial incumbent actually fair better at these clubs and the other 18 who have changed before them.

As the old saying goes only time will tell!

When looking at some of the clubs who have decided a change was needed, several are not really fairing much better.

Namely, Tranmere Rovers, who currently have club physio, Les Parry in charge, after the dismissal of England legend, John Barnes after a mere 14 games in charge. Another example is, Darlington, who sacked, Colin Todd after only 11 games in charge.

Idiotic to say the least, especially considering his replacement, former Irish international, Steve Staunton has driven the club to a new low, with 8 defeats in the past 9 fixtures.

As an avid follower of Middlesbrough football club, the club recently following masses of fan pressure removed Gareth Southgate from his role as manager and replaced him with the colourful character, Gordon Strachan.

The teams fortunes have gone from bad to worse to almost worrying woeful, is this Strachan’s fault, the players fault, Southgate’s fault. Who knows? But it proves that maybe the managerial change hasn’t been affective – yet!

I recently wrote a blog entitled When Is The Right Time To Change? in which I stated that there is not always a correct time to change and sometimes changes are negative.

Sadly, we live in a world were instant success is what the blood hungry fans, board members and newspapers demand from teams or all three quickly clamber against the manager and his players.

It’s scary and worrying for the current crop of managers trying to play their trade in football management. None more so than the English Premier League which, is an ever evolving product, built on money and the success it brings.

Portsmouth recently sacked Paul Hart (pictured below) afer in my opinion he was doing a fine job, his replacement, Avram Grant, had a couple of disastrous games to begin with and then a couple of very good results, namely a win and a draw is his last two matches.

Is this due to Grant? Probably not. It is the same players, the same system and the same tactics as used under Hart. It was wrong to sack Hart, in my opinion but that is the demands put on the chairman and chief executives of football clubs.

Actions speak louder than words!!!

Instant success is never long-lasting and Manchester United are proof that sticking with a manager four years in to his reign after a run of poor results. This manager has since built an empire, a global brand and several of the worlds best players since.

For those who don’t know who I am talking about, it is, of course, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Stress is obviously the greatest issue that a modern football manager has to deal with but the current heads set for the chopping board have to deal with this, it is part of the jobs demands.

The questions remains; How many more will lose their jobs before the season ends? The answer is probably several of them; Phil Brown (Hull City), Gary Megson (Bolton Wanderers) and Roy Keane (Ipswich Town), to name but three under immense pressure as I write.

This is a difficult time of year for all, especially with the modern climate we live in and football in some respects is an uglier version of ‘dog eat dog’, but the games are coming thick and fast.

Time is definitely running out for some of the managers in the game today, but I will leave you with a couple of thoughts; would you seriously want someone to lose their job, no matter what the occupation is? It seems this is allowed in football.

The other thought is; in the Italian top division (Serie A), there have been 15 managerial changes since the end of last season and now (December 14th), in a league which contains only 20 teams. Astonishing!!

Whose your money on to be sacked next? I think it maybe Gary Megson as the Bolton faithful have never taken to him and their current plight is precarious.

Thanks for reading.



P.s. A huge well done to Ryan Giggs on winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night at the awards ceremony in Sheffield.

Check out my recent blog on Giggs entitled, Is Giggs The Greatest? a must read, even if I do say so myself.

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