3 months in: The managerial merry-go round is well and truly under way
These past few weeks the managerial merry-go round has started up again with sackings coming left, right and centre as chairman attempt to give stalling clubs a jump start. Some clubs have deserved it, some were applauded by fans and some were a little harsh, here we look at the changes that have happened so far.
Derby County Out: Nigel Clough In: Steve McLaren
Nigel Clough’s four-and-a-half year reign was ended abruptly after the televised loss against local rivals Nottingham Forest with the club in a comfortable mid-table position. They had an uneven start, mixing good away results with bad home performances but many felt Clough had got the squad playing the right way.
Fans had grown a little despondent with Clough, feeling that they had given him enough time to improve yet they still hovered in a mid-table position. You can see why the higher up’s felt a move was needed, especially if they want to help their youthful team to improve to the next stage, but at the same time is Steve McLaren the right man to move them forward? Only time will tell but he has started well even while missing a few key players.
Middlesbrough Out: Tony Mowbray In: N/A
This is the one most people surely saw coming, despite Tony Mowbray’s legendary status at the club. In a truly dismal period for the club, Middlesbrough have managed five wins in all of 2013, which is a pretty shocking return for a club many feel should be challenging for promotion.
Is it all Mowbray’s fault? He does play a style that fans crave so I don’t see him struggling to find a new job lower down or abroad, but his players have failed him especially with the talent level at the club. At the same time, this is a difficult role to fill as not only is their high expectations but Boro fans really loved Mowbray and wanted it to work. However, with the talent level and a good stadium it will attract suitors.
It now looks like former Manchester United assistant Mike Phelan will take over at The Riverside.
Carlisle United Out: Gregg Abbott In: Graham Kavanagh
The earliest managerial move of the season so far, struggling Carlisle decided to get rid of Greg Abbott after a very poor start to the season that saw them rooted to the bottom and destined for the drop. Even though they managed a win in the Carling Cup against Blackburn Rovers, Abbott could not inspire anything from his side in the league and even seemed to admit himself that he would struggle to keep his job.
Since Graham Kavanagh was put in charge, he has really turned their fortunes around. The purse-strings are tight for the Cumbrian side, but Kavanagh has given the side new belief that’s lifted them out of the drop-zone and into mid-table. At this point, without a loss in four games, the move looks completely justified and promoting from within has helped the club immensely both on the field and in the finances.
Sheffield United Out: David Weir In: Nigel Clough
David Weir had been considered for the Everton job, so it was seen as a good move by the Blades to sign him up for their managerial vacancy. It started well, with the side finally playing the football the fans wanted to see in a victory against Notts County, but it was all downhill from there. They haven’t won since and that’s cost the former Scottish international his job.
Is he cut out to be a manager? That’s the question hanging over his head now as it seems he could be more valuable as a coach, with him regularly looking out of his depth. As for the next man at Bramall Lane, Nigel Clough’s appointment may just be one of the most important acquistions Sheffield Unitedhave made for decades. It’s not inconceivable to think that The Blades could be in one of three possible leagues next season. Clough may need to change it, or bring in more players in January, but then you have to question getting rid of Weir if they were just going to buy in January.
Gillingham Out: Martin Allen In: Peter Taylor
This one is probably the most surprising move by a club so far as Martin Allen was sacked with Gillingham in 17th after a less than average start to the season. However, Allen had won two of the last three games so it was a bit of a shock to see him get the sack when it looked like things may have been turning around for the promoted side.
Chairman Paul Scally has defended the sacking, saying that the dressing room wasn’t happy and that he “didn’t see much improvement” but it was almost not given a chance. Peter Taylor takes interim charge of the club which is seen as almost
a trial for the former England under-21 manager, who is seen as a front-runner to be given the job full time if he performs well. It’s still a relatively difficult job for anyone, but Gillingham will have to pick themselves up if they want to stay up this season.
Bury Out: Kevin Blackwell In: N/A
With finances incredibly tight, a complete turnaround in players and a relegation to recover from, the job at Bury was never going to be easy to begin with. However, with the club hovering just a point above the drop-zone, they felt it was right to end Kevin Blackwell’s reign eleven games into the season.
Whilst fans seem to be happy with his departure, many feeling that the club were playing poorly despite the troubles they had faced recently, but the realistic goal for the club this season is just to stay in the Football League to stabilise their books . As for candidates, former Accrington and Rochdale boss John Coleman has thrown his hat into the ring as well as former Newcastle hero Nolberto Solano, so it could be an interesting time yet for the Shakers.
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