The Sack Race
This will be the third occasion I’ve tried to write this article, as every time I switch my laptop on, another manager of a Premier League club receives their P45. So far this season, Paolo Di Canio, Ian Holloway, Martin Jol, Steve Clarke and now Andre Villas Boas have all been told to clear their desks and reacquaint themselves their golf clubs. From the viewpoint as a Coventry City fan, this is now making me quite twitchy and anxious. I want our manager, the likable Scot Steve Pressley to do well and get my club promoted, but not so well a Premier League concern come touting his services. I’m feeling just as nervous when I presented my good lady with a certain diamond ring a few years ago, along with a certain question.
Luckily, with Pressley being an ex-Sky Blues player, he’ll understand what all the supporters want and where his loyalties should lie (he’s been installing this train of thought repeatedly into his players this season, so fingers crossed he is a man of his word). Fortunately, there are several unemployed more experienced managers looking to take on a challenge, as they put it, or more realistically get out of the house as they’ve been under the wife’s feet for the last few months. Coaches of the calibre of Stuart Pearce, Neil Warnock, Ray Wilkins, even Alex McLeish would relish the chance to work at Spurs or the Baggies. Personally, I think Tottenham should plum for Wilkins (enormously respected throughout the game, and look what he achieved at Chelsea – sown the seeds of their 2012 Champion’s League victory), while West Brom should enquiry about Mr Pearce. The former England Under 21 and Great Britain Olympic team boss would stabilise the Baggies, while not being the most attack-minded of coaches, they’d become so hard to beat and could hit the opposition on the break.
More than likely though, some more lesser known foreign coaches will appear. Talk is around the Black Country where I reside, the Baggies fans would love to see Roberto Di Matteo return. I wonder if Spurs supporters would welcome Glenn Hoddle back, as if the newspapers claims are to be believed, their former player and manager are a dead cert for the job.
With money ruling the game to such an extent, relegation is not an option to any chairman or club owner. Losing the income from TV rights is such a big blow it’s been the near as damn it death knell for many a club. You just have to look at how many teams have entered administration, after finding themselves floundering fiscally – Leeds United, Portsmouth, Southampton, even my own favourites, Coventry City. All of these fine, long established concerns have nearly hit the wall, with a couple (Portsmouth and Coventry) still not out of the woods yet. No wonder it appears to be the unwritten rule, a manger is always four to five defeats away from the sack. With that in mind, it’s just as well David Moyes managed to get his side into the last sixteen of the Champion’s League. That eases the pressure on him somewhat – just need to turn around that league form now.
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