The Premier League Sack Race - Part Two
Every single employer the world over, on occasions no doubt regrets the day they took some of their staff on. Some people are just hopeless in a position, due to the demands and constraints the job enforces upon an individual, which leads to the inevitable dismissal (unless you were first team manager at Coventry City years ago, when you’d STILL not be asked to clear your desk, despite facing relegation – admittedly avoiding it – for several repeated seasons).
Nowadays, it appears even if you have achieved some success – sometimes against the odds and thrown the form book out of the window, set fire to it and danced on the burning embers in sheer delight – sometimes winning a trophy after the club you work for has had a barren spell for virtually all your lifetime, you’ll still receive your marching orders as the club owners wish to have someone else as the manager of their team. I always knew there was little sense of loyalty and/or sentimentality in football from the players, but this takes it to a whole new level coming from club football top brass.
I really feel for the Italian, Roberto Mancini. He took Manchester City to another level after many false dawns under numerous coaches. In successive seasons, he won the F.A Cup, the Premier League, and the Charity Shield, only to be shown the door after the F.A. Cup final defeat to Wigan and failing to keep hold of the Premier League crown. The reasoning by the hierarchy at Eastlands being, they felt Mancini didn’t quite cut the mustard in European competition. Is it just me, or had City not won anything major since 1976? All of the current playing staff hadn’t even been born then. Talkabout splitting hairs. Basically, the Italian’s face no longer fitted, or more realistically they had already decided they wanted Manuel Pelligrini in charge, and the cup final defeat to Wigan has just a suitable happening to instigate Mancini’s P45.
The same scenario appears to have transpired over on the south coast of Wales. Scotsman Malky Mackay took a very average Cardiff side, turned them into League Cup finalists (they only lost to Liverpool on penalties, remember), and then onto becoming a major force in the Championship that led to eventual promotion into the promised land that is the Premier League. Despite all these accomplishments for such a relatively small club, it was obvious over the last month or so Cardiff owner, Vincent Tan wanted a different manager in charge, sighting the reason for his intension to dismiss Mackay as several recent results have been indifferent. Going by that rationale, it would appear the only way the Scot could have kept his job would have been by putting Cardiff on top of the Premier League, and keeping them there. If Mackay had achieved that, I do believe the F.A of his home nation would have been breaking his front door down, after his services for the next World Cup qualification campaign.
Whatever Mackay did, his face just did not fit. Hence why he received the stinker of a Christmas present with the ‘Dear John’ in the post. Tan then brought in former United stalwart, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. I get the impression the Cardiff owner is hoping some of Sir Alex’s ‘knowhow’ will emerge through the Norwegian, as he coaches the reserve side at Old Trafford for several seasons. Only time will tell.
Attention is now swinging to Upton Park, with Sam Allardyce the latest manager to be in the media spotlight, especially after the two heavy cup defeats West Ham have just suffered. Allardyce may not have done himself any favours by resting key players, and not taking the cup competitions seriously enough, but he does have the ‘dubious’ vote of confidence from the club owners. They, for all that’s said about them, do not at least on the outset, appear to have a replacement lined up. The press are already pushing Mackay’s name forward, ironically enough. As long as Steve Pressley is left alone where he is at my Sky Blues, that’s all that matters to me.
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