I woke this morning to breaking news that yet another well established football manager had been given the boot.
Nothing annoys me more than clubs dismissing managers so early into the season, I understand they want results and have ambition – but seriously when will they wake up to the fact that teams lose games, it’s a fact of life, sacking your manager isn’t always the answer.
After the World cup I feared for Fabio Capello and had it not been for astronomical pay-off fee then the Italian may well have been shown the door. As it was, he stayed in the job and I have no doubt England will qualify for the European Championships in 2012.
Look at clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United, clubs who have had the same manager for years, even decades. They are teams that have achieved to the highest standard and developed players of world class talent – but not after battling through some torrid times.
Alan Pardew becomes the fourth Football League manager to leave his club this season, after Steve Coppell at Bristol City, Kevin Blackwell at Sheffield United and Chris Turner at Hartlepool. The reason for these men losing their jobs, bad results; they need to be given time. Surely bringing in a caretaker manager is far more unsettling to a team than to give the current manager a chance to change things. For me club owners and those in charge are far too concerned about money, profit and short term success than the long term benefits of their clubs.
After a fantastic win this weekend I can find no reason for this decision, my only explanation is that they have someone lined up to replace him and unless his name is Jose, I really don’t see how this move would be beneficial to any club at such an early stage in the season.
I feel a little sorry for the man who overturned a 10-point deduction and guided Saints to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in his first season in charge. Four points from three games is hardly a disaster – even if you are red hot favourites for promotion. Does that seriously merit losing your job?
It suggests to me that there is an underlying problem evident at Southampton. Having battled administration have Saints come out the other side or do the club who once lived life in the Premier League have further problems to contend with. Well, on the face of it they have built a strong financial position under Pardew and have strengthened their squad no end; for me their current position couldn’t be better and Pardew has done wonders for the club.
Let me draw your attention back to a statement made by club chairman Nicola Cortese which described reports of Pardew’s imminent demise as “ill informed”. Back in May it was heavily reported that Cortese wanted Pardew out – but how could he sack a man who had achieved so much for the club. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Cortese and Pardew didn’t see eye-to-eye – was a string of lacklustre performances just the excuse he needed to get rid, who knows.
Sacking Pardew really is unexplainable at this precise moment in time. The only thing you can say from the decision is it is hardly going to go down well with the Saints faithful, you only have to see some of the forums, messageboards and twitter updates to understand that. Bonkers, disgraceful, ridiculous and gutted are just a few of the emotions banded around.
The Southampton board has made a big mistake in my opinion and I only hope it doesn’t kill their season before it has even started.
Follow me on twitter here www.twitter.com/iamdanmorris