2010/11: The Sack Race
The first International “break” is upon us and a manager who will have time on his hands having felt the weight of expectation of his board is Alan Pardew at Southampton. In a previous posting on this site (titled, “Where’s the Logic?”) I questioned the reasoning of the sacking of Kevin Blackwell and suggested that it may have been a bit harsh.
However, the axing at St. Mary’s seems even more baffling. Last season Southampton overcame a ten point deficit and had a decent league run that saw them just miss out on the play-offs. Pardew also took the Saints to Wembley and the team lifted silverware in the shape of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. This season they suffered an opening day loss at home to Plymouth, but have picked up since them and their last game was a 4-0 away win at Bristol Rovers. The Board then decides to trot out the following statement, “…the club has decided that, to achieve its well known targets, it is essential to make changes to the management…We recognise that frequent changes to the football long term stability and progress for our football operations management are unlikely to assist in the winning of trophies and promotions…However, we are taking these steps to achieve our aims, which we share with all supporters, to get promoted this season…”. Perhaps it’s me, but I find the comments rather contradictory. It maybe that there are some other underlying problem at the club than wouldn’t be made public. However, how many managers have been sacked after such a convincing away win?
More madness will ensue today with the closure of the transfer window. Rumours will abound as to who is going where with “confirmed” sightings of players in airports, training grounds, the local Tesco et all, passed off as concrete evidence of a players new destination.
Just to finish I’d like to give a mention to the Non League day campaign (site below).
With the break due to the International fixtures, its aim is to encourage supporters to get to a non-league game this Saturday. There is a map (from the Find a Club tab), which is useful in that you can put in your postal address and it shows details of fixtures local to you. For me this Saturday I’ll be off to see the Evo-Stik First Division North fixture between Garforth Town and Lancaster City. Enjoy!