Jewell fails to deliver on his Derby promise
Towards the end of Derby's torturous Premier League season boss Paul Jewell declared: "The pain we are suffering now, I will repay next season with promotion."
The 44-year-old's confidence was understandable. Derby might have mustered just one win in their season in the top flight - and that prior to Jewell's appointment in November 2007 - but he knows how to get teams out of the Championship; his track record proves it.
But the Rams are currently 18th in the Championship and Jewell, a man raised in a socialist household, with principles high on the agenda, resigned in the wake of his team's defeat at home to Ipswich on Sunday.
Derby are 12 points off the play-offs but just five above the relegation zone. They have won just seven of their 26 league fixtures this season.
Jewell had obviously decided he would not be able to deliver on his promise.
As Derby chairman Adam Pearson has since remarked, Jewell has done the honourable thing.
His exit completes a miserable few days for two proud cities connected by a stretch of the A52 better known as Brian Clough Way.
Derby and Nottingham Forest both flourished under Clough's management, but neither currently have a manager and are united only by their proximity to the Championship relegation zone.
Forest sacked Colin Calderwood after their defeat to Doncaster on Boxing Day. Some users on 606 are against the decision, others thought it had to be taken. Calderwood won promotion last season but many felt that under his stewardship they were heading straight back down.
Davies is a manager who knows how to squeeze the most out of the resources he has available. He is a combative figure but an excellent motivator and a good organiser. I would be amazed if Forest went down if they named Davies as their new manager.
The irony, of course, is that Davies is the man who preceded Jewell at Pride Park.
I spoke to Davies several times during the 2006-07 season, his first full campaign in charge at Derby. He had a three-year plan that would eventually lead to promotion. At the end of the season Derby won the Championship play-off final with a 1-0 win over West Brom.
In some ways the club's problems can be traced back to reaching the Promised Land so far ahead of schedule.
The club were not ready, did not have the personnel for the job, and Davies, who hardly enjoyed the most harmonious of relationships with his board, was gone by November.
Jewell came in refreshed after six months out of the game. The previous season he had kept Wigan in the Premier League - a final-day victory at Sheffield United keeping the Latics up but sending the Blades down.
If he had left the Premier League on a high, his return quickly turned sour and Derby were relegated by the end of March, with Jewell remarking that "the results have been rubbish since I have been here".
Extensive rebuilding took place in the summer - Jewell brought in an entire new team and assigned every player with a new squad number to try to draw a line under the previous season.
The likes of Rob Hulse, Nathan Ellington, Jordan Stewart, Kris Commons and Martin Albrechtsen were supposed to infuse the team with a new sense of self belief.
And in terms of results at least it did look as if Jewell had started to manufacture some kind of change of fortune when his side went through September unbeaten and lost just once in October.
The crowds continued to pass through the turnstiles - attendances have not dropped below 25,000 for home league fixtures - and Jewell's promises of the previous season did not sound so hollow.
However, the Rams had started the season with three defeats in their opening four league games and even with their later improvement in form the team did not manage to climb higher than ninth in the table.
Alarmingly, their form has fallen off since October late and Derby have won just one of their last nine Championship matches.
Openly at least, Jewell remained bullish going into the festive period.
"We could be sat here on 35 points or we could be sat here on 29, you really don't know," said the 44-year-old.
Now we do know, and so does Jewell. It is 29 points and clearly, enough is enough.
Jewell's record in management is currently won two, lost two.
He was a definite success at Bradford and Wigan, clubs he inherited in the lower divisions and took to the Premier League.
At Sheffield Wednesday and Derby he took over clubs on the wane and could not arrest their decline.
I still think that Jewell has a lot to offer as a manager and I'm sure that he will have learnt from a year that he recently described as the worst of his life, an "absolute nightmare".
I'm sure that some Derby fans - a few of whom were calling for his head on Sunday - would agree with Jewell's appraisal of 2008.
What must concern them now is the issue of who will succeed Jewell.
His assistant Chris Hutchings remains at the club. Hutchings failed after taking over from Jewell at both the Bantams and the Latics.
Chairman Pearson certainly has plenty of possible candidates to consider - the likes of Alan Curbishley, Paul Ince, Roy Keane, Steve Cotterrill, Nigel Clough, Aidy Boothroyd, Gary McAllister and, dare I say it, Davies.
Pearson is not a man prone to hasty decisions but the new manager may well want as much time as possible to wheel and deal in the transfer window.
Opinion on the 606 messageboard is divided. There doesn't appear to be a firm favourite. I'd like to know who you would like and whether you think Jewell was right to resign.
It might look depressing now but the season is by no means over for Derby.
The Championship is a very fluid division, teams move up and down the table with alarming frequency.
There are 20 league games left for the Rams - plus the matter of a Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United - and what happens at the club should make for fascinating viewing.