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Sacking season in full swing

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Paul Fletcher | 11:05 UK time, Friday, 7 January 2011

Phil Brown walked through the doors at Preston North End on Thursday afternoon delivering the time-honoured line about the honour of taking over at a great club with a long history.

We could be hearing quite a lot of that sort of talk over the next few weeks given the current number of managerial vacancies in the Football League.

North End appointed Brown after dispensing with the services of Darren Ferguson on 29 December. Burnley parted company with Brian Laws on the same day.

Since then Barnet have sacked Mark Stimson, Crystal Palace fired George Burley, Stockport dismissed Paul Simpson, Charlton waved goodbye to Phil Parkinson and Walsall ditched Chris Hutchings. Then on Friday morning it emerged that Roy Keane had lost his job at Ipswich.

Phil Brown (left) is the new manager at Preston after the sacking of Darren Ferguson.

Brown (left) is hoping to rescue PNE after succeeding Ferguson. Photo: Getty Images

Preston are the first to plug the gap, with Brown's appointment coming on the same day as Port Vale named Jim Gannon as their new manager after predecessor Micky Adams left to take over at Sheffield United.

Brown took Hull into the top flight for the first time in their 104-year history in 2008. He later grabbed the headlines with his half-time haranguing of his players on the pitch during a fixture at Manchester City and his full-time serenading of supporters after the Tigers avoided the drop. He might have got a little carried away at times but he was a firm success at Hull and is keen to repeat that at Preston.

He has got his work cut out. North End are seven points adrift of safety, have managed to win just five of 22 league games and are desperately short of players after the spate of loan recalls that quickly followed the dismissal of Ferguson.

Brown, 51, and wily assistant Brian Horton had been out of a job since they left Hull in March. Brown was heavily linked with Burnley before signing an 18-month deal at Deepdale. Several other out-of-work managers such as Paul Jewell, Paul Hart and Chris Coleman were also mentioned as prospective managers at PNE. Burnley, desperate for an instant return to the top flight, are now apparently keen on current Watford boss Malky Mackay.

The season is reaching its midway point, the transfer window is open and, without doubt, the managerial merry-go-round is in full swing. There are currently seven Football League clubs looking for a manager, with Bristol Rovers still to appoint a successor to Paul Trollope, who was sacked on 15 December.

It is entirely feasible - indeed likely - that a manager sacked at some point so far this season will end up at another club before the campaign finishes. It happened 12 times last season in the Football League. One strong possibility is former Portugal international Paulo Sousa, who was sacked by Leicester in October and is being tipped to take over at Palace. If Sousa was to succeed Burley then the Eagles would become the fourth Championship club he has managed in just 26 months.

Arguably the unluckiest manager to lose his job in recent days is Parkinson at Charlton. OK, the Addicks have not won in League One since 20 November, but three draws from their last five fixtures since then is hardly a complete disaster. Parkinson had worked within budget restrictions but took Charlton to the play-offs last season and was sacked with the club fifth in the table.

"It is extremely disappointing that Phil has become the next manager to get the sack in this new year period," said League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan.

"It is even more remarkable given Charlton are currently only three points from the automatic promotion places."

Charlton chairman Michael Slater explained that recent results had not been good enough and that it had become necessary to appoint a new manager to keep the club in the hunt for promotion.

Paul Jewell (left) has been linked with Ipswich after the sacking of Roy Keane.

Paul Jewell (left) has been linked with Ipswich after the sacking of Roy Keane. Photo: Getty Images

But does sacking your manager at this time of year lead to an improvement in results? Over the previous five completed seasons 32 managers have been sacked by clubs in the Football League during December and January. On 15 occasions clubs have finished the season in a higher position than when they sacked the manager, while on a further 12 the club in question finished lower. Five times the club finished in exactly the same position.

Of the 32 dismissals, 21 clubs finished the campaign within three places of where they stood in the table when the sacking took place. Not once did a club who sacked their manager to reinvigorate a foundering promotion campaign end the season going up. Five times clubs that sacked their manager while in the relegation zone still went down, but a further seven managed to avoid the drop. Perhaps a change of manager is worth a gamble if you are in the relegation zone when the season reaches its midway point?

The recent spate of sackings - eight in the last 10 days - was the first issue discussed in an open letter sent out by the LMA on Thursday. There have now been 30 changes of manager in the Premier League and Football League this season, with 20 of them dismissals. Although this is slightly down on the 33 by the end of the first week of January last year, the LMA argued that year on year the figures "serve to highlight the continued chronic short-termism in football manager employment".

It added: "Clubs in lower leagues simply cannot afford to keep sacking managers. Short-termism does not work. It is hugely destabilizing to the club and its staff and a new manager wishing to stamp his own mark on the playing squad brings with him the additional cost of the transfer budget needed to do so.

"In football, there is an incomprehensible belief that the continued sacrificing of the football manager, the 'scapegoat' and installing another will turn around a football club's performance."

Former Sheffield Wednesday chairman Lee Strafford sacked Brian Laws in December 2009 with the Yorkshire club 22nd in the Championship. Alan Irvine took over in January but, after a brief improvement in results, the Owls slipped back into trouble and were relegated on the final day of the season.

Strafford is adamant that the timing of Laws' dismissal had nothing to do with the forthcoming transfer window, instead arguing it was a consequence of events that started in the Wednesday boardroom. Strafford, who resigned at Hillsborough last summer, agreed with the LMA that many chairmen are looking for a scapegoat when sacking their manager.

"Most of them are thinking about using manager change to deflect blame from the dis-functionality within their clubs such as boardroom problems, lack of reality in expectations associated with their club, operational/infrastructure issues with their club or financial issues," Strafford told me in an email.

"The next largest group are thinking about manager change to deflect from spending money in the transfer window ('new man needed to review things and also tried to sign players but couldn't get em in').

"Only the ones with cash to burn (i.e. the overwhelming minority) are thinking about transfer windows as a driver for manager change."

The LMA is keen to stress the instability of football management. The average length of time a manager keeps his job was three and a half years in 1992 but this had declined to one year and four months by last season. The most common period for a first-time manager to remain in his job is between six months and one year. Almost half of them do not get a second chance in management.

Of the current managerial vacancies in the Football League, Burnley and Charlton are still hopeful of promotion, while Ipswich, Crystal Palace, Walsall, Stockport and Barnet are all after someone to steer them away from relegation. There is no shortage of potential suitors.

As I write this I am being told that Jewell is taking over at Ipswich. His last game in management was Derby's final game of 2008. The Rams lost 1-0 to Ipswich and slipped to 18th in the Championship table and Jewell resigned afterwards.

The LMA quite rightly argues that many first-time managers do not get a second chance but for plenty of familiar faces - such as Brown and Jewell - the merry-go-round will eventually stop at a new club.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Good article.

    I think fans are too quick to jump on their managers backs, and chairman are too quick to kick them out.

    As a Toon fan, I've seen it happen alot, but thankfully we were patient last year with Hughton, and look where we are now? He was unjustly sacked, but we the fans gave him all the time he needed and its our dozey owner who got rid. But again, alot of fans at Newcastle are ready to give Pardew time, as our 'get success quick' regime of years gone by eventually lead to our downfall.

    I think Brown, despite not being the nicest of characters, is a solid appointment, and I can see him hauling Preston off the bottom. Jewell - Im not sure. Sousa - Im not sure. I think Hughton would be a real coup for any championship club.

    But that could be my Toon bias. lol. Good article.

  • Comment number 2.

    Good piece, and there are certainly some managers over the last few months have not deserved to lose their job. Sadly, Roy Keane wasn't one of them.


    Th next Ipswich manager - I am hearing that Jewell is not a certainty just yet.

    Quite honestly, after hearing Gary Megson is in the frame, I don't care who takes charge, providing its not him or Allardyce. Neither fit into our traditional footballing philosophy, and Megson in particular has managed Norwich.

  • Comment number 3.

    The LMA would criticise a managerial sacking if the manager lost at 38 games in a season! Managers have a great job, where they usually get a huge payoff even if they do a terrible job. Case in point is Roy Hodgson at my club Liverpool, he has been a total disaster from day one, but he will walk away with a nice pay day as soon as the owners see sense and get rid of him.

    Message to LFC Board Sack Hodgson and bring back Rafa.

  • Comment number 4.

    As a Blackburn fan and football fan, I'd say people are often too slow to consider sacking their manager because they are scared of sudden disaster. Staying in the PL was so important to some Blackburn fans that they would put up with two years of appalling football, negative selections and embarrassing media appearances by our manager. Thankfully our new owners share the desire of football fans of wanting to see good football rather than survival at any cost. Not that the media have any time for that - remember, rubbish football is all a little club like Blackburn are good for! And the LMA make me laugh. With their blindfold protectionism, they are just like the PFA... "Our guys never did noffin wrong ever ever".

  • Comment number 5.

    Watford's current and previous 2 managers have been first timers. Aidy Boothroyd was given 3.5 years before being axed; he had a good run, it wasn't always pretty to watch but there was entertainment and had taken us as far as he was likely to.

    Brendan Rodgers was 7 months into a job before being poached by Reading, now Burnley seem intent on destabalising Malky Mackay, who after 18 months is doing a brilliant job on a shoestring and with the board is in the process of building us up into a respectable club again, I would hate to see his good work undone because of another chairman's wish list.

    As well as short-termism within clubs, the LMA ought to help protect against manager poaching (how I don't know) as this can be detremental to young managers' progress (e.g. Rodgers at Reading).

  • Comment number 6.

    Looking at the recent sackings I would say in most cases they are reasonable.

    Darren Ferguson - Preston who have been in the Championship longer than any other club are now adrift at the bottom of the table. Fair sacking.

    Roy Keane - Spent a lot at Ipswich on mediocre players, has taken them backwards. Fair sacking.

    Sam Allardyce - Fair sacking if only for the fact that there is one less Alex Ferguson chum to rollover and have their tummies tickled. Also he is a dinosaur who concentrates on awful football.

    Parkinson - Harsh. On a bad run of form but should have been given longer to turn things around.

    Hughton - Very Harsh. Worked wonders revitalising a demoralised squad. A promotion and mid table in the premier league when sacked.

    Burley - 50/50 they were near the bottom, but he was working under difficult circumstances.

    How about the managers linked with losing their jobs.

    Carlo Ancellotti - Double winner last year. Should be given more time. I would suggest he is a victim of rather than a cause of Chelsea's current problems.

    Roy Hodgson - Out of his depth replacing a far superior manager. Has been a disaster in all aspects of the job (tactics, motivation, press conferences, transfers). Never should have got the job in the first place and should be out the door as soon as possible.

    Avram Grant - I would be inclined to give him more time. Inherited a mediocre team and so far they have not improved.

    Alex McLeish - Shouldn't go. He does play negative football but worked wonders last season. Should be given at least till the end of the season.

    Gerald Houllier - Came to a club with a very small squad and no time to make new signings. Team hasn't gelled yet but should be given till the end of the season.

  • Comment number 7.

    What is the point in having a new manager every year - it is bonkers !!! (not to mention costly)

    Wait for the correct manger for your club to become available and then hire then as manager on a 25 year contract. Let them rebuild the club from the acadamy up. This way we might see a better standard of english players coming through as well.

    Good luck Carlo - tell the boys to pull their fingers out we have had enough now !!!

  • Comment number 8.

    As a Manchester United fan, I really, REALLY hope that Hodgson stays till the end of the season with Liverpool! :D

  • Comment number 9.

    It seems to be the same every year, with managers getting sacked at this period. I think for some the transfer window will have an impact on things, giving the new man a chance to come in, assess the current squad and add any players he wishes to over the transfer period, but i think for most it won't make much difference.

    Most of the clubs in question are unlikely to have too much money to get anyone in, and are more likely to rely on loan signings. These clubs can loan players for long after the transfer window closes.

    I think the reason we see a lot of changes at this time of year is because it is at the halfway stage of the season. Chairman won't change too soon because they want to give the man in charge a chance to turn things around, like Keane at Ipswich, while waiting much longer doesn't give the new man a chance to have any impact. Therefore chairman choose this time of year to make the change and hope it works out for the best.

    IMO i think changing manager has become too easy an option for chairmen looking for a quick fix to their problems, and as the blog points out, rarely works out much different from where they are now. I think Parkinson is very unlucky to have lost his job, with Charlton still high in the table but going through a bad spell. He had every chance of reaching automatic promotion or at least the playoffs. Middlesbrough did something similar with sacking southgate last season, when they were third in the league i think, and since then have never come close to those heights. Maybe charlton should have looked at that and may suffer something similar.

    As for Keane, who's sacking has prompted this blog after being the last in a long line of recent sackings, i think Ipswich were right to act. He's had a long time in the job, and not done much of note with them other than the carling cup. He succeeded at Sunderland with money behind him and couldn't repeat the trick here. He'll probably get another chance in management 'cause of who he is, and i personally hope to see him succeed. He's not everyone's cup of tea, but he make the game more interesting.

  • Comment number 10.

    Chairmen need to be stronger. We have a booing culture now which started with the England team and now if teams aren't winning at half time the boos seem to ring around the grounds. Chairmen need to support their managers and let players know they have to buckle down under the current boss.
    The worst thing about any sacking though is the amount of money which leaves the game because of needless sackings. Rafa has taken over £10 million out in the past year, Big Sam £1.5 million and Sven has removed more than a Euromillions rollover winner.

  • Comment number 11.

    The unluckiest manager to be sacked was in fact Chris Hughton. It's hard to see what more he could have done and I hope he comes to Ipswich.

    On the flip side, I simply cannot believe Hodgson has been given yet more time. It will be a miracle if Liverpool win this weekend under him.

    If there was ever a good moment to sack Hodgson this was it - the squad would have got a lift and been well up for the cup match.

  • Comment number 12.

    I agree with the sentiment from this excellent blog. A good example of a club where sacking managers is a small cottage industry is at Leicester City. Ironically though, Milan Mandaric was slaughtered by the Press for ousting Sousa when infact, it was actually the only time he got the decison right.

    For all Sousa's pretty attacking football and missed chances, the club was haemoraging goals at an alarming rate. If the club hadn't acted we would be sitting in Preston NE territory for sure. Whatsmore, in Erickson, and for all his critics, he's brought in good loan signings to bolster the defence and if we sort out our away form, we will make the play-offs for sure because we drop very few points at the Walkers now.

    So sacking managers is all about timing and giving them a fair chance. Unfortunately, sticking with someone who shows no sign of resolving problems promotes a dangerous practice, especially with the financial implications of relegation.

    The sackings of Hughton (in particular), Allardyce and Parkinson are ridiculous when you can compare with the likes of Hodgson and Ancelotti who still cling on when in reality they should be long gone.

  • Comment number 13.

    The timing of the transfer window didn't have any effect on this sacking, eh? If that's true, I'm the Queen of Sheba!

    The combination of the closure of the window at the end of January and the increasing penalties for failure (status as well as financial - and maybe the whole existence of the club itself in some places) mean that the boardrooms of clubs who are not meeting whatever their own expectations are more and more afraid that if they miss this window to change then no change will happen - or can happen - until the end of the season.

    If you're going to give someone money to spend to turn things round, you're hardly likely to put that money in the hands of a manager you may already be losing confidence in, are you?

    And that especially applies when there's not much money around - you know for certain that to find a decent replacement you'll need to be able to offer him money to spend, so there's needs to be some left to promise. Giving the last money left to someone already failing is not something that any Chairman already under pressure from supporters and media is likely to want to contemplate.

  • Comment number 14.

    @11 You are just about right there. But I think the time to sack Hodgson was when the new owners took over. It should be clear now that England does not produce managers good enough for the top jobs. However, with the speed of decline Hodgson is managing the job wont be a top job for long!

  • Comment number 15.

    As a Barnet fan, I think it was fair to dismiss Mark Stimson. He has not won away from home as a manager for 20 months, and we have only picked up 2 points away from home this season with him in charge. He had to go. If we have any chance of staying in the football league it will be without him.

    I know people should give managers a chance, but if you believe the bad results are down to the manager and you can see no improvement in the long term future, whether it's tactics and psychological factors, and the fans want him out, then the chairman has to get rid of him. We need someone who can keep us up.

  • Comment number 16.

    If chairmen are a problem for managers, what about fans. Sheffield Wednesday are sixth. It's a very tight table at the top and there is every reason to suppose that we might even get automatic promotion.

    So why do many of our fans want Alan Irvine sacked? It just doesn't make sense when you consider the unbelievable constraints we've had over the last few months. We were relegated from the Championship with one of the very lowest wage bills in the league. What did we expect? I can't imagine that wages have increased and still we've kept many of the players that we needed.

    When we lost 5-1 at Exeter it was the players that let in 5 goals. When we lost 1-0 at Huddersfield it was a great shot that won the match.

    There are very few really good managers around - they're the ones that win everything like Alex Ferguson. Hang on! Ferguson was at United from 1986 and won his first trophy in 1990. Nearly 4 years to do anything. Now he would have been sacked in 1988 and United wouldn't have had 20 years of success. Blimey!

  • Comment number 17.

    As a half Ipswich, half Newcastle fan, nothing would please me more than to see Chris Hughton walk into Portman Road.

    I'm very worried that Paul Jewell is the current fave to take over though. He's a slimey character that hasn't run a decent team in years and years. Don't tell me, Marcus Evans and him used to gamble together in a casino in Liverpool!?

  • Comment number 18.

    The transfer window is solely responsible for these sackings. It is the chairmans last roll of the dice. Now if chairman have any doubt in their mind they just sack their manager instead of trusting them with any cash.

    It is a bit short sighted as when they do sack the manager they normally give the manager a great golden handshake which would have been better spent on players.

  • Comment number 19.

    Keane had to go 7 defeats in 9 and since he took over Ipswich have struggled!

    I think Presont will really struggle over the next few months, They recently lost to fellow strugglers Palace and have lost all their loan signings and best player Parkin!

    This blog article 'The Championship turned upside down'is a great article on what has gone on!
    http://upper90magazine.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/the-championship-turned-upside-down/

  • Comment number 20.

    People are saying that its the right time to sack a Manager as the window is now open for the new man in charge, but what about potential targets that were going to better the team by the sacked manager?
    The Transfer window is the reason why Managers are now sacked more often than back in 1992.
    In 1992 there was no window, there is now.

    I think a Manager should have a minimum of a 3 year deal, and cannot be allowed to be sacked until he has completed 2 full seasons with a Club.

    A Club is always going to be relegated every season, just like a Club other than in the Prem, is always going to be promoted. My point is, if Alex Ferguson was sacked in his first 18 months in charge, then we would not be talking about one of the greatest managers of all time being in charge of the same club today. A manager has been good enough to be appointed, so why is he a failure some 18months later?
    Why is the Manager the one to go? Because he chooses the team? Then what about the Chairman? He made the Manager, a Manager!!

    Most of the time a Manager is sacked due to Fan power, well I can assure you that not everyone is going to be a fan of the Manager appointed.
    I support Southampton, but im not in favour of our current Manager, Nigel Adkins. The difference with me is that I support the team that plays. It does not mean I want the manager sacked but my thoughts are already about getting a better man next time........ and we are 2nd in the league!!
    This leads me on to my point, a Club is not going to have everyone of its fans in favour of their present manager, and there lays the reason why they are easily sacked. A small minority will climb on their backs the minute things look bad, and that is when Chairman act!

  • Comment number 21.

    18. At 1:29pm on 07 Jan 2011, Matt Finney wrote:
    ----------------

    A fair point for some cases, but likewise there are those managers who have already been given money to spend on transfers and botched it up nicely.

    Why would the chairman trust them not to waste any more of the club's money?

  • Comment number 22.

    My outside bet, Burley back to Town. They've never been the same since he left.

    Hughton is in a prime position to pick and choose who he works for. Even at a Liverpool or Chelski, he's shown he's one of the best caretaker managers in the business.

  • Comment number 23.

    I read somewhere yesterday (though for the life of me I can't remember where!) that evidence shows that after the initial bounce of a new manager that performances and results soon revert to what the old manager was achieving. Might be the odd exception but expecting an exception is a gamble.

    Anyway, it's not all bad at Chelsea. We won yesterday http://www.chelseafc.com/page/LatestNews/0,,10268~2259895,00.html

  • Comment number 24.

    #9 True enough re Keane. It wasn't working for him and even he was honest enough to admit if things didn't improve he would deserve the sack

    Hopefully Hughton will in charge somewhere soon - I would question Paul Jewell coming in as while he was good with Wigan he was awful with Derby - in fact a bit like Keane

    Fergie Jnr also was struglling so not surprised there but I think Charlton have been a bit hasty although I have heard a Mr Kelvin McKenzie is over the moon with it

  • Comment number 25.

    the worst thing Ipswich will do in 10 years is sack Keane. Ipswich are a club with a tradition of building something special over time.

    Keane for me was man with a personality big enough to take on this club as a whole and transform it. Yes results and the position are not great. But he looked to me to be building something steady and progressive.

    The championship is an enigma of a league to me, a very close competition in terms of ability throughout. Whereas the PL clubs have on average 7 to 8 top class players, the Championship tends to have one or two stand out performers in each team capable of PL class. Squads are made up of players who could flit unnoticed between the remaining professional leagues. Eg. Clint Hill at leaders QPR is echelons in class away from Taraabt. Clive Platt appears effective for Coventry but the gulf in class between him and Marlon King is tangible.

    My point is that a good run of form and luck as much as anything else will get you up the table. The teams that build something and don't get the quick fix (a la Burnley, Hull, Derby, Watford) will really establish themselves as a Premiership side for years to come. Leeds to me are the club and team best equipped for this destiny.

  • Comment number 26.

    think a Manager should have a minimum of a 3 year deal, and cannot be allowed to be sacked until he has completed 2 full seasons with a Club.

    --------------------------

    That isd maybe a bit unrealistic - better move woudl be to tell clubs they have to name their manager on 1st August and cannot change them until May 31st then Chairmen would have to actually use proper selection criteria and would give continuity within the club

  • Comment number 27.

    # 1 I agree with you firstly that Hughton shouldn't have been sacked.. but to say Newcastle fans gave him time last season would be a bit daft.. Shearer took them down.. hughton took over with a squad that should have and quite rightly walked back into the Premier League.. your brief trip into the Championship was just that.. The Newcastle fans patience was never tested with Hughton during that whole season.

    Good piece though as it finally highlights the fact that these teams and more specifically chairmen sack gaffers on a whim and then replace them with journeymen who have failed at previous clubs..

  • Comment number 28.

    20. At 1:35pm on 07 Jan 2011, RocketSwanie wrote:

    You can't guarentee the manager a set period in charge - certainly not as long as 2 seasons!! In this time the club could be taken down 2 divisions because chairmen couldn't change the manager.

    The financial penalties of relegation are mainly to do with the problem. The compensation to pay off a manager is small potatoes in comparison to the financial disaster awaiting clubs that are relegated. It doesn't always work but obviously some chairmen decide its worth the punt.

  • Comment number 29.

    #25 - Leeds continue to dissappoint me by doing well.

    They and City should have stayed in League 1

  • Comment number 30.

    Before you sack the manager, you should transfer list all the players. If the players don't respond, then sack the manager.

  • Comment number 31.

    @20 A manager should have a 3 year deal minimum!?

    So to argue against that point I will give you my club Liverpool.

    The old incompetant owners hired an incompetent manager (Hodgson) and if the rules were how you suggest, we would be stuck with him for another 18 months! I can't bear to even begin to imagine how much further damage Hodgson could cause in 18 months, I suspect that I would be travelling to Scunthorpe and Doncaster watching his turgid, defensive football whilst he scratches himself like a chimp with fleas. Of course in the interview he would mumble incoherently about how the fans aren’t supporting him!

    Hodgson OUT Rafa IN PLEASE.

  • Comment number 32.

    The BBC needs a statistician. I've yet to see a comparison of clubs that don't dismiss their managers when in trouble versus those that do.

  • Comment number 33.

    No one seems to have mentioned the dismissal of Kevin Blackwell at Sheffield United yet.

    Now that was one stupid sacking!

  • Comment number 34.

    Good blog as usaul, however the question I always ask is why there is always another manager ready to take over from the one who has just been treated unfairly? Remember Chris Hughton? How come Alan Purdew was on hand to smoothly take over? The LMA has 'nowt' to say at least as long as the job market is open and anybody willing to take the job should equally be ready to get fired!

  • Comment number 35.

    6. At 12:51pm on 07 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    How about the managers linked with losing their jobs.

    Roy Hodgson - Out of his depth replacing a far superior manager. Has been a disaster in all aspects of the job (tactics, motivation, press conferences, transfers). Never should have got the job in the first place and should be out the door as soon as possible.

    Avram Grant - I would be inclined to give him more time. Inherited a mediocre team and so far they have not improved.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Your obviously a liverpool fan, you could quite easily say either one of those statements about either manager. In fact Grant's actually had longer in the job, has been able to sign a few more players without having to sell to do it and has made them far worse so much so they look favourites to get relegated.

    I do think that in some cases the sackings are justified. I know for example Parkinson has been classed as unlucky, but in the bigger picture he was there when they got relegated, failed to get them up last season and in their last game they were convincingly beaten at home by a team in mid-table.

    Keane seems to have bought in god knows how many players, wasted lots of money on transfer fees, also wages and signing on fees, yet he's still going on about needing new players and has managed to take Ipswich further down than before

    Ferguson's managed to take Preston adrift at the bottom. Not too sure what else Stimson, Simpson or Burley were supposed to achieve at their clubs considering the brief time they've been there and the limited resources those clubs had within their division

    Obviously Hughton was unlucky, and Allardyce too.

  • Comment number 36.

    25. At 1:49pm on 07 Jan 2011, tomefccam wrote:
    the worst thing Ipswich will do in 10 years is sack Keane. Ipswich are a club with a tradition of building something special over time.

    True, but the way football is run is completely different to the way it was when Sir Bobby was in charge. Clubs nowadays cannot afford to hang around and wait to see if fortunes improve, and the bare facts with Ipswich were that we were only heading in 1 direction. The football was awful to watch, flair players were being moved out or not played, crowds were leaving in their droves and more importantly he had lost the support of the fans which left his position untenable.

    As an Ipswich fan I wish that things had worked out under Keane, but I am so happy that he has gone now because at last we can start becoming 'Ipswich Town' again, rather than 'Roy Keane's Ipswich'.

  • Comment number 37.

    @27 Are you really trying to tell us that Newcastle went back into the Premiership uncontested? Wake up Mikey! The view at the time was that they would spend years in the championship - they were also relegation favourites this season. Hughton deserves the credit.

    @25 Can't agree at all. Keane's had ample opportunity, time and money to develop a squad, yet despite some promising players it lacks stability and morale, as well as fundemental skills.

  • Comment number 38.

    @31 New owners can start from scratch ;O)

  • Comment number 39.

    Chuffed to bits, the man is a bully and can imagine his bullying tactics in the changing room. Goes to show not every great player can naturally manage and lead men.

  • Comment number 40.

    Browny will keep PNE up, he came in at a similar time when Parkinson was sacked at Hull, granted we were slightly better off at the time, kept us up then got us promoted, he's a good manager, here's hoping he comes in for some of his favourites at Hull on loan though!!

  • Comment number 41.

    @ #36

    With links to Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich are a team close to my heart. I can agree with you on most points, but the question has to be if you are in something for the long term, who is out there?

    Jewell for me would be a major step backwards, plus I don't think his profile is good enough for a team who have a sterling history. For that reason I felt Keane was better placed. But I suppose, yes results dictate. Personally I would potentially look at Peter Reid, who for me is punching well below his standard at Plymouth. I always viewd Matt Holland as future managerial material, but his experience is nil. So somebody with the Ipswich connections of Holland, and the nous and profile of Reid and this is who Ipswich require.

  • Comment number 42.

    Can anyone explain why Fabio Capello hasn't been sacked?

    The worst managerial performer in English football.

  • Comment number 43.

    Now then - and many thanks for your thoughts so far.

    Imagine Reason (post 32) - I'd never call myself a stats man but I might put that on my to-do-list.

    I'm not surprised to see that quite a few people would be happy to see Chris Hughton taking over at their club. I thought he was very unlucky at Newcastle.

    A slight difference of opinion over the sacking of Keane. To be honest, so many managers have been sacked recently that I think the LMA have a very valid point when they talk about managers as scapegoats. I think that sometimes it really is a good time for a change, but often the manager ends up taking the blame when there are a whole load of factors behind a good run of form.

    I see that Preston boss Phil Brown has been texted by Bis Sam Allardyce, who was on the beach at Dubai and wanted to wish his mate all the best.

  • Comment number 44.

    There's always been sackings but it seems to have got to the stage of frenzy these last few years, all down to the money involved is my guess.
    Keane was backed with funds and has failed to deliver over 20 months, but more often than not clubs sack a manager, bequeth a poor team and bemoan (and sack) the next manager for not turning these pigs ears into Brazil!
    Fans are more easily agitated these days-again money I think.To be bluntly honest, for the most part we are watching football no better than that served up 20-30 years ago which cost a fiver to go to/buy programme/pie, that now costs £50+for the same.
    I only think things will improve for managers/fans/good of the game/national squads if we go back to 4 divisions with the TV cash shared equally like before. But as this aint going to happen,I guess we're doomed to see the game turn into more and more of a soap opera.
    Only if fans desert en masse will change even be remotely considered.

  • Comment number 45.

    Fletch, I know Big Sam is.... Big.... But you can see him in Dubai from there???

  • Comment number 46.

    @35 The thing is Hodgson did not inherit a mediocre squad. He inherited a strong squad and has made it weaker. The squad left to him had more players at the last World Cup than any other club. Let's look at the mediocre (as the media keeps telling us) squad that Hodgson was left.

    Reina - Best keeper in the league.
    Johnson & Carragher - Englands right back and England squad member (In fairness I don't rate Johnson at all)
    Gerrard - England captain at world cup.
    Mascherano - Argentina captain at World Cup.
    Torres - Quality. One of the best in the world.
    Kuyt - World Cup finalist
    Maxi & Insua - Argentinian internationals.
    Agger - Quality centre back
    Skrtel & Kyrgiakos - International centre backs
    Aquilani - Fit at last and allowed to leave on loan by Hodgson!!! Been a standout performer this year in Serie A.
    Lucas - Brazilian international, fast improving player.
    Babel - Dutch International.
    Kelly, Ecclestone, Della Valle, Ayala, Darby, Ngog, Shelvey, Spearing - Promising youth players
    Pacheco - Fantastic prospect.

    Now obviously the squad was not perfect and needed strengthening, but it was a lot stronger than Hodgson defenders will have you believe. Since Hodgson has been in charge he has purchased dross Poulson, Konchesky, Jones and Cole. He has made one good signing in Mereilles, but plays him out of position! He has sold promising young players and loaned away Insua and Aquilani. He has alienated the fans with his negative football, his mediocre expectations, his lauding of the great performance losing to Everton! His cosying up to Ferguson, His terrible signings. I could go on and on and on!

    Hodgson OUT Rafa IN PLEASE.

  • Comment number 47.

    No sam held a press conference to say he sent someone a text

    Tomorrow we'll be finding out he paid his electricity bill online

  • Comment number 48.

    Come on - lets leave Big Sam alone. He'll be back in the game in no time, I'm sure. Would not be shocked if he turned up at Burnley.

  • Comment number 49.

    The LMA come out with this drivel every once in a while. Their role of course is to support managers in keeping their jobs regardless of the peformance of that individual. This means that their views which on occasion hold some vailidity are constantly underpinned by the vested interests of their membership. Can anyone recall them ever coming out and saying that it was a good idea that some Chairman sacked one of their members? No. I thought not. The whole shenanigans is a mixture of a merry go round and lottery rolled into one. The success of any manager has a lot more to do with boardroom interference and witlessness than it does to do with players and managerial capabilities. Look at the Hughton and Allardyce situations as evidence. Avram Grant was a success at Chelsea and still had the dead men of Pompey walking when they were all but down. Things aren't going too well at Upton Park, but the board won't sack themselves will they?

  • Comment number 50.

    im a big ipswich fan and after watching Ipswich play Barnsley at Portman Road a little while back i was shocked as to the lack of confidence the squad has shown for quiet a while now. In my opinion they were scared to express themselves through their football and this could come from many things, one being the aura around Roy Keane. Im glad we had the chance to witness what he could do at the time he signed but now im glad he has gone...
    Just slightly shocked as to why Jewell would get the nod when Curbishley is not even mention with any of the above vacancies!

  • Comment number 51.

    Paul Jewell to Ipswich?

    Nothing against him personally but he's been out of a job for 2 years and in his last one he took Derby down (with a worse record than the bloke he replaced) and left them 18th in the Championship.
    What makes him a better bet than Roy Keane to improve Ipswich's position? Surely there are up and coming managers out there who deserve a chance at a higher level?

  • Comment number 52.

    Although I don't have great sympathy for a lot of these sacked managers - paricularly the ones who get the big golden handshakes like Rafa Benitez at Inter, I think it's time some sort of rule is brought in to say each club must stick with the same manager throughout the length of a whole league campaign Aug-May (barring problems due to health grounds). It gives managers a chance to be judged fairly, the fans would have to back their team as is and it stops the farcical hot-seat merry-go-round.

  • Comment number 53.

    As long as he stays away from Portman Road, I don't care where Allardyce or Megson are. Ipswich are a club renowned for play good football, and also for giving managers time.

    Keane has had that, in 20 months, at a club, you must be in a position where you can see signs of improvement. We saw none - in fact it got worse. Poor football meant poor crowds. He was disrespectful towards the supporters on too many occasions. The list is endless. I couldn't give a monkey's what the LMA say - after all, at the end of their statement, they even got their facts wrong about ITFC - they haven't kept a close eye on the drivel at PR in recent times.

  • Comment number 54.

    . Let's look at the mediocre (as the media keeps telling us) squad that Hodgson was left.

    Reina - Best keeper in the league. (sadly true enough)
    Johnson & Carragher - Englands right back and England squad member (In fairness I don't rate Johnson at all) - both are rubbish and carragher has been past it for years)
    Gerrard - England captain at world cup. - (been a shadow of himself this year though)
    Mascherano - Argentina captain at World Cup. (was gone before woy took over so doesn't count)
    Torres - Quality. One of the best in the world. (Injury prone and goes missing when he doesn't fancy it - talented though)
    Kuyt - World Cup finalist - consistent, good hard-working player but not a world-beating talent
    Maxi & Insua - Argentinian internationals. - True but doesn't necessarily make them good
    Agger - Quality centre back - Absolutely and isn't beimng played
    Skrtel & Kyrgiakos - International centre backs (not good ones though)
    Aquilani - Fit at last and allowed to leave on loan by Hodgson!!! Been a standout performer this year in Serie A. - hard to say as wasn't brilliant last season but should have been given a go this time
    Lucas - Brazilian international, fast improving player. - true but was poor last season - lots of effort although still questions on positional and tactical ability
    Babel - Dutch International. (again incosistent witha bad attitude)
    Kelly, Ecclestone, Della Valle, Ayala, Darby, Ngog, Shelvey, Spearing - Promising youth players - some of them are good but Ngog too inconsistent which cost rafa his chance at the title

    Since Hodgson has been in charge he has purchased dross Poulson, Konchesky, Jones and Cole -

    I wouldn't say Cole was dross but he hasn't performed well and the others are average to be fair

    I think one of the real reasons tyou hate him is unlike Rafa he isn't picking a fight with Fergie every 5 minutes and is trying to sort out the team without getting these other distractions

    Rafa had a list of facts but not title at the end of the season

  • Comment number 55.

    Why oh why do liverpool fans want Rafa back???

    This is the man who won the ECL with GH's squad and then weakenend it.

    What happened at Inter??? Oh yeah, he showed how good he was by turning JM's treble winning Inter team into a middle of the table team - in Serie A !!!

    Personally, I was really sad when Rafa got the sack because I knew that under him Liverpool were not going to win league - they would stay a good cup team at best.

    Hodgeson was always going to be out of his depth at Liverpool and was only really an interm choice until the ownership of the club was sorted out. The fact he has made dubious transfers so far in Poulsen & Konchesky (Julian Dicks was better than this lad) only goes to prove this.

    Liverpool should look to go back to the old days of promoting from within like the days when they actually won titles in the 70's & 80's.

    Advice from a Chelsea fan:

    Manager - Kenny Daglish
    Assistant Manager - Phil Thompson
    Defensive Coach - Steve Nicol
    Midfield Coach - Sammy Lee
    Striker Coach - Ian Rush

    If you are able to sign the next generation of future world class players like Hazard (Lille) then go for it. Carra & Gerrard should help then settle in & having players like Torres & Reina can help bring then in.

    Carragher & Gerrard for future coaches / managers of Liverpool? Maybe?

  • Comment number 56.

    At 3:11pm on 07 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    Meireles and Poulson were also at the world cup or did you miss that??

    Anyway lets look at your list again from a different point of view as I feel that you have slightly skewed that in your favour.

    Reina - Fair do's a very good keeper - played the world cup on the bench though
    Johnson & Carragher - Neither of these should have been anywhere near the world cup in fairness.
    Gerrard - Good player but not on form all season
    Mascherano - Already stated he wanted to leave club after Benitez was sacked. Hodgson played him when he was available but left for Barcelona (and incidentally anoth payout for his agent/owner Kia Joorbaichen)Torres - On current form no where near the best in the world
    Kuyt - Team work horse but not exactly full of quality.
    Maxi & Insua - Maxi has found some form so far but as far as I can remember Insua had already asked for a transfer before Hodgson was appointed.
    Agger - Been injured a lot so far.
    Skrtel & Kyrgiakos - Not great but servicable centre backs at best.
    Aquilani - Who's fault is it that he was bought with such a poor injury record?? Certainly not Hodgson as I believe the loan deal was already signed anyway
    Lucas - Brazilian international, fast improving player (fair do's I suppose).
    Babel - Not first choice and I can't remember him playing any part in the world cup at all.
    Kelly, Ecclestone, Della Valle, Ayala, Darby, Ngog, Shelvey, Spearing - Promising youth players
    Pacheco - Fantastic prospect.

    The decline had already started under Rafa and as a United fan I would love to see him back in charge lol

  • Comment number 57.

    @ 36. Buttons wrote:

    "As an Ipswich fan I wish that things had worked out under Keane, but I am so happy that he has gone now because at last we can start becoming 'Ipswich Town' again, rather than 'Roy Keane's Ipswich'."

    I couldn't agree more - 'Ipswich Town' definitely lost their identity with Keane steering the tractor, to the point that it became a one-man media circus. It seems that the quality of the football played was of second imprtance, and as such suffered.

    I hope that ITFC get a good long-term manager that can re-introduce positive, attractive and winning football to the club, and we can once again enjoy the next East Anglian derby as at least an exciting and close-fought contest!

  • Comment number 58.

    54. At 3:35pm on 07 Jan 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    . Let's look at the mediocre (as the media keeps telling us) squad that Hodgson was left.

    Reina - Best keeper in the league. (sadly true enough)
    Johnson & Carragher - Englands right back and England squad member (In fairness I don't rate Johnson at all) - both are rubbish and carragher has been past it for years)
    Gerrard - England captain at world cup. - (been a shadow of himself this year though)
    Mascherano - Argentina captain at World Cup. (was gone before woy took over so doesn't count)
    Torres - Quality. One of the best in the world. (Injury prone and goes missing when he doesn't fancy it - talented though)
    Kuyt - World Cup finalist - consistent, good hard-working player but not a world-beating talent
    Maxi & Insua - Argentinian internationals. - True but doesn't necessarily make them good
    Agger - Quality centre back - Absolutely and isn't beimng played
    Skrtel & Kyrgiakos - International centre backs (not good ones though)
    Aquilani - Fit at last and allowed to leave on loan by Hodgson!!! Been a standout performer this year in Serie A. - hard to say as wasn't brilliant last season but should have been given a go this time
    Lucas - Brazilian international, fast improving player. - true but was poor last season - lots of effort although still questions on positional and tactical ability
    Babel - Dutch International. (again incosistent witha bad attitude)
    Kelly, Ecclestone, Della Valle, Ayala, Darby, Ngog, Shelvey, Spearing - Promising youth players - some of them are good but Ngog too inconsistent which cost rafa his chance at the title

    Since Hodgson has been in charge he has purchased dross Poulson, Konchesky, Jones and Cole -

    I wouldn't say Cole was dross but he hasn't performed well and the others are average to be fair

    I think one of the real reasons tyou hate him is unlike Rafa he isn't picking a fight with Fergie every 5 minutes and is trying to sort out the team without getting these other distractions

    Rafa had a list of facts but not title at the end of the season
    -------------------------------------------------------

    @54 Whilst I'm sure a Man Utd fan has Liverpools best interests at heart...... You have got so much wrong it's untrue!

    1. Cole is dross! Hasn't performed for about 3 years and was not exactly world class when he was on form!
    2. Mascherano was there when Hodgson took over!
    3. Comments about players form! That's my point!!! They are playing bad under Hodgson!
    4. Erm been an Argentinian international does make you good! They don't have too many donkeys do they????
    5. Agger isn't been played? Exactly! Hodgson is not playing our best centre back!
    6. Picking a fight with Ferguson? Not worried about that but a Liverpool manager shouldn't pander to him like Hodgson does!

  • Comment number 59.

    #56 - Babel did play in some of the matches but as a substitute

    Rafa may get them some cups but would want the cheque book out all the time as would O'Neill.

    Kenny or Phil Thompson as a Caretaker in the interim until you can find a good manager with Liverpool connections

    Ladies and Gents I give you

    KEVIN KEEGAN - LIVERPOOL MANAGER

    Entertaining football and media guaranteed. His sides were always good to watch and ran United close on several occasions

    Commolli would have to go or at least keep his nose out of transfers

  • Comment number 60.

    How about Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham, Fulham, Aston Villa and Wigan carry out a Manager merry go round,?

    Grant from West Ham to Chelsea.

    Ancelotti from Chelsea to Liverpool.

    Hodgson from Liverpool to Fulham.

    Hughes from Fulham to Aston Villa.

    Houllier from Aston Villa to Wigan.

    Martinez from Wigan to West Ham.

    Would you all be happy with this?

  • Comment number 61.

    59. At 4:05pm on 07 Jan 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever

    Haha Keegan is probably just as good a choice as Rafa from a United fans point of view!!

  • Comment number 62.

    54. At 3:35pm on 07 Jan 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:

    In addition - Mascherano - went on strike just before the Man City match and had to be sold

    Agger - quality centre back, but injury prone

    Torres - despite being in the best team in the world, was awful at the world cup and hasn't been much better this season

    Kuyt - works hard but doesn't have a lot of quality

    Babel - done nothing in English football

    Skrtel & Kyrgiakos - International centre backs (not good ones though and not with strong nations)

  • Comment number 63.

    56. At 3:36pm on 07 Jan 2011, Wayne Rooney - The Missing Link wrote:
    At 3:11pm on 07 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    Meireles and Poulson were also at the world cup or did you miss that??

    Anyway lets look at your list again from a different point of view as I feel that you have slightly skewed that in your favour.

    Reina - Fair do's a very good keeper - played the world cup on the bench though
    Johnson & Carragher - Neither of these should have been anywhere near the world cup in fairness.
    Gerrard - Good player but not on form all season
    Mascherano - Already stated he wanted to leave club after Benitez was sacked. Hodgson played him when he was available but left for Barcelona (and incidentally anoth payout for his agent/owner Kia Joorbaichen)Torres - On current form no where near the best in the world
    Kuyt - Team work horse but not exactly full of quality.
    Maxi & Insua - Maxi has found some form so far but as far as I can remember Insua had already asked for a transfer before Hodgson was appointed.
    Agger - Been injured a lot so far.
    Skrtel & Kyrgiakos - Not great but servicable centre backs at best.
    Aquilani - Who's fault is it that he was bought with such a poor injury record?? Certainly not Hodgson as I believe the loan deal was already signed anyway
    Lucas - Brazilian international, fast improving player (fair do's I suppose).
    Babel - Not first choice and I can't remember him playing any part in the world cup at all.
    Kelly, Ecclestone, Della Valle, Ayala, Darby, Ngog, Shelvey, Spearing - Promising youth players
    Pacheco - Fantastic prospect.

    The decline had already started under Rafa and as a United fan I would love to see him back in charge lol

    ------------------------------

    Another Man Utd fan talking about Liverpool!!!! How did Liverpool decline under Rafa? He was the most succesfull Liverpool manager since Dalglish. Lets go through your points then shall we?

    Reina was backup to Casillas probably the best in the world!
    Johnson I agree with and have already stated he is poor.
    Gerrard not on form this season? Probably because Hodgson is playing him centre midfield in a 4-4-2 when he should be playing behind Torres. Gerrard is not a centre midfielder. His two best seasons for Liverpool was when he played behind Torres and on the right. Incidentally both under Rafa's management.
    Mascherano was linked with a move away the previous season but Benitez (a proper manager) convinced him to stay.
    Kuyt - I agree but he does have more qualitys than been a workhorse. Every team needs a player like him (Park, Fletcher at your own club)
    Insua - Has been loaned not transferred. Hodgson could have kept him.
    Agger - Has been injured but also played out of position at left back by Hodgson.
    Aquilani - Loan deal wasn't agreed when Hodgson took charge. He was signed injured but not for money that was reported. Roma owed Liverpool for Riise transfer. A lot of the fee would be also made up by add ons. A quality player who Hodgson has farmed out to replace with Poulson!!!!!!
    Babel - Didn't say he played at the World Cup! But he is an international!

    Rafa Benitez would and has done a terrific job at Liverpool.

    Hodgson OUT Rafa IN please!

  • Comment number 64.

    60. At 4:08pm on 07 Jan 2011, Bladegunner3 wrote:
    How about Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham, Fulham, Aston Villa and Wigan carry out a Manager merry go round,?

    Grant from West Ham to Chelsea.

    Ancelotti from Chelsea to Liverpool.

    Hodgson from Liverpool to Fulham.

    Hughes from Fulham to Aston Villa.

    Houllier from Aston Villa to Wigan.

    Martinez from Wigan to West Ham.

    Would you all be happy with this?
    -------------------------

    Liverpool fan would take Ancelotti over Hodgson anyday. So you would get my vote!

  • Comment number 65.

    Mascherano - Argentina captain at World Cup. (was gone before woy took over so doesn't count)

    -------------------------
    No he wasn't gone!

    Maybe if journos, pundits and non-Liverpool fans took time to actually analyse what has happened at Liverpool since February 2007 until now, you may have half a grasp at why H&G, Parry, Purslow, Broughton had to go and why Hodgson has to go now. But pundits and journos have to toe the Sky and BBC party line because Roy is English. They trot out throw away lines like "Rafa inherited a better squad in 2004 than Roy did in 2010." And those with an axe to grind or those that can't be bothered to find out for themsels actually believe this garbage.

    I hate the thought of someone losing their job and being ridiculed by fans, I don't like that one bit. However, Roy would be cushioned from financial hardship and he will have the sycophantic media clucking round him saying there there.



  • Comment number 66.

    Veering of topic but Reina is not the best keeper in the league.

    Cech and Van Der Sar are far more reliable. Look at the state of the second Blackburn goal during the week. Excellent shot stopper, all round game lacking. Cech has had some moments but he commands his area and makes saves other keepers simply don't. Van Der Sar makes the job look easy and you can count the soft goals he's been responsible for in the last 3/4 seasons on one hand. He's also the best keeper in the division with the ball at his feet. Young Joe Hart also matches Reina on saves but makes fewer errors despite his age. Friedel has also been consistently one of the best around for a few seasons now

    Reina is one of many keepers who make great saves but let themselves down commanding their area or doing something ridiculous like Schwarzer Gomes, Howard or Schwarzer. His reputation has risen because he kept a lot of clean sheets in a Liverpool team that was built to defend which brings us back onto managers and Rafa. It's unbelieveable the amount of scousers who want him back despite dragging them down to 7th and wasting millions of pounds on average players. A man who wanted to replace one of Europe's great passing midfielders with Gareth Barry. Not since Evans have they had a manager who played the sort of football you'd expect for such a top club. Its onlu UEFA's generosity in awarding more CL places that makes Rafa look better.

  • Comment number 67.

    Oi oi all you glory hunters. And Liverpool fans.
    This isn't McNulty, not every blog on the beeb has to turn into Liverpool and how great/rubbish their squad is :P

    I would love to see Keane move onto bigger and better things. It looks like Paul Lambert is getting tapped up (shock! Not like he's got previous for that!). Maybe Keano should take a trip up the A140....

  • Comment number 68.

    Who will be the first premeier league manager sacked of 2011? Answer my poll at http://jackbradshaw.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 69.

    Another Man Utd fan talking about Liverpool!!!! How did Liverpool decline under Rafa? He was the most succesfull Liverpool manager since Dalglish. Lets go through your points then shall we?

    -----------------------

    Didn't Houllier win more trophies than Rafa

    Rafa wasn't bad but he wasn't fantastic either as he wouldn't bring through any young players. He signed some excellent players but also a lot of rubbish.

    Look at what he has done at Inter - you need a good manager with a genuine connection to Liverpool Football Club but the problem is too many of your best players have either already managed the club(Dalglish, Souness), gone into the media (Hansen, Lawro, Redknapp), have been poor in management roles (Barnes, Rush, Sammy Lee, Steve Staunton) or have no interest in management (everyone else)

    Realistically Keegan, Steve Nicol or Gary Mcallister are the only ex-Liverpool playes who would be able to do it unless Dalglish fancies another go at it

  • Comment number 70.

    Rafa inherited a better squad in 2004 than Roy did in 2010."

    he did considering Houllier's squad had won a fair amount of trophies

  • Comment number 71.

    Two seasons ago Bournemouth started on -17 points. Kevin Bond was sacked 4 games into the season (2 points) - just as the transfer window closed. He was obviously inadequate.
    His successor Jimmy Quinn was dumped at the halfway stage after a defeat to the next higher club in the table (Barnet, it was the only league game they won in 4 months). In emergency break glass.

    The incoming manager was Eddie Howe. The original decision to sign Jimmy Quinn was a mistake, Howe had been part of Bond's management team and was sacked with him. Quinn's assistant was Jason Tindall, Eddie Howe had played with him before and the two now work together.

    The suggestion that all players should be released before dumping the manager is just insane. The suggestion that all managers should be given a minimum of two years no better. Sometimes the manager has to go and the start of the transfer window is an obvious time to do it. My feeling was that more were sacked a few years ago, they were just spread over the season rather than all at once.

  • Comment number 72.

    Since 2000, Doncaster Rovers have been the most improved club in English football. In fact, we have only failed to improve our league position from one season to the next on one occasion since 2000. That season was the season that Sean O'Driscoll replaced Dave Penney - and even then we won the JP Trophy!

    Since 2000, Donny have had 2 managers (Penney until September 2006 and then O'Driscoll). Does anyone believe this could have been achieved had we got through 6 managers in this period, which would mean the management tenure at Donny would be last seasons average?

    For me, the first thing required for success in football is stability. I sometimes wonder whether Chairmen realize what idiots they look when they sack a manager after less than a full season, after all, they appointed him!

    I don't say that managers should be exempt from blame, but surely a good chairman would give his manager clear success criteria and, should he not meet them, investigate thoroughly to ensure the manager is the problem?

  • Comment number 73.

    Hi, great article. I think all too often in football these days sacking the manager and bringing a new one in is often seen as a quick solution but often the problems are much deepr rooted and cannot be solved with such an action.

    Look at the example of Birmingham when they sacked Steve Bruce and brought in Alex Mcleish - this was in November and Birmingham were still relegated. They weren't even in the relegation places when Mcleish took over. Often the instabiltiy from a managerial change and the lack of time given for a manager to build up his own squad plays a massive factor in deciding the ultimate position of the team, as clearly Mcleish is a decent manager giving his record in Scotland and with Birmingham last season.

    Having said that here's my verdict on the managers under pressure:

    Ancelloti - Chelsea don't become a bad team overnight but recent form is very worrying. I don't really think it's his fault though - he had to let players go in the summer and try and develop youth to try and balance the books. Joe Cole has been awful at Liverpool anyway so it was probably a good decision on that part, although they definitely could have done with Ricardo Carvalho. Also, the spine of Chelsea is becoming older and they can't rely on them like they used to. Should still make the top four (at least) though so I would keep him.

    Hodgson - He did have time to build his own squad and was left with a fairly decent one, albeit dependent on gerrard and torres who have both been injured a fair part of this season. Losing Mascherano was a blow but you can't really say that he invested the money wisely. For a club like Liverpool 7th last season was unacceptable but it doesn't look like they'll get anywhere near that the way things are currently going.

    Houllier - unlucky to come into the season without any time or funds to shape the squad the way he wanted it, as it seems like he hates most of the current squad witha vengeance. Should be given until the end of the season. I think Villa will escape relegation - just - but it will be a hard fight.

    Grant - The only reason he was bought in to West Ham was because he was a yes man. Anyone could have done what he did at Chelsea and at Portsmouth he was bottom of the league all season despite getting them to the FA Cup final. It seems like he's a cup specialist (west ham are already in the semis of the carling cup) but can't do it in the league. I expect them to stay with him as, until the newcastle result, west ham had been improving. I don't think he's really that good a manager though.

    I read this article recently about the ten worst premiership signings of the season so far (http://www.sickchirpse.com/2011/01/02/10-worst-premiership-signings-of-the-season-so-far/ - I expected more to be floating around the internet but this is the only one I could find this one) and it seems like no coincidence that both liverpool and aston villa have two players each mentioned considering their current league postions. However, West Ham aren't mentioned at all. Maybe this is due to the level of expectation already at the club or maybe Grant does know a thing or two about good signings (I would argue Victor Obina and Freddy Piquionne have done well at the club). I think that the signings a manager make definitely define their stay at a club though and Hodgson has been responsible for some terrible ones. Houllier was unlucky in that he could only sign free players but Pires still looks like a waste of time.

  • Comment number 74.

    Haw to have facts.. dat Liverpool were 2nd in da league 2008/09 season.. and with the sell of one player.. they dropped to 7th in 09/10..
    thats Rafa people. i guess if rafa comes Liverpool would drop down to relegation zone.

  • Comment number 75.

    To change the subject, Jim Gannon is a seriously under-rated manager & I'm delighted to see him at my "2nd team" vale. Hopefully he can finish the job which Micky started, incidentally I was there when his Motherwell side obliterated Flamurtari 8-1 in Europe! What are your thoughts Paul?

    http://thechinbeardboy.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 76.

    The modern day football manager is an unfortunate casualty of this spoilt, impatient age. When the world can order and get what it wants fairly immediately, it starts to apply these demands to the success of their football team. This outlook, combined with the delusion that fantasy football is surely the same as the real thing, goes to produce sudden landslides of fan abuse that very quickly bury a manager. ie the fan becomes part of the problem.

    Along with racism, football needs to kick out intolerance, too.

  • Comment number 77.

    Tackling someone from the side to deliberately break their leg isn't hard. Roy Keane isn't hard and I hope he has the biggest downfall ever

  • Comment number 78.

    Liverpool fan here.

    Rafa back at Liverpool - I would rather have my eyes sucked out by a goat!

    Hodgson - out of his depth - no charisma.

    King Kenny would be a disaster.

    The new owners need to get a grip and decide pretty quickly how they see the future of Liverpool Football Club - otherwise there won't be one.

    I for one would like to see David Moyes sneak across Stanley Park.

    As to the lifetime of a manager - there is too much emphasis put on instant success - it is not as easy as it looks to be a successful manager - you have to get many variables just right - a bit like spinning plates.

  • Comment number 79.

    On the Rafa debate, I would argue that Gerard single handedly dragged that team to winning the Champions League, and the FA cup. Sometimes average managers get lucky with the players they have and win things.

    He's no where near as good a football manager as some people think he is. How can essentially the same team (Inter Milan) go from being treble winners to being an average team? And because of the way he treated many players while he was a manger at Liverpool, there should be no sympathy for him. Having said that, none of these top club millionaire managers should require sympathy. He should manage in the lower leagues and live in the real world for a few years.

  • Comment number 80.

    As mentioned above, these sackings might have been avoided were it not for the transfer window.

  • Comment number 81.

    Will all the liverpool fans please vacate this Football League blog. We are utterly bored of your whinging. It's not as if you don't have enough blogs that are actually about Liverpool on the BBC.

    Perhaps you're just visiting in preparation for next season?

  • Comment number 82.

    I'm not going to claim that Roy Hodgson's time at Liverpool has been anything other than disastrous, but we should always remember that this very decent man did a superb job at Fulham.

    If he does become the next victim of the "managerial sack race", then Liverpool could do a lot worse than appoint Chris Hughton. OK, he's young and relatively inexperienced, but he managed to deliver success at Newcastle, despite that club's well-known off-field problems. I'm quite sure that most Newcastle fans would love to have him back, and are still seething over that ridiculous sacking.

  • Comment number 83.

    Sometimes a difference in style and communication can make a difference, sometimes just complacency and not having the right skills
    You never hear the actual details of the contracts, do they get a severance pay, or golden handshake? seems thats familiar in other businesses but bit crazy; you dont perform, so you wait to be sacked in stead of mututual consent

  • Comment number 84.

    @81 backinwhite!!

    I totally agree, why oh why do Liverpool fans think this blog is about them, its not so go away and talk about Woy on another blog. If and when Liverpool get relegated then you will bemore tan welcome to join in the football league blogs.

    Thankyou and Goodbye

  • Comment number 85.

    It not really surprising that loads of managers have been sacked so far this season. This season's premier league is a lot more unpredictable and the top teams are dropping more points than usual.

  • Comment number 86.

    When will Liverool fans recognise they have survived in the higher parts of the Prem for the last 5 years because of Gerrard and more latterly Reina and Torres.

    The side has been nothing more than mediocre for years, only reputation and a player who has the set the bar so high has seen them through

    Gerrard is no longer capable of 90 minutes of all action box to box saviour like games, prior to Torres he had Owen. Gerrard has no played well for 12-18 months, is picking up more niggles and is far easier to marginalise than he ever was

    Now that Torres has given up the ghost, Liverpool will stay exactly were they are and if Gerrard wants a League winners medal its Chelsea or abroad to help him out. He desperately deserves to be in a team were the weight of the club is not heaped upon him, and knows others will step up when he doesn't.

    Take you pick of Managers Rafa, Woy, Keegan, O'Neill. The Manager's fate at this club is decided by one player, that player is Gerrard. Failure to recoginise this has seen a plethara of mediocre signings through the door.

    Liverpool will lose games as others sides clearly are more balanced and have no reliance on one player

    Liverpool fans still sit and crow about 2005 CL but, and fair dos to a point the trophy sits in the cabinet but only one player dragged that team kicking and screaming to the final and to glory

    Liverpool fans, be fair to Gerrard and let him go with a blessing, he's done everything but win the league for you, mark my words get some money for him and Torres, balance the team out and you will be fine

  • Comment number 87.

    I'm gobsmacked everytime that nobody ever blames the players for poor performance of a team. They must be laughing all the way to the bank. Oh they are.

  • Comment number 88.

    In case people hadn't noticed, it's 11 players that play on the pitch, not the manager. Isn't it tight to expect that professional footballers can (a) play in different systems (which they've undoubtedly practised in training) (b) give 100% effort & (c) work together as a team. A good set of professionals will do well whoever the manager is. Too many current overpaid, vain and unprofessional players don't give the effort, sulk if they're expected to play a different system & spend half their time trying to get their agents to wangle them a better deal.
    But someone has to lose. Some teams have to get relegated. The evidence is that teams that stick with their manager even when times aren't so good (Sir A F being the most obvious example) are the ones that succeed in the long run.

  • Comment number 89.

    As a Charlton fan I can only say that Parkinson fully deserved the sack, and should probably have gone in the summer - though we had no money to do that then. After three humiliations at home - 4-0 to Brighton, a loss to relegation near-certainties Walsall and 4-2 to Swindon - Parkinson and his tactics had no place at Charlton. The table belies our form; anyway, take a look at the League One table and you'll see just how congested it is - as close as we are to second, two losses will take us down to around 11th or so. It's more about the performances with him: the majority of fans wanted him out because of the dire tactics and relative lack of form: at home, we've conceded more than we've scored. Anyone who's seen us would agree - oh, wait, no-one takes an interest in football outside the top two divisions, do they?

  • Comment number 90.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but this blog is about managerial sackings? So I suspect the reason why a lot of Liverpool fans are commenting is because we have a manager who should be sacked, and a perfect replacement 5 minutes away.

    HODGSON OUT RAFA IN

  • Comment number 91.

    @81 - Amen brother.

  • Comment number 92.

    You have a blog on managers being sacked while a set of idiots are spending nearly £30m on a nobody and this corporation is revelling in it.

    Absolutely jawdropping.

  • Comment number 93.

    Does this site even come under the remit of the BBC Trust?

  • Comment number 94.

    I really thought Woy would do pretty well, but ever since day one he has looked like the job is too big for him and the stress is getting him down, i genuinely feel sorry for him. But, the signings have ALL been poor, I dunno why people are defending Meireles who has also done nothing. Some of Rafa's signings were simply baffling, like the left back saga - spending tens of millions to get 3 LBs not quite as good as Riise was. In spite of this, there is no way Liverpool would have been stuffed by newcastle, blackpool, stoke, wolves, northampton etc under Rafa, it simply would not have happened.

    If, like at West Ham, you look certain to go down, i think the chairman may as well try someone new, why wait? Sometimes a new boss makes a huge difference, When George Graham took over at Spurs a few years back they stopped haemoriging goals straight away. When 'Arry took over they flew up the leauge. Iain Dowie did it at Palace.

    I feel sorry for Chris Hughton cos Newcastle looked great and still do, But for Avram Grant & Hodgson, nice guys like, but the performances are just not acceptable.

  • Comment number 95.

    JamTay1 - yes hodgson out rafa in!!! rafa did an amazing job in assembling such an average squad but didn't quite finish the job did he? Liverpool probably needed another four of rafa's signings to become a fully fledged second tier team!! he probably would have spent another ten million on konchesky (just look at glen 'I may play in defence but I have not got a clue what's going on there' Johnson and the £17m rafa thought he was worth)!!

    There have been some strange decisions this year and hughton is the strangest one. Managers should be given time and probably should be given a full season to show what they can do, but if a team isn't performing an owner has the right to make changes as he sees fit. he is, after all, paying the wages and a manager is foolish if he doesn't demand a clause in their contract that guarantees a nice fat pay off!!

    A managers job does not equal security whether he is succesful or not - it's pretty clear from the managerial merry-go-round that a failure for a manager does not necessarily mean they don't walk straight into another job getting paid handsomely.

  • Comment number 96.

    LFC fans.......howse about Gerrard as player-manager, with Dalglish as director of being Scottish? Carra could complete the 21st Century version of the famous Anfield 'bootroom'.

    ah yes, them were the days eh scousers?

    A team sheet that read like a Great Britain & Ireland XI, 4 European cups in 7 seven years, winning the title in March, Hansen & Lawro at the back, Rush the scorer, Dalglish the creator supreme, Joe Fagan smoking in the dugout, Grobelaars legs, perms, moustaches, aggro, Panini albums, the Vidi-printer, Joey Boswell, The Big Match on ITV, Brian Moore, Saint & Greavsie, Shakin Stevens, Dickie Davies....... halcyon days in more simpler times, somehow comforting wasn't it?


    That's why so many blogs end up talking about LFC, most of us are children of the 80's

    I think we'd all be a lot happier generally if all premiership players were British, all Liverpool players had scouse or scottish accents, perms & moustaches were in and Man UTD hadn't won the league for 25 years.

  • Comment number 97.

    Back in the good old days of Shankly, Busby, Clough, Mercer, Mee and Nicholson, managing a team in the English League was a position respected by players, fans and club boards alike. Very few, if any manager sackings took place during the season and generally managers were in for the long haul and knew it.

    With the advent of millionaire and billionaire owners, football managers are now treated like pimps treat prostitutes. Perform or we'll find someone better!

    In order to prevent the current 'revolving door/musical chairs' game, the LMA should be fighting to make clubs and managers agree to mandatory 1 year contracts, win, lose or draw. No more fat severence packages for underperformance!

  • Comment number 98.

    Liverpool have been in decline for over a year now. This was evident in Rafa's last season and is evident now under Hodgson. Players like Carragher and Gerrard are unable to carry the team anymore. Gerrard especially hasn't performed like he used to in the past 18 months, last season and the world cup proved this. I fear for Hodgson, he's a good manager but it's going to need a great manager to get Liverpool challenging for honours again. Plus the new owners have every right to appoint their own man. Being Scottish I think King Kenny is a god but he's been out the game for too long to become manager full time, maybe work as a caretaker when (not if) Hodgson goes

    Not surprised to see Ancelotti's name mentioned but I don't think he should lose his job. It's staggering how Chelsea's form has dropped in the last few months. After about 10 games it looked liked the would run away with the league. I think Chelsea are a victim of not improving the squad enough over the past few seasons. Think they will need to invest in 5 or 6 new players this summer, with or without ancelotti

  • Comment number 99.

    I think all the "Rafa In" posts on here are perfectly demonstrating the point about many fans being completely unreasonable.

    Benitiz effectively destroyed your club. He won the CL with a side he inherited from Houllier and then slowly dismantled it over the next five years spending over $200m on 76 players and never managing to better Houllier's final league position. Most of the players he signed for millions never troubled the first team and he allowed your youth talent to drift away for nothing, "long term plan" not being a phrase in his vocabulary. He has been found out at Inter who had the sense to sack him before he did too much damage. I bet he personally made a fortune out of his six months there though.

    Why on earth would you want him back?

  • Comment number 100.

    @7 Whilst that is good in theory and I'm all for giving managers time to build a club and have an impact, the problem is that if your team is relegated from the football league you lose your youth funding, which obviously has a massive detrimental effect on the club.

    As a Barnet fan, I am all too aware of the implications on our new academy if we were to be relegated from the league.

 

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