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Ince forced out by fear factor

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Phil McNulty | 11:26 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Blackburn Rovers - an admired model of Premier League stability and common sense - have illustrated the fear factor running through the top flight by sacking Paul Ince.

John Williams is not a chairman who indulges in a revolving door managerial policy. He is regarded as one of the game's most able and level-headed administrators.

Ince's predecessors as Blackburn boss, Graeme Souness and Mark Hughes, were reluctantly allowed to join other clubs as opposed to being shown the door.

But the unpalatable prospect of the loss of Premier League status meant there was a grim inevitability about Ince's dismissal after only three wins in 17 games.

Ince's Ewood Park fate was sealed by one simple fact of modern life.

Blackburn could not run the risk of relegation - the financial and footballing fall-out from such an eventuality was too dire for Williams and his board to contemplate.

If Blackburn went down to the Championship, with no guarantee of a swift return, then the club's future would be bleak on every level.

This is a chance Blackburn have not been prepared to take, with the defeat at Wigan - after a blizzard of positive messages about how the fightback would be launched at the JJB - the final straw.

Blackburn also had to factor in the imminent January transfer window. Could they afford to give fresh finance to a manager they did not believe was the future at Ewood Park?

The answer - obviously - was no.

Williams, in particular, will have been reluctant to fire Ince so soon after proudly parading him in June as the Premier League's first black English manager and an example of a young and emerging talent getting his chance at the top.

It was a decision I applauded at the time. Ince may not have had his Uefa Pro Licence, but he had got his hands dirty serving a highly-successful apprenticeship at Macclesfield Town and MK Dons.

He was regarded as one of the brightest managerial talents in the game, with MK Dons resisting approaches from Leicester City and Derby County before reluctantly accepting he was destined for the Premier League.

If he could not emerge from the pack to take a job higher up the ladder, who could?

In the current climate, it is easy to understand Blackburn's position, but it is a hard heart that shows no sympathy for Ince as his tenure is cut short so brutally.

Paul Ince

Gone are the days when managers are questioned after three years. The price of failure is now so high that this timescale has been reduced to three months, and sometimes even three weeks.

Ince's opening league victory at Everton was a false dawn, with his reign peppered with claims of dressing room unrest, all publicly denied it must be stressed.

The fates quickly conspired against Ince, with David Bentley's heart already set on quitting Blackburn before Ince's arrival and goalkeeper Brad Friedel - a huge influence - deciding against linking up again with his old Liverpool team-mate and joining Aston Villa.

Ince's main striker Roque Santa Cruz has come nowhere near the form that made him such a hit in his first season at Blackburn, and there has been an assumption in recent weeks that January will simply be the signal for him to sign for Manchester City.

And he was not allowed to work at the top end of the transfer market, with the signings of goalkeeper Paul Robinson, midfield man Vince Grella and his former MK Dons captain Keith Andrews a clear signal that he was working to a restricted budget.

Ince's recent outbursts have not worked in his favour, leading to more questions about whether he could cope with the pressure-cooker situation he found himself in.

Luck may have deserted him, but there was little justification for his claim that he was the victim of a vendetta against former Manchester United players in management.

Ince was brought down by bad results and the new reality that the clock starts ticking soon at clubs in danger of the drop.

He is a proud man, not someone who gives or takes sympathy. He will be hurt by this first managerial failure of a fledgling career.

But Blackburn chairman Williams simply did not have time to discover whether Ince's career would flower fully at Ewood Park.

He must now focus on what initially will have to be a quick fix, and if suggestions that Souness is in line for a return to Blackburn are true, he is likely to tackle the job in his usual explosive style.

Blackburn have a squad capable of navigating a route away from the drop, but time and tide could not wait for Ince to inspire them.


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  • 1. At 1:45pm on 16 Dec 2008, bullyfurlong wrote:

    Ince just was not good enough at that level.

    He couldn't command the respect of his dressing room- and maybe that is because he is/was just to be of a character/ego himself.

    This coupled with the fact he isn't exactly the smartest chap in the world...

    Shame though, I hoped he was going to be good at Rovers...

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  • 2. At 1:50pm on 16 Dec 2008, cov1985 wrote:

    "Williams, in particular, will have been reluctant to fire Ince so soon after proudly parading him in June as the Premier League's first black manager".

    I thought Ruud Gullit and Jean Tigana were black. Do you mean first black English manager?

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  • 3. At 1:52pm on 16 Dec 2008, Laurence wrote:

    Good luck to Ince, but if he didn't have 50 odd England caps he would not even have been considered for the Blackburn job.

    It's another story of a manager trading off past successes.

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  • 4. At 1:56pm on 16 Dec 2008, footy_analysis - play beautifully - wrote:

    There's no way a manager should be sacked after such little time in the job, but clubs do not even want to think about relegation.

    A shame but, sadly, inevitable.

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  • 5. At 2:04pm on 16 Dec 2008, Bamber Boozler wrote:

    Ince was put into Premiership management far too easily.

    He should have had another season, at least, with the MK Dons in League One.

    For starters he STILL doesn't have his coaching badges and this is not on really. I thought this was a pre-requisite?!

    From the moment he snapped up Robbie Fowler from us at Cardiff, I knew that Blackburn were in for a relegation scrap. He even took a look at Zak Whitbread!!

    His head was not in Premiership mode and his experience or lack of was also a hindrence.

    Back to the lower leagues for Incey, getting his coaching badges along the way!

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  • 6. At 2:05pm on 16 Dec 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    First black English manager in the Premier League, of course.

    It is almost too soon to give a definitive verdict on whether Ince was/is good enough for Premier League management.

    He has hardly had any time, but Blackburn clearly felt they had to act swiftly as they dropped into trouble.

    I must take serious issue with the suggestion it was his England career and a trade on past successes that got him the Blackburn job.

    For someone known to have had an ego as a player, he showed a commendable willingness to work as a manager down the leagues with Macclesfield and MK Dons.

    He was successful, which put him in the frame for Blackburn. It had nothing to do with trading off past successes.

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  • 7. At 2:09pm on 16 Dec 2008, thewelshboycott wrote:

    Tough at the top, isn't it? Expensive players, big crowds, loads of money. Loads of pressure too, together with a nice fat salary.

    Ince will come back, but down a league in the Championship. Forest need a new manager, for example.

    Don't be surprised to see Blackburn win their next match, either, whoever is in charge.

    Players who couldn't do it for the old gaffer will suddenly look to impress the new one.
    Just look at Spurs, or Sunderland.

    If I was Ince, I would take my fat severance pay off and go on nice long holiday.

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  • 8. At 2:13pm on 16 Dec 2008, smithy350 wrote:

    So glad ince has gone, obviously way over his head in the premier league. Still think Blackburn are heading down as the January transfers will be a time for cruz and samba among a few others to get off the sinking ship

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  • 9. At 2:16pm on 16 Dec 2008, ben collins wrote:

    Shame couple more games maybe, but then he was starting to look like OJ Simpson. =:o)

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  • 10. At 2:17pm on 16 Dec 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    The question of the Uefa coaching badges is a thorny one.

    When Ince was appointed, I had a difference of opinion (good natured of course) with my BBC colleague John Sinnott.

    John is a firm advocate of the licence system, whereas I felt Ince deserved his chance after what I suppose you could call an on-the-job apprenticeship at Macclesfield and MK Dons.

    My belief is that if someone has proved they can do the job, then a lack of licence should not prevent them managing in the Premier League.

    Has Ince's failure at Blackburn proved the case for those who believe every Premier League manager should have a licence?

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  • 11. At 2:24pm on 16 Dec 2008, colmkav wrote:

    I dont know why Blackburn gambled on him in the first place. Surely only an experienced manager should be considered for a premier league club.

    Hes a seemingly nice guy and was a good footballer but that doesnt relate to what it takes to be a good manager. His record was good so far with Milton Keynes but far too early to judge whether he has what it takes to be a good manager.

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  • 12. At 2:26pm on 16 Dec 2008, Xavierneville wrote:


    I think you've got this way wrong......I support a team bigger than Blackburn, Everton.
    How can anyone suggest that the job was too big for Ince or that in the current climate you understand why they sacked him??. Less we forget Everton ran close to relegation with Moyes at the Helm twice, a much bigger club than Blackburn who could eassily have pushd a Manager hired from the Championship.....

    Any club and fans of bar the top four would be over the moon with the record we have in the last five years. No excuses people, don't sack your manager until he's had the chance. Forget for a moment its Paul Ince, it could have been anyone.
    As a result, Blackburn will be worse off for it.
    I'm sure people can give shining examples of how a change of manager saved their club but these are the minority not the rule.

    Good luck Blackburn you'll need it now.......

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  • 13. At 2:26pm on 16 Dec 2008, Ravens_Defense_DOW_SAVE_606 wrote:

    So you are saying that managing 2 League 2 clubs for a year and half is an apprenticeship for becoming a Premier League manager. Get REAL!
    He should have stayed at MK and tried his hand in League 1 first or moved to a Championship club!

    Santa Cruz probably earns more in one week than Ince had spent on one player before Blackburn.

    As usual ex-pro's want fast tracking into big clubs! A top quality manager can last in football for 20 years so there is no need to rise to the top within 2.

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  • 14. At 2:26pm on 16 Dec 2008, tarquin wrote:

    I guess it is the 'fear factor' that lost Ince his job - the fear of going down, but fact remains that after 17 games they are drifting and he showed no signs of being able to address that

    yes in a perfect world he should've been given a full season at least, maybe 18 months - but had he picked up a few more wins/points he probably would've got that chance, if 14th-17th was looking likely you could keep faith for the future, but right now they look second only to west brom

    I said at the start of the season that Blackburn would be candidates for the drop, they've always been 'the little team that could' and without a top notch manager working on their shoestring budget they are very vulnerable

    Ince was too much of a rookie to be going into such a vulnerable team, and I fear unless they find someone as blessed as Redknapp they are going to struggle to survive, and once they go down they're going to fit right in

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  • 15. At 2:26pm on 16 Dec 2008, myfreedomforever wrote:

    Like it or not, Blackburn will forever be the quintessential small-town team overachieving season after season. Consequently, it takes a special kind of manager to operate in this kind of arena. Any season where Rovers finish mid-table (or even 17th for that matter) has to be deemed successful. Oh there might be the odd sparkle of excitement with cup runs etc but the reality of daily pressure to survive the Premier League will test the mettle of any manager, seasoned or not. John Williams is, if you will, the perfect chairman for a club like Blackburn. Unflappable but extremely acute in terms of survivability. Reckon on any manager coming to Rovers to complete no more than a four-year cycle (5 at tops). Three to four years of doing what's needed to finish in any position beyond 17th has got to be a stress-filled job, especially with the limited funds available for new signings. Good luck Paul Ince, learn from this and come back stronger than ever.

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  • 16. At 2:27pm on 16 Dec 2008, MMsRedArmy wrote:

    ince has made some very poor signings, whatever his budget.

    no offence, by when you by your ex-captain from league 2 and expect him to suddenly play at premiership level, there is something just not there. Look at the best younger players who have moved up (walcott and Ramsay to arsenal for example), they have not gone straight in, but have waited. Ince got that very very wrong. The same has to be said for fowler, great player 5 years ago, but give me a break.

    Would you trust him with more money in Jan, the answer is no therefore he had to go as survival is the most important thing.

    I think young managers should get their chance, but have a few seasons in the championship first at least, no disrespect to championship clubs meant, but the PL is such a different ball game.

    I think it also calls for a director of football/general manager to work with him. it does not work with the older generation/ when it is imposed mid-managerial career, however for the younger/ newer managers a wiser head above could make a big difference, along with being the continuity that clubs need. This is how the rest of Europe works and by and large they produce the best coaches/managers.

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  • 17. At 2:31pm on 16 Dec 2008, 1trainer1 wrote:

    Ince has gone....

    I for one am dissapointed in the board as they made such a fuss when he was introduced like he was the new messiah..

    I would have given him until January as I cant see this run going on much longer and if he got one or two wins behind then confidence would start creeping back into the team...

    who is going to want the job? even sunderland are a better prospect than Blackburn which is a shame as I couldnt see anyone wanting the Sunderland job so im finding it even more difficult to find anyone wanting the job apart from people who i would consider underachievers who are not worthy of managing the team

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  • 18. At 2:31pm on 16 Dec 2008, budakhan81 wrote:

    We gave him a chance and he took us from a top 10 team to 2nd from bottom in 4 months. most fans were willing to accept a bit of a drop in form whilst he adapted to the PL but like you said for a club our size we can't afford to get relegated, so if he couldn't even manage to keep us out of the bottom 3 whilst he adapted its not a risk we can afford to take.

    i feel a bit bad for him maybe given more time he could've turned things around but a lot of his choices have raised questions. His backroom staff were way past it and not equiped for the modern game, most of his signings showed no ambition, he seemed more interested in quick fixes rather than long term.

    i didn't want him to get the job to start with but i trusted JW's to make the right choice and decided it was worth a shot, but there's only so much you can take before you have to admit failure. I notice all these people saying its a disgrace he's been sacked have no stake in the club, even people like steve bruce saying he should be given more time! if we go down then its one less relegation place he has to worry about!

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  • 19. At 2:32pm on 16 Dec 2008, JamieMascherano wrote:

    Another example that the so called former 'terriers' on the pitch are not able to transfer that through their players. Keane walked and now Ince has followed. Is the former no nonsense Hughes to follow with Man City struggling at the bottom?

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  • 20. At 2:32pm on 16 Dec 2008, rosey05 wrote:

    I must say i am a fan of Paul Ince and feel a little sorry for him. But the nature of the modern game dictates that, if a team look like slipping out of the Premier League, which Blackburn do at the moment, change is needed.

    The game is driven by money. Where does that money come from, by and large? Being in the Premier League. Bitter pill to swallow im sure but hopefully Ince will come back bigger and better for this experience.

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  • 21. At 2:35pm on 16 Dec 2008, t0mmy99 wrote:

    i think paul ince is a good manager, he proved it at mk dons and macclesfield. however i think he would of beefited by going to a club in the championship with potential and taking them up. if he had done this he would have had a lot less pressure on his shoulders in the first year in PL.

    By appointing him in june because he is seen as a good manager and then sackig him now is not the way forward for a club, You appoint a manager becuase you agree with their philosiphy and have faith in them to get you the results you want , either in the short term or long term. not sure how long his contract was but i guess at 3 years, that means his first season should have been seen as a possible tight season and then in the second season the expectation should be too push on.

    Unfortuntely tho the PL has become a ruthless environment where only the teams at the top 4 have managers that are relatively safe (maaybe not scolari) and they haave been there for a number of years with decent money to spend to make their team play the way they want them to.....cant be expected to achieve similar results if they not given time or money

    I said it when he went to mk dons though...paul ince to be the next english manager after fabio capello and i still think he could be!! watch this space, i expect him to come back as a fighter!

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  • 22. At 2:35pm on 16 Dec 2008, Roshi55 wrote:

    Once again, it is the players who ultimately decide whether the boss gets the sack or stays.
    The unrest in the Blackburn dressing room was as obvious as their half hearted performance on the field.
    Paul Ince did not stand a chance, the players played him out of a job.

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  • 23. At 2:36pm on 16 Dec 2008, Shoots-The Swindlement of the Swindling Swindler wrote:

    The UEFA coaching badges prove nothing - if you have what it takes to be a manager then that's it.

    Gareth Southgate hasn't done too badly so far.....

    I appreciate the sentiment of them, but I don't see how taking a badge prepares someone for the pressures of management (especially in top flight football)

    As for those saying Ince wasn't good enough for the Prem league, I ask how could they possibly tell?

    It wasn't his team; it wasn't even the team that did so well last season (as Phil has mentioned, Friedel and Bentley went elsewhere).

    Imagine where Man Utd would be if Ferguson underwent the same treatment.....just shows how money has changed football.

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  • 24. At 2:36pm on 16 Dec 2008, davidaclifford wrote:

    He wasn't 'highly' successful in the fourth division. Surviving with Macclesfield was never going to be a major struggle; anyone who has looked at the division in recent years could tell you that. Don't forget Boston, who Macclesfield 'sent down' couldn't even fill their subs bench for a number of games.

    And at the Franchise he took over a club that missed out on automatic promotion on goal difference, enjoyed probably the second biggest budget in the division and a brand new stadium. Winning the league was an achievement, but it was hardly a Herculean task.

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  • 25. At 2:38pm on 16 Dec 2008, donprestoni wrote:

    The licensing thing is an interesting issue but as much as Ince has proved the case for, Southgate has proved the case against, and he had even less experience.

    As for Ince getting the sack, it was inevitable but its symptomatic of the fact that football is much closer to being a business than a sport now.

    Why was he sacked? Because the financial implications of relegation are unthinkable. Why are any of the consequences of relegation unthinkable? Why is is "so bad to be down there"? Because the system is skewed.

    I know that the best will always earn more, and attract more interest, (and rightly so) but the situation is so far skewed no (exaggerated by the massive amount of debt clubs have been allowed to build) that the conseqences of loosing are utter ruin. As a result a status quo had emerged, the same clubs stayed up, the same clubs stayed down, and 6 to 8 clubs became specialists in bouncing between the divisions. Stoke and Hull doing well have caused problems for a lot of the sides in the prem, the ones who habitually finished "just above the newbies" so everyone is in a panic.

    Until the FA steps in and ensures the system is more evenly balenced this will always be an issue. Sure those at the top should get the best reward, but they should also be in a situation where the only thing seriously hurt by relegation is pride. Since the clubs seem incapable of that kind of balance, the FA may have to force it on them. When that day comes, sanity may return to the game at boardroom level, until then, we will continue to see chairmen at clubs making early decisions forced upon them.

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  • 26. At 2:39pm on 16 Dec 2008, beacho1966 wrote:

    I think Incey's problem was the same as Keano's - they do not have the relevant people skills. At the top end of sport they are essentially massaging ego's and need to treat each player individually. That means taking into account their personality and their stimuli. Being able to deal with different people in different ways is, in my opinion, the most important factor in elite sport and something that the top managers have in abundance.

    The fact of the matter was that Ince couldn't do what Hughes could with a fairly similar squad - no this proves it was not down to talent but more about getting everything they can from the players.

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  • 27. At 2:40pm on 16 Dec 2008, Marclarmarc wrote:

    Its ridiculous that people ever claimed he has realy "got his hands dirty" and "done his apprenticeship."
    That's like a player being top scorer in the Scottish third Division for 2 years running, and so Blackburn just saying "he's proven at lower level it's time for him to get his chance in the Premier League!"
    It is a very rare exeption of a man who can come straight into Premiership management and do a good job. Look at Mark Hughes who is considered one of these success stories...which team has he managed and actually made a considerable difference to. He took Blackburn to 7th in the League granted, but is that really such an achievement with that squad of players?
    You cant blame Ince for taking the Blackburn job, but the Blackburn Board can only be criticised for hiring such an un-experienced manager. Not only was he ridiculously un-experienced, he'd managed 2 clubs in 3 years, and was happy to move onto his third! The most successful managers in the Premier League are the ones who are prepared to stick to one team and devote everything to them, Ince had shown this lack of commitment, which he arguably showed as a player also when you look at all the clubs he played for, including big rivals.
    I like Ince though, hope he gets a lower league job, and works his way up properly into the Premiership.

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  • 28. At 2:40pm on 16 Dec 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    I take your point on Keith Andrews, Jc'sredarmy.

    I am not saying he is a bad player. I have not seen enough of him to be able to deliver any sort of fair judgement.

    But there would have been added pressure on him because he was Ince's captain at MK Dons and he would be seen as very much the manager's man.

    If he did not hit top form immediately, then he was clearly going to be questioned.

    The signing of Robbie Fowler from Cardiff City was, in my opinion, a pointless exercise and did not reflect well on Ince's judgement.

    Fowler was a magnificent player in his day, but his Premier League prime has long gone and he was never going to recapture the sort of form to make an impact in the top flight.

    If this was a gamble, it was flawed because it was never going to come off.

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  • 29. At 2:41pm on 16 Dec 2008, adrian_chiles_fan wrote:

    Mark Hughes won't be sacked at Man City as he hasn't been given the funds yet and people have seen how good he is! It goes to show how good he was aswell taking them to seventh. I don't think he would have allowed Bentley to leave imo.

    I'm disappointed Ince went as he needed time and wasn't given it.

    I think managers should be signed on for a year and have to complete it! It would make it more interesting and stop this lunacy that is going on.

    If you go down, you go down and thats that! Usually its not wholly down on the manager but the players!

    Also, there are three teams that go down. Not everyone can stay up so switching managers all this time would only make it worse.

    Unless you get Harry Redknapp or Roy Hodgson..........

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  • 30. At 2:41pm on 16 Dec 2008, Dazz wrote:

    Though usually a critic, I must commend you Phil. This is one of the most balanced and objective articles I have seen you write.

    "First black English manager in the Premier League, of course.

    It is almost too soon to give a definitive verdict on whether Ince was/is good enough for Premier League management.

    He has hardly had any time, but Blackburn clearly felt they had to act swiftly as they dropped into trouble.

    I must take serious issue with the suggestion it was his England career and a trade on past successes that got him the Blackburn job.

    For someone known to have had an ego as a player, he showed a commendable willingness to work as a manager down the leagues with Macclesfield and MK Dons."

    True, he is a proud man and not the most likable of fellows but sure did not have the budget (or time!) to reenact the successes he had with MK Dons and Macclesfield.

    His outbursts were clearly inappropriate too, suggesting he was collapsing under the pressure (he should have sworn like Joe Kinnear) instead of whining I guess...

    He will definitely bounce back, even if he has to win promotion with a team from the lower leagues. He is definitely the kind of fighter who would not give up and given his previous achievement and now premier league experience, he won't be remaining unemployed for long.

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  • 31. At 2:41pm on 16 Dec 2008, BoDiddley wrote:

    The minute Ince started whinging about a media conspiracy, he was finished as Blackburn manager. It showed clearly that he is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is.

    And it's easy to say he should have got more time, when you are not having to make the decision or live with the consequences

    If it were your business he was running, and you faced the possibility of financial ruin with him continuing in charge, you would swing the axe same as anyone else.

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  • 32. At 2:41pm on 16 Dec 2008, LionsIII wrote:

    I've always maintained that Ince had never proved himself before this job and he only strengthened my case when he signed Fowler and Andrews, one over the hill and the other who had never played above the Championship. These are not players who are going to help maintain or hold a top ten finish.

    The premiership is revolves around money and a team that has been at this level for as long as Blackburn has cannot afford to risk 30M+ income on a rookie manager. Right now there is only 5-7pts between Blackburn and mid table, they need an experienced manager now.

    Ince will be back I'm sure, he just needs to bloody himself further at lower levels and he'll come back a stronger and better manager. As someone said, the Forest job is/will be available.

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  • 33. At 2:42pm on 16 Dec 2008, Xavierneville wrote:

    A severe lack of perspective from most posts, broaden the horizon a bit folks. Are Blackburn cast adrift? No. Is the situation realistically retrieveable? Blatently yes!

    Apply a little brains to the situation......think about the club and not the fact that most people don't like Ince. So what? There are more pressurised jobs than a Prem Manager and they get time because there's a plan!

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  • 34. At 2:42pm on 16 Dec 2008, adrian_chiles_fan wrote:

    And they are managers of teams already, I know, won't be available. I meant get legends that have stopped teams getting relegated at the last moment.

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  • 35. At 2:45pm on 16 Dec 2008, BurnsySAFC wrote:

    Hated that 'Premier league first black English manager' tag and still do now. What does that make him now 'Premier league first sacked black English manager'?

    It's always a gamble taking on a manager who hasn't worked his way up the division structure. The jump he made was obviously too great.

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  • 36. At 2:46pm on 16 Dec 2008, Danshevik wrote:

    This is a pointless blog it has to be said. Is there anything here that we, the public, do not already know and think? Give me your salary and i'll state the obvious too.

    What's next? Anfield murmurs as Keane stays on the bench? Man Utd are in Japan this December? Come on man produce something groundbreaking and informative like Mr Vickery.

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  • 37. At 2:46pm on 16 Dec 2008, MaybeNextYearSon wrote:

    Be nice to see a rule that clubs can only sack managers in the summer, This would make clubs think harder about their choice.

    I think if Rovers had stuck by their man they would of survived relegation and had a stronger manager because of it.

    Maybe Hughes will be back

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  • 38. At 2:47pm on 16 Dec 2008, Neil Anderson wrote:

    The problem with Premiership clubs is they fear the loss of money that relegation now brings.

    If you look at the 3 longest serving premiership managers (SAF, Wenger and Moyes) they all have been close to dismissal in the past due to poor performances.

    Moyes is the most recent of these 3 managers to face relegation issues and it is only through the support of a knowledgable chairman and board that they have stuck by their man.

    For a manager to be sacked so quickly after appointment, shows a lot for the chairmans decision making, and also how much they trust their own decisions.

    When the Blackburn board appointed Ince they believed they were right..... what makes them suddenly capable of making the right appoint this time?

    The players have to look at themselves and ask 'are they playing at their best'.... The answer to this is undoubtedly NO. The manager can have the best tactics and coaching staff in the world but if when the players cross the white line they under perform there is very little a manager can do.

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  • 39. At 2:48pm on 16 Dec 2008, Lincolnshirepoacher wrote:

    Paul Inces appointment was a gamble. The Club can't afford decent players - never mind gambling!

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  • 40. At 2:49pm on 16 Dec 2008, VillasTommyJohnson wrote:

    Phil, I sort of agree with your point on allowing managers who have proved their worth in the lower leagues, a chance to manage in the top leagues. If a club is willing to take the chance on a relatively unproven manager then that's their decision. The same way that teams from the premier league buy players that have done well in the lower leagues. However, I think the club should stand by that decision. I also think that it should be in the best interests of the manager to get qualified before taking a top flight job if only to provide them with the knowledge/tools needed to manage in that league. But I guess top flight jobs are not offered all that often.

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  • 41. At 2:51pm on 16 Dec 2008, robbyking wrote:

    Souness? Well if you wan't to send a team down, what better man to take the helm.

    Blackburn need wins, and that's what Allardyce gives, it ain't pretty, but it ain't the championship.

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  • 42. At 2:53pm on 16 Dec 2008, JamieMascherano wrote:

    We can talk about transfers but the squad is largely the same as before and on paper shouldn't be in the position it is in now.

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  • 43. At 2:53pm on 16 Dec 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To rosey05...agree totally with your point.

    I am not saying Blackburn were right to sack Ince so quickly, but it shows you how much things have changed in the Premier League when a club which is normally so stable makes a change after 17 games.

    It is the fear of dropping out of the top flight and missing out on the millions that come with it.

    When I first took a serious interest in football, the benchmark (unless something went horribly wrong) was two or three years.

    Now clubs start to twitch at the first sign of relegation.

    Hopefully West Brom will keep faith with Tony Mowbray because he was the manager who brought them up, although they have got a massive task to survive.

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  • 44. At 2:54pm on 16 Dec 2008, adrian_chiles_fan wrote:

    Change the system:

    Have managers sign contracts for that year and they have to see them out unless they leave themselves.


    Have a standard amount of time the manager has to be in the job before a team is allowed to sack them. E.g. Can't sack a manager between August up until February.


    Do what was previously suggested and balance out the vast space of money between the championship and the premiership. Going down should be about pride as suggested and not about financial issues.

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  • 45. At 2:58pm on 16 Dec 2008, JamieMascherano wrote:

    Phil who do you think will take the reigns? I suspect like the media have stated that Souness and Tugay will take charge but only until the end of the season. I would then expect them to look to find a long term appointment.

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  • 46. At 2:59pm on 16 Dec 2008, Ginger wrote:

    I think that it must be true to say that Paul Ince got the job in the first place because of what he achieved in his playing career as well as what he achieved in his short managerial career.

    It has been said in this blog or the comments that he could manage for 20 years then why the rush to the EPL?

    He was set to fail given the previous success that Blackburn achieved under GS & MH and the limited budget.

    I hope that he dusts himself down and start again.

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  • 47. At 2:59pm on 16 Dec 2008, Maddog wrote:

    quite frankly you can't get away from the fact that Blackburn have an average squad with the exception of maybe 3or4 players who aren't on form with the exception of Robinson, Ince's only mistake was that he tried to play football if you look at other squads in the premiership there is probably 3or4 with less talent Stoke, WBA and Hull. WBA are where they belong but have quality manager that should be given the chance at a better club, and Hull have made the best of what they have got and also have a truely inspirational manager in Phil Brown he is very talented and I hope gets the chance at a top club. Then you have Stoke very little quality but have made themselves hard to breakdown and do well with what they have got big strikers, and Rory Delap. Maybe Ince in the preseason should have brought in new players but clearly didn't have the budget to, if anything Ince is a victim of the credit crunch where he wasn't given money or time to prove himself. Sad day but I am sure he will bounce back quality always rises to the top.

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  • 48. At 3:01pm on 16 Dec 2008, bootjangler wrote:

    His last interview after the 3-0 loss to Wigan said it all,, and I wonder if it had any bearing.

    Saying, "going 2-0 down, you don't know what to," was a bit of a desperate comment and a niave one to say to the TV cameras.

    Plus a bit blame was laid at the player's feet along with, "once they are on the pitch, there is nothing you can do."

    Would Ferguson etc agree with a comment like that.

    He looked scared to me.

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  • 49. At 3:03pm on 16 Dec 2008, Gianfranco_Cando wrote:

    All this about Ince being a gamble is quite frankly silly, especially coming from Blackburn Rovers supporters. I've got two words for you - Mark Hughes. Was he not a gamble? Ok, Ince only had 2 years in the lower leagues, but it's 2 years more than Mark Hughes had. Hughes was previously a part time manager with a small international team (no disrespect intended to Wales). I'd say that was more of a gamble, and that turned out pretty well for Blackburn you must admit...

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  • 50. At 3:04pm on 16 Dec 2008, orwellthedog wrote:

    Good. I'm glad.
    Who's the "Guv'nor" now?
    See you back in Div 4 where you belong.

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  • 51. At 3:04pm on 16 Dec 2008, sbm1977 wrote:

    Well, what can you say? That’s what happens when you get a boy to manager a man's club, it's just an embarrassment!

    Good luck in the lower divisions again loser!

    ‘Celtic Steve’

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  • 52. At 3:05pm on 16 Dec 2008, kevthered83 wrote:

    Phil, this blog was up pretty soon after Ince was sacked....Had you prepared it after the Wigan game?

    Anyhow, I dont think you should discount how big a loss Brad Friedle was. I think he was off regardless of who was manager. He was a massive impact in goal. As a Man Utd fan, Blackburn away was 1 of the fixtures I looked least forward too as Friedle would always be man of the match.

    I think under Ince, or Hughes, Blackburn would struggle as Friedle will always be hard to replace...and Robinson is certainly no where near him in terms of quality.

    Anyhow, I do like this suggestion of Souness taking the Blackburn job, they think they have problems now, just they wait. Ha ha ha!!!

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  • 53. At 3:07pm on 16 Dec 2008, tkinfrance wrote:

    So another manager gone,no time to weep,time for all to move on.
    The press to select a new shortlist to hound -- Tony Mowbray,Mark Hughes amd Zola must be candidates,whilst having a field day and selling lots of papers on speculating a replacement for Ince, I hope their is less names than the 56 players currently " reported in the press " to be wanted/signed by Man City in January.
    Still all the usual suspects --Big Sam,Souness,Curbishley ,etc etc I bet even Keano gets a mention somewhere
    The chairman can move on to select someone else to be given a ridiculously short time to succeed ( especially with inherited players!!)and Ince himself can pick up a good leaving cheque lick his wounds and be assured he will be back.
    Finally the players can be proud of their "contribution" as they collect their inflated salaries.kiss the ( current) shirts and quickly Check the small print of their contracts for a get out clause or wage freeze in case of relegation. Or get their agents to test the transfer water!!
    And the poor old fans can only suffer and hope that their team doesnt follow all the other similar sized clubs currently battling it out in the Championship. They have no control no input ,just keep forking out ever increasing amounts ,because they are the only people who truly do it for love of football and their team .
    For all others involved its a cut throat ,dog eat dog business where its every man for himself,but really non of them get hurt ,other than in pride or temporary embarressment, and where all --Press,Players and Managers make a damned good living.
    Cynical --you bet-- but unfortunately most fans know this is the way it is and it never stops you following your team--but there's a difference between being a fool and being stupid.
    Good luck Rovers fans

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  • 54. At 3:07pm on 16 Dec 2008, tomwilliams83 wrote:

    Phil, your apparent lack of respect for the UEFA Pro Licence suggests you do not understand why England as a nation has failed to produce a single world class coach since Sir Bobby Robson.

    In their very insightful book 'The Italian Job', Gianluca Vialli and Gabriele Marcotti assert that coaching badges are recognised as an essential pre-requisite for new coaches in both Italy and France. That's because football management is a multi-million-pound profession that demands fresh thinking and a vast array of different skills which you can't just pick up as you go along.

    'On the job' training means young managers go into their careers with only the example of their own former bosses to go on, leaving them utterly unprepared for the manifold rigours of top-flight management. In a professional training environment, on the other hand, they learn how to coach from the very best.

    English football has a very insular approach towards the issue of training coaches, hence the widespread support for ex-pros like Ince (and Gareth Southgate) who started life as Premier League managers without having completed their formal training.

    Great European coaches like Fabio Capello, Marcello Lippi and Arsene Wenger didn't get where they are just by learning 'on the job'. Their learning started well before they first stepped into the dugout, and it's something up-and-coming English coaches like Ince would do well to note.

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  • 55. At 3:10pm on 16 Dec 2008, BurnsySAFC wrote:


    Mark Hughes - A gamble that paid off
    Paul Ince - A gamble that didn't

    Still a gamble though.

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  • 56. At 3:10pm on 16 Dec 2008, Xavierneville wrote:

    Let's be fair only stupid clubs twitch at the thought of relegation after such a short space of time.

    It's down to the sound thought of clubs and Chairman with plans. Take Steve Gibson at 'Boro (Robbo you'll like this bit!) how many times has he backed his manager? Everytime! He' even got Robbo a Minder iin El Tel. Are they still in the Prem? Of course they are. (Nearly ten years running I think)

    So basically it takes a chariman with a bit of bottle and realism, so if fans want to have a pop look at the boardroom......of the regular offenders Newcastle, Spurs are the worst.

    The irony of it is that these clubs voted for such an obscene finiancial structure which they now use as the reason to hide behind for poor decison making.....

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  • 57. At 3:11pm on 16 Dec 2008, ifyourwondering wrote:

    Rovers were stupid getting him anyway. a manager whose track record includes winning league 2 and um thats it. how can they have believed Ince would do a good job with so little experience. i dont blame Ince for taking the job, but surely the rovers board should shoulder the blame for taking on a rookie. there was a wealth of managment experience available at the time. even from the lower leagues people like Peter Taylor would have stood a better chance. fools

    #Sympathy, sympathy, you want some?
    dont come to me
    dont try me for sympathy
    i wont feel sorry for thee

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  • 58. At 3:18pm on 16 Dec 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    My guess would be Souness and Tugay, but there are plenty of contenders.

    I must admit, I have been massively impressed with Owen Coyle at Burnley and Roberto Martinez at Swansea, but again there would be that element of gamble in such an appointment.

    And would Blackburn fans want the Burnley manager given local rivalry?

    Who would the Blackburn fans out there like?

    Would you welcome the return of Souness, who won the Worthington Cup with Blackburn in 2002 and got them into Europe via the league at the end of the following season?

    There were a couple of very interesting posts that almost suggested the managerial equivalent of a transfer window, with managers being allowed to serve a minimum term.

    What do you make of that?

    I have already stated that I believe Ince's suggestion of a media vendetta was misguided, but he was under pressure at that point and perhaps that is what prompted him to make that statement.

    And JamieMascherano, who stated "the squad is largely the same as before" - can't agree with you there after the loss of Friedel and Bentley.

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  • 59. At 3:20pm on 16 Dec 2008, bismarktheherring wrote:

    Ince to be new InterMilan boss shock.
    Inter Milan announced that they have relieved Mourinho of his post as manager.
    "After winning the Serie A we had hoped that a new manager would take us to a new level and achieve European success again. But clearly Mournho isn't up to the job." Sources close to the board say the club realised they had taken " a gamble too far" by promoting a man who had only won the English Premiership and handled small clubs, like Porto and Chelsea.
    The news that Ince has been appointed was greeted with delerium at San Siro where Ince was a firm favourite. One sobbing fan told the press "Who can forget a man who prefers tackling to sex, we're fed up with these so-called superstars and their pin-up wags"

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  • 60. At 3:20pm on 16 Dec 2008, iffeldorf wrote:

    Ordinarily Ince certainly hasn´t been given enough time , though Blackburns strange decline since his arrival was obviously concerning . Much more concerning is the implication of relegation . While relegation remains unwanted how can it possibly be that a Clubs very existence is threatened ? It seems to me that any club in that position is living beyond its means if it cannot survive relegation . I suppose its a feature of the age but must stop . All clubs , especially those like Blackburn , need a balanced outlay , especially with regard to players wages . If all were to do the same then the outlook would be less threatening . Incidentally I think the so called big four are themselves looking at the abyss and sooner than is realised .

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  • 61. At 3:23pm on 16 Dec 2008, LionsIII wrote:


    Mark hughes - Took Wales to the verge of qualifying Euro 2004, beating Italy along the way. Took Blackburn to 7th.

    Paul Ince - Kept Macclesfield up in League 2, Won St Johnstones cup and League 2.

    The quality of the competitions are miles apart, you cannot compare the two.

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  • 62. At 3:23pm on 16 Dec 2008, Xavierneville wrote:

    And 'if your wondering' Mark Hughes had won what exactly as a manager before went to Blackburn???

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  • 63. At 3:24pm on 16 Dec 2008, JamieMascherano wrote:

    Yes but with Friedel going they had Paul Robinson coming in an England international. I can't argue about Bentley but surely you can't be telling me that Bentley is the difference from last seasons squad to todays? Its the same squad who have massively underperformed.

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  • 64. At 3:24pm on 16 Dec 2008, Dazz wrote:

    People keep talking about him spending more time in the lower leagues before being given a shot a the premier league but I don't recall Gareth Southgate spending any time at all in the lower leagues to cut his teeth.

    Borough went through a similar rough patch last season but the board stuck by him and they gave him money to spend too!

    I guess Blackburn were not willing to take any further risk given the stakes. Either way, English managers have got to get a genuine chance otherwise we'll soon be haveing none in the premiership.

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  • 65. At 3:25pm on 16 Dec 2008, Parish87 wrote:

    Ince should be happy, out of that awful club with nice severance pay just in time for Christmas!

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  • 66. At 3:27pm on 16 Dec 2008, kb1607 wrote:

    The transfer window is the key to the timing. If there were no window, surely Ince would be given more time. But the Board has a choice of giving him money to spend and allowing him to remain there for 6 months or bring in someone else now. I think that the LMA would better serve its members if it protested against the window.

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  • 67. At 3:28pm on 16 Dec 2008, andythetoonfan wrote:

    i wouldnt have gone for ince and im glad he has failed considering he has a huge ego, look at it santa cruz has no form and his made a hard to beat unit with a solid defence into a weak unit as bad as my teams newcastle a few years back.

    Souness is hardly much better though and cant see what hed bring as you mentioned i think martinez or coyle would be brilliant but would be the manager for a relegation dogfight??

    The squad is still the same robinson is a good keeper and for 6-7 million he spent on grella and andrews he could have brought a right winger like pennant perhaps.

    Althought it was early in his career he made too many mistakes too soon and proved he couldnt cut at this level yet maybe one day but not right now.

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  • 68. At 3:35pm on 16 Dec 2008, pineapple wrote:

    It wasn't Ince's team and you have to wonder whether the players wanted to play under him. I don't know if this has something to do with his sacking or whether the board have panicked.

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  • 69. At 3:38pm on 16 Dec 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    I am sure the upcoming transfer window played a part in the decision-making process.

    How Blackburn operate in January could be crucial to whether they survive in the Premier League.

    Blackburn are clearly not operating with a huge transfer budget, so any cash they have must be spent wisely and by a manager they believe will be in it for the long haul.

    If they had any doubts about giving Ince transfer cash, then I am afraid he was always going to be in trouble.

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  • 70. At 3:46pm on 16 Dec 2008, JamieMascherano wrote:

    The incoming manager at Blackburn isn't going to have a lot of players to choose from. We can already assume, as you stated, he will have a limited budget and the players they can afford, will they be able to attract these players to a club second from bottom? If they were to draft in a top manager then maybe he could persuade players to take a gamble and get the team out of trouble. A player possibly available and linked for a while has been Jermaine Pennant. Career at Liverpool seemingly up he could prove to be a catalyst for the team.

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  • 71. At 3:47pm on 16 Dec 2008, tomwilliams83 wrote:

    Phil, perhaps you could give me your thoughts on the points I raised in comment 54?

    Or do you genuinely think the future of English coaching lies in former players "getting their hands dirty" in the third and fourth tiers of the English game despite having received no training whatsoever?

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  • 72. At 3:53pm on 16 Dec 2008, alambique wrote:

    make a sentence from these words...

    boys ... men ... embarassing...

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  • 73. At 3:54pm on 16 Dec 2008, ifyourwondering wrote:

    post 62. read post 61 for your answer. like i said i dont blame Ince. at least hughes had experience in dealing with Premiership/Championship class players, ggis, bellamy, Bale, Koumas etc... and a history of doing pretty well against quality opposition with the national team.

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  • 74. At 3:56pm on 16 Dec 2008, adrian_chiles_fan wrote:

    How can managers always be put to blame for a teams failings?

    Surely he hasn't had a fair shot and most managers nowadays aren't. Something should be done now to stop all this before it gets silly.

    There are other factors for the club losing. The board that picked him or players playing at the moment. They aren't sacked are they.

    If I was a manager and a player wasn't doing very well, I'd sack him as your the one who is going to get sacked in the end for his failings.

    At least Ince gets paid for it. Waste of money for the club as they now have to hire a new boss on a huge wage i bet.

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  • 75. At 3:59pm on 16 Dec 2008, mastersolomonthewise wrote:

    Fear factor? Tosh and piffle! Ince got the boot after getting 3 wins from 17 games!

    After the Wigan game, it was clear that no amount of words or effort would alter things.

    If Blackburn did nothing, they were going to go down.

    Something had to change and it was the manager.

    They might still get relegated, but at least they have left enough time to stay up.

    They will need at least 25 points from the remaining 21 games.

    Tough, but not impossible.

    Ince sails off into the sunset with a nice severance package until another club comes calling.

    Shed a tear, everyone.

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  • 76. At 4:00pm on 16 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    Ince has only been coaching for 2 years prior to Blackburn. It's hardly surprising that someone with so little experience struggled in the Premiership.

    Managers should spend time down the footballing ladder to develop their skills, such as handling players. All the greats have spent time at a lower level.

    The difference is, now people want instant success. That means they hire managers with no experience as much as sacking a manager after a short bad run.

    If Blackburn has a restricted budget, they should be looking to a replacement that's good in the transfer window. Some of Ince's signings have been rather strange.

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  • 77. At 4:00pm on 16 Dec 2008, bishbosh77 wrote:

    Look I'm a Liverpool fan and I have to say that no-one should be surprised at Ince's sacking. Not that I have anything against Ince. I am sure he is an excellent Manager - witness his early results at the lower league clubs. But these days you are either an instant success or not. I think that is wrong, but wake up and smell the roses - it's a result driven business. We are becoming like the US sports model - either you are a success instantly - or you're on your way. Witness the turnover in US sport - the only comparable sports in terms of revenue. Owners pay a lot for managers, and if the don't work - arriverderci ! It's the modern way. And is that sooooo wrong? I don't think so. If you pay someone millions of pounds a year to produce - and they don't - cheeerio. I don't like it but face up to the facts - it's reality. Who's next for Rovers - some highly paid, previously rejected from another Prem club Messiah? Get real guys. Take the best available now - they'll either be gone in a year or have superstar status!

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  • 78. At 4:01pm on 16 Dec 2008, vickersone wrote:

    feel quite sorry for Paul Ince but it has been obvious for a few weeks that he has found the pressure too much (such as his rant about conspiracies).
    He is not the first "terrier like" midfielder to realise that the virtues that brought success on the field do not automatically bring about success off the field. Solving a problem by kicking it harder until it goes away will only alienate a good player.

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  • 79. At 4:01pm on 16 Dec 2008, sirporkpie wrote:

    Seeing the regularly half empty 'terraces' at their home games, it is my view that BR really do belong in the lower reaches as a farm team for Man City or Utd.
    Leicester certainly dodged a bullet when Mr. Ince decided to go to a bigger club.

    I wish him well and hope that after a few more years learning his trade and building confidence he can aspire to the higher levels of management.

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  • 80. At 4:02pm on 16 Dec 2008, pompey_fritter wrote:

    i'm afraid there won't be to many fans losing sleep over this. he was a whinger when he played, and his ego and greed let him step up too far too fast. he should have earned his wings in the lower leagues for a few more years and taken baby steps. but no, the guv'nor thought he could do it all. him and keane have shown, no matter how good you are as a player, you still need to do yr mangerial apprenticeship.
    ps - alan shearer is an idiot for hoping rooney 'get's away with it'.

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  • 81. At 4:02pm on 16 Dec 2008, finch_the_rover wrote:

    I don't understand why everyone bangs on about "Ince didn't have the funds available to him".

    Wait a minute...he had £17 million available after the selling of Bentley and he brought in Fowler and Andrews...WTF????

    How is that good spending??? Can't say it is buying a player from fathoms down the leagues and an ex-decent Premiership player who stuggled in the Championship last year.

    Get a grip people.....Ince had the money, just failed to spend it wisely and actaully manage the team.

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  • 82. At 4:03pm on 16 Dec 2008, ECFC1981 wrote:

    I have to agree with people that suggest that Ince was in part trading on his footballing successes to get the Blackburn job in the first place. Yes, he did well at Macclesfield and MK Dons, but would Blackburn have taken him on with the same track record if he'd not had an illustrious career? I don't think so. There are many managers outside the top-flight with a more impressive record than ince (achieving success at a higher level or more sustained success). Your suggestion of Robert Martinez is a perfect example. Ince was punching well above his weight. You should get your first prem job after sustained success in the championship. Ince never even managed a League 1 club.

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  • 83. At 4:05pm on 16 Dec 2008, rishton_red wrote:

    Eric Whalley (chairman of Accy Stanley) summed it up when Ince was with Macc.

    "Paul Ince is the best young manager around - or at least that is what he has been telling us all afternoon......"

    There is no way he should ever have been appointed as manager of Blackburn Rovers, neither should Brian Kidd.

    These two decisions prove that the board do have their off days. However, generally speaking, ever since the days of Billy Bancroft they have been brilliant, and no doubt, they will be again in appointing Ince's successor.... just stay away from ex-Man U players.

    Pete (Rishton Red)

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  • 84. At 4:09pm on 16 Dec 2008, Khadrim wrote:

    I wanted Ince to succeed mainly as I thought in time he would be England manager and want to be England manager not be coy about it like others. However this desire was only cause I lke the guy but as blackburn manager I have to say he hasn't impressed me. I think Ince deserved to go on the way a team that was so aggressive, difficult to play against last season has turned into a team full of kittens. The games I have seen, there is no-one closing down the opposition instead they are sitting back and letting them play. This is why they are in the relegation zone. And how a team plays comes from the manager. He can't claim to be unlucky about this. Because going forward Blackburn have talent. They are capable of scoring, but without the ball or any intent to get the ball that ability is pointless.

    A jump of two divisions was clearly too much. I hope Ince comes back having learnt from this. I hope he watches what went wrong in the games so when he manages again he doesn't make the same mistakes.

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  • 85. At 4:10pm on 16 Dec 2008, paulatforest wrote:

    Totally agree about relegation being driven by fear of loss of money, not pride. What I'd love to ask some of the owners/directors is this ''What are you going to do with the extra Premier League cash anyway?'' As far as I can see, most of it goes into the greedy pockets of agents and players. What's really needed is a salary and transfer fee cap, so that more emphasis is given to coaching and development of young, local talent. Why do many clubs, even outside the Premier League, think that 'foreign is better'? Of course the problem isn't football related at all, it's all driven by 'market forces', how many countries can Sky sell the PL to, how many shirts can we sell abroad; witness Man Utd this week, for all Ferguson's rhetoric about being 'World Champions', it's all about selling Old Trafford to the Far East.

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  • 86. At 4:11pm on 16 Dec 2008, leliepoet wrote:

    Just imagine Blackburn go down and then Ince can manage them again as a championship that will be cool

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  • 87. At 4:13pm on 16 Dec 2008, Dazz wrote:

    Post 76 says Ince has only been coaching ONLY 2 years prior to Blackburn.

    Pray, how many years had GARETH SOUTHGATE or PEP GUARDIOLA been coaching prior to manageing Middlesborough and Barcelona respectively?

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  • 88. At 4:15pm on 16 Dec 2008, sbm1977 wrote:

    @ 72

    Missed the irony in my original post I guess.

    They had some lucky decision when we went to them. Not complaining but it's true and that's football:-

    They drew 1-1 when they came to ours - how did you do?

    Oh yeah loving the 24th August.

    All I'm saying is that I think he got a little too big headed too soon, especially to be criticising other teams. He should have been focusing on his own problems.

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  • 89. At 4:16pm on 16 Dec 2008, abhishekmallik wrote:

    As a Blackburn fan i take immense exception to some of the comments posted in the media regarding Ince's sacking.

    If any of those supporting him can name anything he did significantly right during his tenure here then feel free to comment.

    Ince is without doubt the worst manager I have ever seen at the club and moreover I don't think he will ever make it at the top level. There's just too much wrong with his managerial skills.

    1. People talk about losing Friedel and Bentley - but Ince replaced Friedel with an England international keeper and did not HAVE to sell Bentley who had 3 years left on contract (look at how Villa kept Barry) - and certainly should never have sold him without using the money to buy a replacement.

    2. Ince's signings have been truly baffling to say the least. Signing Keith Andrews and starting him in the majority of matches (we've not won a single match that Andrews has started). Signing Fowler. Bringing in Villanueva but playing him in the wrong position in the few matches he's played him. Bringing on Fowler for Santa Cruz when we were losing at United.

    3. His tactics. Inexplicably switching to 4-5-1 when losing. Playing countless players out of position - Warnock in midfield, Derbyshire out wide, Dunn up front against Wigan, Roberts on the right, Oijer at left back, Villanueva on the left, Pedersen in centre mid I think I've seen before too. Keeping dross like Andrews in the team and not even giving a man of international pedigree - Johann Vogel - a place even on the bench till the final two games. This is especially criminal when its obvious centre mid has been our worst feature along with the defence (see next point).

    4. The defence. Yes we lost Friedel and Bentley, but Robinson has been okay this season overall, yet we have gone from having the 7th worst defence in the league to the worst defence in the league (conceding over 2 goals per game) with the same defensive players. He appointed Nigel Winterburn as defensive coach who is on Sky Sports most of the week.

    5. His attitude. Ince's pre and post match comments ranged from the baffling to the plain idiotic. He approached games against the Big 4 as if we were a non-League team, writing off our chances before a ball was kicked, and repeatedly referred to our performance against Liverpool as "exceptional". He brushed off criticism of his management claiming people were "out to get him", not acknowledging it was because he'd dragged us into the relegation zone. He made comparisons with himself, Redknapp and Kinnear, not realising they'd taken previously relegation threatened teams to relative safety and he'd done the opposite. He kept harping on about our "great performances" when they were anything but. He repeatedly said he would refuse to change the style of our play despite us losing constantly and leaking goals.

    There's various other stuff I haven't mentioned, but he has been a truly awful manager and fully deserves to be removed from his position. Even without the financial doom of relegation, we were only getting increasingly worse under Ince as time went on, not better.

    For me

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  • 90. At 4:17pm on 16 Dec 2008, ToonDreamer wrote:

    I feel sorry for Ince. I think he was left with a depleted, aging squad with no transfer budget to bring in quality premiership players.

    I think Mark Hughes recognised that this was going to be the case and was preparing for a tough season before a lifeline came in from Man City.

    I do think that Ince needs more experience and that he has the potential to be a good manager. Everyone recognised his quality when he was working his way up the leagues and now he'll have to prove himself again.

    His next perfect job would be a Championship team chasing promotion.

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  • 91. At 4:19pm on 16 Dec 2008, bishbosh77 wrote:

    Leliepoet - couldn't agree more !!

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  • 92. At 4:19pm on 16 Dec 2008, Dazz wrote:

    Post 83 might like to know that MARK HUGHES also happens to be an ex-Man Utd player

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  • 93. At 4:20pm on 16 Dec 2008, bishbosh77 wrote:

    Mark Hughes Mark Hughes - you are next !!

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  • 94. At 4:21pm on 16 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    Post 87. There are always exceptions. The point is, a big part of management is experience. Taking an inexperienced manager is a gamble. Sometimes it works, often it doesn't.


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  • 95. At 4:28pm on 16 Dec 2008, Laurence wrote:


    I'm not sure how you can keep a straight face and say that his past England career did not influence his appointment at Blackburn.

    Yes he was considered a success in the lower leagues but how many lower league managers get the chance to move up to the PL with such little experience?

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  • 96. At 4:29pm on 16 Dec 2008, boblinc wrote:

    It is possible for a good manager to achieve good results on a limited budget in the lower leagues. However, it is practically impossible to do in the PL.

    You can quote Hull to me if you like but their manager has been in place for sometime and came up with them, full of confidence.

    Ince took over a mediocre club shorn of its best players. How the owner/supporters expect him to turn things around in such a short time without any funding shows just how unrealistic they are.

    The much reported player christmas holiday jaunt shows just how much the majority of the players care about their situation.

    In view of the poor treatment Ince has received it would be good to see Rovers down in the Championship next season.

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  • 97. At 4:30pm on 16 Dec 2008, The Professor wrote:

    Comment 10: Phil McNulty wrote: '...I felt Ince deserved his chance after what I suppose you could call an on-the-job apprenticeship at Macclesfield and MK Dons.'

    I think the main issue of why he definitely wasn't ready (definitely, Phil. Definitely.) was just how long that apprenticeship had been.

    When did he start at Macclesfield, 2006? So that's two whole years in management, with two clubs, completely successful. Not sure it's the greatest ever apprenticeship - after all, wasn't Paul Sturrock successful before trying the Premier League with Southampton?

    I think it should be this: either the licence, or 5 whole years full time management experience. Because anything less than that couldn't possibly prepare you for the pressures of the Premier League.

    Oh, and I completely agree with a manager's transfer/sack window. I think it would actually give young managers more of a chance, because if there were a January window, the bottom three/anyone seriously underperforming would all be in competition for managers.

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  • 98. At 4:34pm on 16 Dec 2008, tobyrupert wrote:

    I'm not sure about Macclesfield but at mk dons the club had bigger budgets than most of their surrounding clubs. From league two mk dons, Peterbrough (the posh... clue is in the name) and hereford got promoted... Yet no premiership teams came in for the managers of Peterbrough and Hereford... even though Graham Turner's Hereford went up on a shoestring budget and showed incredible 'togetherness' for a team comprising of a lot of loan players. I think, a lot more often these days, dicisions in football are made for marketing reasons rather than football ones.

    go on you Bulls

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  • 99. At 4:36pm on 16 Dec 2008, mohtechnix wrote:

    I completely disagree that the premier league badge is a factor that determines a manager's peformance. Southgate, Avram Grant all din't have the badge when they started their career and they all succeded.

    Ince just lacked the ability to manage his players.. rotates every week and it was clear that Santa Cruz is one of those players that perform brilliantly during their first year in a league and totally go down the pecking order in others just like he did at Bayern. He never gave Benin MC Carthy the opportunity he deserved even though he influenced the team and scored more goals lately than Santa Cruz..

    Mark Hughes is dying to bring him to Man City as he thinks he can resacue him of the bottom of the table like he did in his first year at Blackburn.... this suggest Mark Hughe's ambition and aims with Man City.. Does this really tally with that of the fans and owners? We shall see

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  • 100. At 4:36pm on 16 Dec 2008, ddwhite34 wrote:

    The simple answer is that ince was rubbish! 3 wins in 17! he was completely out of his depth! which hopefully goes to show that if your looking for a history headline "first black english premiership manager" then you really shouldnt bother and try and find someone who actually can do the job! Barrack Obama beware! labels arent all they cracked up to be!""

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  • 101. At 4:37pm on 16 Dec 2008, coleusman wrote:

    Two problems with Incey.

    With us at Man U & elsewhere as a player, he was sometimes too gobby for his own good and that of the team-that Guvnor nickname was a good bit of newspaper hype that rebounded on him.

    Thought he'd lost that, but it's crept back too much in recent weeks-once the team can't back you up, the words come straight back to haunt you.

    Other problem is that Sparky Hughes had taken Rovers as far as possible, and Bentley was straight off to Spurs, so it's no great wonder it's Rocky and not Roque Santa Cruz this season, as Bentley was a fine provider.

    That didn't leave Incey with a super starting hand which begs the question of why Blackburn were prepared to let him shop in the bargain basement for players bound to take time to gel as Prem players, and then sack him as soon as said bargains find the going tough.

    I suggest he looks for a struggling Championship side like Charlton or Forest next. Incey could build a good side, but this was a classic case of wrong man in wrong job at wrong time.

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  • 102. At 4:38pm on 16 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    I think this season was always going to be a hard slog for Blackburn after losing a few Key players in the summer that to be quite honest, were irreplaceable on the restricted transfer budget that Blackburn had, they couldnt replace the influencial figures/players that they lost with the small budget they had for transfers?!
    That coupled with the severe lack of form from their key players and match winners in Santa Cruz, Gamst-Pedersen, etc.
    they have also had a few injuries for me that has hamperd their progress and form this year?!

    Shame really cause I really wanted him to succeed?!

    but as is mention above the price of bad results means the end of a job?!

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  • 103. At 4:42pm on 16 Dec 2008, Gianfranco_Cando wrote:

    #55/61. I wasn't trying to compare Ince to Hughes, i was saying they were both a gamble. Hughes showed he could get the best out of decent players with Wales but had no experience of the day to day stuff. Ince showed he could motivate players and get the best out of limited resources at Macc and MK, but had no top-level experience. Both a gamble and as someone pointed out, one worked and one didn't

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  • 104. At 4:43pm on 16 Dec 2008, Dazz wrote:

    Post 94 . Yeah so he could have been an exception too afterall he was an exceptional player who always gave his all!

    He wasnt a failure at Macclesfield and MK Dons either so lets have some perspective here please

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  • 105. At 4:44pm on 16 Dec 2008, Fireman wrote:

    Paul Ince leaving has spelled the end of my relationship as a British Born Jamaican, I feel that potential black british managers such as Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and the like will not be seen as able to manage a team in teh premier league. John Barnes was sacked as the Celtic manager and could not get a job in the football league though he is managing my national team (Jamaica) and I feel that the Chairman in the football league could appoint more blacks who are ready for the challenge.

    People will tell me that he was in relegation and that he was not doing so well, but answer me tis why was it that in early October the fans turned against him after two games without a win and saying he didnt know what he was doing it makes me question the race slogan that clubs promote 'kick it out' maybe that should go for chairman as well as they are reluctant to try a black british manager as has been reported many times on this website.

    I hope there is another black manger appointed in the next 5 years if not then questions I hope will be asked about the integrety of a sport which is played by all but the managers and administrators are not proportinate to that.

    Im a Villa fan so Im just disappointed I'll not be watching them or any other club football in the next few years.

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  • 106. At 4:47pm on 16 Dec 2008, jollytinkerman wrote:

    What a shame. I desperately wanted Ince to succeed, but modern football does not have that kind of patience anymore, that the likes of Sir Alex and Wenger enoyed when they came into the premiership. To be fair, Williams and the Board kept faith with Ince long enough. Blackburn is a football club that has ambitions, it was just a matter of time, before the axe fell on Ince. Time seemed to be running out, the turn around of Tottenham with the arrival of Redknapp, will continue to be refernce ponit for struggling clubs, who need to act fast.
    My piece of advice to Ince, is to take it on the chin and move on, he can only learn from his mistakes. Wish him well.

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  • 107. At 4:54pm on 16 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    @104. There is perspective here. Ince just can't cut it at this level. As I said, it was a big gamble that went wrong. Not really unexpected by most people, but obviously this came as a shock to you. Cbeebies forums are that way --->

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  • 108. At 4:54pm on 16 Dec 2008, ECFC1981 wrote:

    The idea of a managers 'window' is not practical. It works with players because they have a clearly defined job. You're allowed 11 players on the pitch. If you lose faith with your manager and its february instead of august, you'll just get someone else in as manager under a different name. Basically, a scenario similar to David Platt at Sampdoria a few years back. You could tell the assistant manager to take over. Or the director of football. Or a senior player. Or you could hire Roberto Mancini as head of catering and then get him to train the players... how is the rule going to be regulated? Its unworkable.

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  • 109. At 5:07pm on 16 Dec 2008, Tony_Yeboah_21 wrote:

    I think it's a travesty, when I start a job I wouldn't expect to be staring at benefits forms again in 6 months time, especially given a 3 year contract to start with.

    And what was he supposed to do? the board decided to sell their 2 best players BY FAR and not give the money back to invest.

    Friedel was a massive loss and I dont care how good Robbo can be, Friedel was immense and is by a long way the most stable keeper the prem has seen since Schmeichel retired.

    And Bentley had that ability to produce a bit of magic - every team needs that. Good as Santa Cruz may be he cant score without service.

    If you took 2 stars out of most teams in the Prem where would they be left? Take Elmader and Nolan from Bolton, Agbonlahor and Young from Villa, Cahill and Arteta from Everton and where would they be? Would their manager get the sack 6 months later?

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  • 110. At 5:09pm on 16 Dec 2008, donttellthemissus wrote:

    It was an impossible task for Ince. He took over a weakened Blackburn side and was expected to perform miracles with zero premiership managerial experience within 17 games.

    He had no chance to learn the ropes, it was a step up too far, too soon. The future of would-be top England managers is really being jeopardized by the financial factor in the premiership. Blackburn could not afford to risk going 7+ points behind and the fact is that you bring in any old random new manager, e.g. Ron Atkinson or even Rowan Atkinson, and there's pretty much a guarantee that that will spark a mini revival however short-lived just because of the motivational boost it gives to the players who want to impress the new manager.

    What this means is that the premiership is no place to learn your trade but then again the premiership is probably no place for anyone but the most experienced managers.

    Ince can hold his head high in that he fought to the end in a nay on impossible situation - unlike Keane who just ran away when the going got tough, like a little girl.

    Hopefully Ince will get another shot. His best bet would be to manage an up-and-coming league 1 team who he might get promoted to the premiership and, through the debt of loyalty that club would owe him, he would get a real shot at learning how to manage successfully in the premiership.

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  • 111. At 5:11pm on 16 Dec 2008, Mantelope wrote:

    Crazy. Everyone knows at the start of the season that 3 clubs will be relegated. You cant stop that happening. Why dont chairmen accept that and that they could actually be one of those teams and live with it. It just so gutless and fearful of dropping out of the premiership. So what, look at the Championship. About 3 out of 4 have epxerienced the Premiership in the past. They might well do again.

    I really think the Premiership was a bad idea and has just made the sport more elitist for the top few clubs. I wonder if there were as many high profile sackings as there were in the 80's. Doubt it.

    Also, I think managers should be given more time. Clubs should be made to stick with them for the whole season and only allowed to change during summer break.

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  • 112. At 5:11pm on 16 Dec 2008, Dazz wrote:

    @107 From reading the posts on here (particularly yours), a lot of people clearly hated his guts and hoped he would fail.

    Seems like the chap was not that far off the mark when he said people were out to get him. You know these things but in our hypocritical society, you're better off pretending you don't or at least don't say it.

    Some people say he had a big 'ego', yeah but so did Cantona, Di Canio and Zidane and so does Ronaldo. It does not make you a bad person.

    The only thing that shocks me is that, regardless of his ego, there is so much spite and hatred for someone who gave his all playing for his country!

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  • 113. At 5:11pm on 16 Dec 2008, QPR4Me wrote:

    Post 90. Toon Dreamer

    I think you have summed it up completely and also shown why the boardd were so keen to press the panic button.
    Ince never had enough time to really work with his squad before the season started, he also suffered with many injuries, as well as having to put a back-room team together on the cheap.

    Jack Walker may well have left a trust-fund for the club in his will, but now in the days of mega rich owners, the money that is available to the club is not enough to keep them up, especially with the limited capabilities of Ewood Park and the willingness of some fans to stop going the second things get tough.

    If they do go down, which IMO, is highly likely, I doubt that they can ever come back.

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  • 114. At 5:19pm on 16 Dec 2008, meersbrookowl wrote:

    I am very disappinted Paul Ince has been sacked. The next month and a half sees Blackburn play Blyth or Bournemouth in the cup and seven teams in the premiership who are in the bottom half of the table. It isn't until February that they play anybody from the top half of the table. I wonder what position they will be at the beginning of February?

    It was interesting today to see where in the table the teams are that have the longest serving managers.

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  • 115. At 5:19pm on 16 Dec 2008, contemplativedokus wrote:

    Ince looked always unsure of himself, maybe just a perception but he presented himself after the match with an air of low confidence. He probably regrets not staying with MK Dons, which should have been learning curve and process, they are now near the top in league 1. he probably needs some more experience at a lower level, and honestly think he will be much happier there.

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  • 116. At 5:20pm on 16 Dec 2008, CantonasCollar79 wrote:

    "I think it's a travesty, when I start a job I wouldn't expect to be staring at benefits forms again in 6 months time, especially given a 3 year contract to start with."
    In case you hadn't relaised, there's a recession going on!! This sort of thing is happening across the country. Anyway, that's a separate point.

    Apart from not replacing Friedel and Bentley (certainly the latter) it seems clear to most that Ince was a division out of his depth, at this stage in his career. He should be given the reigns at Nott'm Forest and given 18 months to turn things round, then if it works out, Premier League clubs will be right back in for him. Maybe he could even get his A-Licence too (I'm not belittling this as an acheivment, my friend is currently going for this coaching licence, and its incredibly tough.)

    If the board didn't have confidence in Ince because he was inexpereinced, I guess its safe to assume that they'll go for a more mature, been-there-done-it manager. Not Tugay.

    Personally, if I was Blackburn Chairman John Williams, I'd get hold of Chris Coleman. A terrific manager who is practically guaranteed (like Curbishley) to assure 10th place or thereabouts in the Premier League by March.

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  • 117. At 5:20pm on 16 Dec 2008, smashingredXI wrote:

    Blackburn run the risk of relegation with or without Ince. They have not removed that risk by sacking him.

    Maybe Blackburn could have gone for one of the legion of decent english managers working in the championship (many of whom have been in the premiership), rather than pluck someone who had only had one season of lower league football.

    Williams will only have himself to blame if Rovers are relegated now. They definitely will be.

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  • 118. At 5:23pm on 16 Dec 2008, CantonasCollar79 wrote:

    I still think W.B.A., Stoke and West Ham will finish below Blackburn, even if Krusty the Clown takes over.

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  • 119. At 5:27pm on 16 Dec 2008, 49 and thats a wrap wrote:

    What needs to be done is to do away with the financial gap between the top flight and everyone else. Only then will clubs be run for FOOTBALL, and managers be given the time to prove themselves.

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  • 120. At 5:35pm on 16 Dec 2008, sandcastlejim wrote:

    ince was forced out because he was rubbish. end of. chairmen need to realise that great players like Ince, Keane and Tony Adams dont necessarily make good managers.
    Chairmen should look for substance not big names when making future appts, eg look at Fulham when they appointed Hodgson, and even Newcastle with Kinnear. The media scoffed at those two, but they have proven themselves to be decent gaffers.

    PS. back Tony Adams for chop and Pompey to go down. Adams isn't cut out for this game, poor appointment it'll prove to be.

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  • 121. At 5:35pm on 16 Dec 2008, Jeremy Orbell wrote:

    I wanted Ince to do well at Blackburn because of what he achieved at Macclesfield and MK Dons. It was interesting how much of a dip Macc took once he went though MK seem to be doing alright without him.

    I think he was worth a chance but with the window looming I guess Blackburn felt they had no choice. Relegation must be terrifying for all Premier League clubs these days.

    Personally I would probably have given him the Stoke game to see what happened there as a win could have made a difference.

    I never really liked Ince as a player even when he was with us at Liverpool because he strikes me a United red through and through. That didn't stop me wanting him to be a success here as he was prepared to get his hands dirty.

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  • 122. At 5:44pm on 16 Dec 2008, ZEUSFC wrote:

    why why why, did blackburn ever think that ince (with no premier experiece) suddenly become a suitable manage to keep them in the topflght?

    he now has more experience than he did three months ago, and as such, should have no poblem getting another job!

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  • 123. At 5:44pm on 16 Dec 2008, Dangerid wrote:

    John Williams is an idiot!
    Ince might have been the wrong man for the job, well that's William's fault. This doesn't make Ince a bad manager. Does it make Allardyce a bad manager because of the situation at Newcastle? People easily forget in football what the manager has previously done. Blackburn have played well up until their performance against Wigan. Most Blackburn fans who understand the game will agree with that. It is the strikers who are lacking the confidence in front of goal, as is the case with any strikers when they don't score for a few games. They are the ones who tend to get the points on the board. You can't keep sacking managers straight away, how is a team to ever progress? I'm talking about teams in general. This impatient decision will be the end of Blackburn this season!

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  • 124. At 5:46pm on 16 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    Hadn't figured Blackburn to be so stable, how many mangers in the last 10 years?
    But yeah correct timing and correct decision. Time for a foreigner to come in and show how it's done.... Capello didn't need that much time did he?

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  • 125. At 5:46pm on 16 Dec 2008, r1bby0 wrote:

    Title: Ince forced out by fear factor
    More like: Ince forced out by media

    As soon as Keane quit Sunderland the media then set their sights on the next managerial sacking/quiting of the Premiership.

    Who's next BBC? Adams? Mowbray? Hughes? In my opinion fans of any team at the bottom of the league can expect the press to hound the board/manager into making rash descions just to satisfy the media for their hunt of the "exclusive" story.

    In the meantime the fans team has had it for the rest of the season. We all know stability of the board/management structure breeds success (but it doesn't sell newspapers) and without it your team falls in freefall, example teams of this point are too many to mention.

    It made me laugh when Aidy Boothroyd was sacked a little over 3 years of being in charge as was the 12th longest serving manager in all domestic leagues. How can any team breed success the way they're managed by the board? Redknapp leaves Pompey and the board are looking for a replacement 'we're in no rush', 2 days later they sign Adams.

    Chairmen are constantly trying to put their team in a business model that works financially (Newcastle) only for their fans to complain when they don't win and force the manager to quit (yet again) and the owner to sell up.

    Below the 'top 4' all fans have illusions of grandeur if they think they're going to/have the right to win the Premiership, the best you can hope for is a domestic trophy, trouble is your manager/board is only concerned about 'staying in the premiership' so you field a weak team and rest your star players, resulting in a season where all you do is win some, lose some and draw some. Doesn't sound like success to me.

    Media, fans, board, manager, players are to blame for failure, in that order.

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  • 126. At 5:49pm on 16 Dec 2008, i_see_red_people wrote:

    I think the transfer windows causes clubs to press the panic button early. Would Ince have been given another few weeks to turn things around if players could move after January? I think he probably would but the club has its hand forced and inevitably the manager gets the sack.

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  • 127. At 5:50pm on 16 Dec 2008, Tyto alba wrote:

    I am not sure that I understand the need for the (admittedly few - but still too many) nasty comments about Paul Ince. He was an aggressive, combative and good whole-hearted player. As a manager he subsumed his ego to getting on with the job in the lower leagues (again, why the denigration of what he achieved with Macclesfield and MK Dons?) and went to Blackburn because it was offered to him with fairly minimal fuss.

    So, unless those posting spiteful comments have been personally affronted by something Paul Ince has done, what is the motivation? The man has just lost his job.

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  • 128. At 5:50pm on 16 Dec 2008, LennySwanegan wrote:

    Ince had done little to deserve the position and was way out of his depth. Not his fault but Blackburn made a poor decision in appointing him. That is not to say Ince won't be back he needs to gain a lot more experience perhaps get some abroad so he can build up a network of transfer market contacts and then come back 5/6 years down the line. It is a real problem in the modern game with former players being fast tracked into big jobs purely on the basis that they were big name players. There is a long list of excellent managers who are plying their trade in the lower leagues who would be better suited to having a proper go managing a premiership club. Just look at the job Phil Brown is doing with Hull.

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  • 129. At 5:57pm on 16 Dec 2008, MagpieRH wrote:

    I don't see what the fuss is about - Ince was a gamble when he was appointed and has failed to live up to the hype. When KK walked out on Newcastle, Ince was touted to replace him but would not have been a popular choice. OK, so Kinnear wasn't top of the list either, but at least he has plenty of experience and I think even Ince would've said no to the Toon at the time.

    As for the previous managers, Sparky was good and the change in fortunes shows what effect he had on Rovers. Since he's gone to City they've been inconsistent and apart from the money I'll bet Hughes secretly wishes he'd stayed where he was.
    Souness - reluctantly allowed to leave? As I understand it, he was on the verge of being kicked out but Blackburn couldn't afford the pay-off so when Newcastle came in and offered compensation for him Blackburn bit their hand off.

    I don't see why suddenly all of these supposed top-class managers want to manage in the premiership. Both Sunderland and Blackburn are supposedly chasing some of the best available managers.

    Sam Allardyce has supposedly shown preference for Sunderland over Blackburn - he should be grateful to even be linked with either of them after his time at SJP. I hope for the fans' sake Blackburn do not announce Allardyce as any part of their backroom setup, I'm almost tempted to say I don't want him at Sunderland either but that might be going too far.

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  • 130. At 6:03pm on 16 Dec 2008, SuperStrikerShivam wrote:

    Ince was just not given enough time.

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  • 131. At 6:04pm on 16 Dec 2008, spotty1925 wrote:

    He was a boy against men.....nuff said!

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  • 132. At 6:18pm on 16 Dec 2008, awesomesuperIrons wrote:

    As a West Ham fan i feel I have grown up with Incey, I can just remember him in the claret and blue, one particular volley springs to mind against liverpool. Anyway, I havent always liked him, unfortunately that comes with supporting the hammers but as a player and lately as a manager he has always had my respect, and so now I feel almost angered by this sacking. i cant understand why Blackburn would sack a man that many people who know football suggest will be a future England manager. this is a ludicrous decision after so few games. Whatever happened to managers being given a run of matches to build a team? rubbish absolute rubbish, i truly hope rovers do go down now and Incey gets a decent job, why not sunderland??? come on quinny give him a go.

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  • 133. At 6:20pm on 16 Dec 2008, BestSpam1979 wrote:

    Ince speaks fluent Italian, doesn't he? Maybe he could work in Serie B, or whatever their version of the Championship is. Good luck to him, whatever he does. I'd have liked to see him turn the corner, but I guess the club need to think realistically about whether they can risk falling even further behind...

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  • 134. At 6:33pm on 16 Dec 2008, random50 wrote:

    The manager is by far the most important component of a team. A new manager can have more impact than the signing of any single player, no matter how good the player. And, as mentioned ad nauseum, Premiership football is big business these days. So why on Earth do chairmen keep handing the reins to virtual rookies with little or no experience at the top level (and that's *coaching* experience, let alone managerial!)? It's like promoting the kid who's been working in the mail room for 6 months to area manager!

    It would be stupid to throw an 18 year old on the pitch and expect them to turn a clubs fortune's around. It would be stupid to buy a league one striker and expect them to bag 25 goals in their first season. Entrusting a Premiership side to a rookie is just ludicrous. Perhaps chairmen have been lulled into a false sense of security by the fact a few of them have got away with this gamble in recent years?

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  • 135. At 6:35pm on 16 Dec 2008, OkeThornton wrote:

    No suprises! I will like to see those who gambled on Ince quit their role as well because they failed Blackburn in appointing Ince. Ince did an admirable job at Macclesfied and MK Dons, but it is no indicatioin that he was prepared for the premiership. I believe he will bounce back as he seems to have the passion and desire for the role.

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  • 136. At 6:37pm on 16 Dec 2008, Stev wrote:

    Its a shame, perhaps the post was a little premature for Ince I think. The bottom line was questions were being asked of Blackburn and Ince had no answers.

    Had the board waited till very much later I fear Blackburn would have been relegated this season, as it is, its going to be a hell of a struggle for them to regain their composure and make a fight of it.

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  • 137. At 6:38pm on 16 Dec 2008, parkrdrick wrote:

    The time scale for new managers to have success has now become so small.

    Look at Fergie at Utd it took him years and a lot of money to get success. In today's climante he would not have survived to take the team to such heights as they have achieved.

    Ince did a great job at the Dons last season getting them promoted winning the Johnstons paint trophy.

    he has been given little money to spend, has lost 2 of his best players with the striker which looked so good last year, looking a total flop this.

    gool luck to Paul, hope he gets another job soon.

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  • 138. At 6:44pm on 16 Dec 2008, ianbiara wrote:

    Total disgrace from Blackburn. I liked the club, but hope that one of these clubs which are so callous with their sackings goes down.

    My respect for Fulham, West Ham and now Blackburn have gone down, their attitude doesn't deserve success.

    Certain theirs other clubs as well but have forgotten them!! Total disgrace from Blackburn, I hope you go to the Championship, sorry to their fans..

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  • 139. At 6:55pm on 16 Dec 2008, Boros_fan wrote:

    Phil, there's always the same old inquest when a Premier League such as Blackburn fall into the relegation pit. To be fair, Rovers replaced Hughes with a manager without understanding the risks, more of the reward of which you eluded to. Nonetheless, it was a bold move, however, just as Charlton, Sheff Wed or Southampton, just to name a few former top flight clubs they're faced with the fact that many of the newly promoted teams are better equipped to handle the rigors of the top flight and therefore teams like Rovers cannot rely on sustaining mediocrity as their ultimate aim in the Premiership.

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  • 140. At 6:55pm on 16 Dec 2008, soccerlifer wrote:

    Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it? Now a lot of posts here are going on about how Paul Ince didn't have enough experience for the premiership and how is appointment was a gamble, following Mark Hughes successes.

    But, how much experience did Hughes have before he became Blackburn boss? Who did Gareth Southgate coach before taking the reins at Middlesborough? And we all know about Tony Adams at Portsmouth.

    You don't need all the experience in this world to coach at Prem level. So things didn't work out for Ince at Blackburn - remember, they didn't work out for Allardyce at Newcastle either, and he had almost 10 years of Prem success at Bolton going into that job.

    Ince, like Allardyce, could have used more time, but the fear of relegation cost them both.

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  • 141. At 7:06pm on 16 Dec 2008, Timmytour wrote:

    As has already I think been pointed out, Ince's time at Blackburn was not only under pressure from the dismal run Blackburn were enduring, but also from the relative success that changes of management bought at Newcastle and Spurs....and after last weekend's result perhap sunderland look to be carrying on the trend.

    It's easy for a Chairman to look at that success against the damage incurred by relegation and think that he is obliged to do something similar.

    As a Spurs fan, I have to hope for Blackburn fans that appointing a new manager in a time of strife is the only thing in common you share with our Board....God forbid you should have to suffer a tactically unaware Chairman as we have who took years and years to realise that his vision of how a football club should be run was so different to how a run a successful one.

    Even when he accidentally stumbled upon a good managerial appointment he contrived to cockerel it up spectacularly!

    As for Bentley....don't mourn his loss... apart from the odd moment of brilliance he has been as ordinary a player as I have seen in the Premiership this season.

    When you get in to trouble and attract the attention of the Press, the problem is that your potential as a manager doesn't come into it. I was against the appointment of Ramos as a replacement for Jol, but his potential as a manger was undeniable. Yet something, a lot to do with the language barrier but also the enviroment he felt comfortable in, prevented him operating as the successful manager he has been and will no doubt be again. His trouble is that spurs wasn;t right for him and vice-versa.

    And no matter what the statements and good intentions of the players might be, the fact is when the managers are in public trouble the players themselves get away with murder, their own shortcomings and mistakes all ganged up as criticism of the manager. Spurs players stopped performing under Ramos because they knew he would take the flak, not them. When a new manager of stature comes in, then the players have to step back upto the plate.

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  • 142. At 7:08pm on 16 Dec 2008, ironDirkDiggler wrote:

    Hard not to feel sorry for him. The situation is caused by the TV money. If a club is relegated they lose the big quid. And then they could be looking into a Leeds or Nottingham Forest kind of scenario.

    So they need a quick fix to get them out of the bottom 3.

    Money caused this problem, not Paul Ince.

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  • 143. At 7:15pm on 16 Dec 2008, peter_lpool wrote:

    The problem is that Ince didn't have enough experience as a manager. This probably didn't give him a huge amount of respect in the dressing room and this reflected by the media's comments every day.

    The problem about the Fifa-coaching-badges nonsense also played apart, but not as far as Ince's skill as a manager/coach goes. It just gives the media an excuse to apply more pressure which in turns gives the chairman and supporters less confidence.

    If Ince had the 'qualifications' (and probably wasn't english) he'd still be in the job, at least for a bit longer i'm sure. Overall, in my opinion, I don't think he had enough time or money. Blackburn expected to carry on from Hughes and that just wasn't going to be possible. You can't replace a manager who has worked with players for years, one who knows his team in side out, with someone who has only 2 years coaching experience and expect to do better.

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  • 144. At 7:28pm on 16 Dec 2008, StefhanB wrote:

    Regardless of the arguements as to whether Ince had the experience / qualifications or was simply good enough for the job the fact is these were all issues when the powers that be at Blackburn appointed him.

    To dismiss him (or any manager) after 17 games surely demonstrates poor judgement by the people who made the appointment - shouldn't they be offering their resignations 'in the best interests of the club'?

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  • 145. At 7:42pm on 16 Dec 2008, conion wrote:

    Why get worked up because some over paid person in a bankrupt business has been kicked out with a large pay-off?

    There are thousands of low-paid people losing their jobs and descending into poverty. Ince is still well off and will be even better off. In the revolving world of football management he'll soon have another short job with another bankrupt company.

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  • 146. At 7:54pm on 16 Dec 2008, jeremy young wrote:

    The reality is that Blackburn are 5 points from safety with a goal difference of -17.

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  • 147. At 8:02pm on 16 Dec 2008, radiantrovernick wrote:

    Yes. I think it was the fear of relegation that prompted the board to sack ince. But isn't that legitimate? If you lose too many games on the trot, and lets not forget who those games were against, not all top teams, you will be in danger as a manager. Barring a shakey win over Sunderland in the Carling cup we haven't won since Newcastle, who were in no shape to win games, in September. It's not good enough, and it gets to the point were you have to say it isn't just the players. I'm sorry to see the manager go at such a crucial point but I was against his hiring from the start, and I haven't seen anything to change that. Maybe he could have been given til the transfer window but we have 3 or 4 big must win matches against other low lying teams (Stoke, Sunderland and Man City, not to mention Fulham, Bolton, Boro' and Newcastle in January) and if we lose all or most of these then its over. The changes have to be made now if we are to stand any chande of staying up and if that means losing an average manager then I'm sorry but I'm all for it.

    Everyone talks about how important the Christmas period is, and I agree. If we can win two of those three matches then we are in a half-decent position. If we lose those then he's out anyway and we've wasted the last possibility of salvation. Give the new guy a chance to really spur the team on in games we can win.

    A club of Blackburn's size can't afford to be dropping down tables or it will be the next Leeds. It just isn't big enough to survive another spell in the Championship. The last one was bad enough, and it took a while to bounce back. I don't think we would be back up in a hurry if we go down so it has to be the priority to stay up this season at all costs.

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  • 148. At 8:08pm on 16 Dec 2008, movergalatea wrote:

    little fish in a big pond comes to mind.As he said about Celtic, Men against boys What goes round ,comes round

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  • 149. At 8:17pm on 16 Dec 2008, just-retired-at-52 wrote:

    We may never know if Ince was good enough or not. He certainly inherited a squad which had been over-acheiving and lost two of its biggest assets in Friedel and Bentley (although in fairness to Robbo I think he has done a decent job).
    The defence has been suspect, of the four centre backs none of them has a turn of pace (although Sambas long legs sometimes get him out of trouble!) Nelson, due to injury is past it. Our most creative midfielder, Dunn, has been injured for too long, Grella who looked good in the few minutes he managed on the pitch but has been holding Dunnys hand in the treatment room and Santa Cruz is having second season blues (possibly light blues if they coff up £20M??? !!).
    That lot (excluding Robbo) adds up to no backbone in the team, little wonder we have coneeded so many goals.
    So all in all Paul Ince didn't get a decent rub of the green but things like playing Derbyshire on the right or left of midfield, playing SC up front on his own and signing Robbie Fowler haven't really helped his case.
    But what really finished him was the appalling performace at Wigan. If you were not there you cannot comprehend how demoralising it was, we might as well have been relegated there and then it was so sad. Two down in twelve mins. Even then we hoped that there was still something there if we got one back, but the players (with one or two exceptions) and the manager seemed incapable of raising anything like a rallying call (one shot in 90 mins?) and the depression deepened. With all the board members watching the match the outcome for Paul Ince was sadly inevitable. Had we got something from the match I think he would and should have stayed but those of us who were there were drained of any hope of recovery and in a way I think PI was as well.
    I hope he finds another post and makes a go of it, much better to have british managers in our game than foreign ones, they are no better, it's just a fad. good luck to you Incy from this BRFC supporter. Lets hope that the change does us some good.

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  • 150. At 8:21pm on 16 Dec 2008, stopthepress wrote:

    Paul Ince was the Premiership's THIRD black manager, but when have the facts ever gotten in the way of a BBC lecture?

    It's like that piece they did on the disabled athletes at SPOTY. "This is me", FFS. And there I was thinking it was someone else.


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  • 151. At 8:21pm on 16 Dec 2008, Ryzansky wrote:

    The situation at Blackburn reminds me of West Ham in the 2002/03 season: they have a talented squad built up by a talented manager but found themselves struggling with a new one who was clearly out of his depth.

    John Williams must have learnt from the West Ham debacle. At least he had acted in good time, unlike the West Ham board who kept faith with their manager for far too long.

    I admire what Hughes achieved at Blackburn. I'm a West Ham fan, but seeing such a talented team look so poor on MOTD week after week has brought back some horrible memories and made me wince. (No pun intended.)

    Right decision at the right time.

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  • 152. At 8:30pm on 16 Dec 2008, Boogerd_Fan wrote:

    It was only a matter of time once the media witch-hunt had begun. Any lingering doubt in the mind of the board & chairman were confirmed with daily updates in the press on the state of the crisis.

    I respected Ince the player; and I think he did a fairly decent job with very little at both Macclesfield & MKDons... probably could have done with more experience in the lower leagues.

    Mark Hughes had Blackburn playing very effectively - arguably above the sum of their parts - and this was always going to be a hard task for Ince to come in and motivate the same group of players + - a few star names when his style is completely different.

    I predict Ince will be back in the PL soon - but maybe with a Championship side that he can transform into his own team. Then decisions and authority will be natural rather than the situation he was forced into @ blackburn.

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  • 153. At 8:32pm on 16 Dec 2008, BigGreenLad wrote:

    I feel that Paul was not given enough time and probably the Blackburn Rovers chairman wanted a manager with experience who would get the results.
    I hope Ince gets another job soon, perhaps in a lower league and gain more experience and return to the Premiership in the future.

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  • 154. At 8:41pm on 16 Dec 2008, goonergetit wrote:

    Media, undermining, questions, creating the climate, climate of fear, but no support, just undermine and create the atmosphere of uncertainty, novice, credentials, lack of confidence from the fans, 2 wins and the bounce is back, the line is so close, Stoke at home. Question and undermine, not support, Black icon, role model, first in the Premier, requires support and belief, Paul Ince is required to be a Black role model in this society for the sake of race relations, respect, confidence and belief for those of the same skin colour or background, they knew they'd overstepped the line last week and left off, too late, they created or added to the climate of fear by their journalism, irresponsible ways, I hope they've learned their lesson now, Paul Ince pushed over the edge, I hope those football journalists rot in hell, some of them work for the BBC.

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  • 155. At 8:46pm on 16 Dec 2008, laughingdevil wrote:

    Ince simply should never have been appointed in the first place. His previous job was at a League 2 Club! No matter how good he was that doesn't mean he can manage 3 divisions higher sucessfully! This is going to keep on happening untill former players server proper apprentiships learning how to manage clubs.

    As was pointed out in one of the broadsheet papers today Cappello served for more than 5 years as a youth team coach, despite his 30+ Italian caps. 5 YEARS managing teenagers! Players nowadays (like Ince) think that is beneath them though!

    It's time the Premiere league stuck to it's rule of not appointing managers who don't have the UEFA pro license, and perhaps add another that they need to have been a first team manager for at least 3 years. Only when steps like this are taken will we stop young managerial talent being binned before 40.

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  • 156. At 8:48pm on 16 Dec 2008, not_so_special_one wrote:

    While I feel sorry for Paul Ince, I thought it was inevitable that he is sacked after such a run. It's not the end of the world though as SAF got the sack at St. Mirren as well! I'm sure he'll be back soon!

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  • 157. At 8:53pm on 16 Dec 2008, ABritinCanada wrote:

    None of us knows what went on behind closed doors, in the boardroom, in the dressing room or on the training pitch. All we know is what we see on TV or read in the press. That Blackburn haven't played well is clear.

    The Guardian reported that the 20m from the sale of Friedel and Bentley has gone to operating costs, so Blackburn must be feeling the pinch, which means Ince had little to spend. Andrews was a questionable signing but Ashbee at Hull has done well having come up the same way as Andrews.

    On TV, Southgate comes over as a mature, intelligent, thinker; Keane less so. His departure from Sunderland suggests he KNEW he couldn't do the job - fear of failure, or is that too simplistic? As for Ince, every time I watched him being interviewed, he never looked comfortable. He never looked at the interviewer, or the camera; he was always looking into the distance, to one side or the other. This behaviour suggests an inability to focus, a desire to be elsewhere, an insecurity, a need to know if he was being watched. Even at MKD he was like that. How can you manage a Premier League club, involving huge sums of money and complex human beings if even your basic body language suggests you are not up to it, which clearly Ince wasn't. What criteria did the board use to employ Ince? Are the board up to it?

    Greater skills are needed nowadays than having been a top player. Benitez wasn't, Mourinho wasn't, Wenger wasn't, Scolari wasn't, Hodgson wasn't....get my drift....and all of these guys spent time thoroughly learning their trade. What is clear is that Ince was a risky choice and ultimately a bad choice and the board are culpable and the fans suffer, as always.

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  • 158. At 8:54pm on 16 Dec 2008, vinocelt wrote:

    PAUL INCE swears Celtic were "embarrassed" by the 3-0 Champions League defeat at Old Trafford.
    The former Manchester United midfielder insisted it was "men against boys".

    Oh how we laugh!!!! Get your own house in order before you have a go at others

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  • 159. At 9:44pm on 16 Dec 2008, inoffapost wrote:

    Several others have already commented on the Uefa Licence requirement and the desirability of meaningful experience before taking the reins at a Premiership club. I think these are valid points and I don't understand why chairmen think they can "buck" the odds in the modern game. Risking millions in club value, player values by opting for a manager or trainer of relatively low experience who is not even fully accredited as the basic rules require.
    Southgate at 'Boro seems to be holding his own but he did have the advantage of knowing the squad and club he took over. Still a difficult transition but he's coping, but it was still 'on the job' training and I'm not sure it's appropriate at this level.
    My own club has taken a similar punt on Zola. Gifted player but it's a big risk and Ince's sacking won't ease the pressure on him. Still at least he can't waste millions in January as we don't have them!
    Nevertheless, I feel Premiership managers should have earn't their spurs, paid their dues, call it what you will. An appointment shouldn't be based on a great playing career and a good interview. Ince had begun to lay the foundations of a good managerial career at Manfield and MK Dons. I don't begrudge him grabbing the chance but I just question whether he should have had the chance. The are no guarantees with an experienced manager and in this situation Blackburn have probably done the right thing, but for me they still have egg on their face. Still the next recruit will have the luxury of probably not doing worse over the next five months.

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  • 160. At 9:47pm on 16 Dec 2008, jordanboots wrote:

    Everyone is discussing whether Ince was sufficiently experienced or not. What I'm interested in is what makes a manager qualify as an ‘experienced’ premier league manager? Don’t you first need to get experience in order to become 'experienced'? Getting a degree or doesn't mean I can instantly do a job, so how do coaching badges really make a massive difference? Does bringing a team up from the Championship make you an experienced manager, and what if you then cannot keep them up? Does that make you insufficiently experienced or just not good enough? Even if Ince took MK Dons right up through to the Prem and then joined Blackburn it doesn't mean he would have done any better.

    I think it very much depends on the circumstances at the club at the time any manager joins. In the end, three clubs have to go down. Having an experienced manager doesn't mean your team won't get relegated.

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  • 161. At 9:58pm on 16 Dec 2008, rs wrote:

    Its all about getting a famous name rather than a great manager. Theres plenty of lower league managers who did as well as ince but they didnt have the playing career ince had.

    its hard to say how much difference a manager really makes, he lost the best two players they have had for a few seasons and he didnt get to replace them with lucky buys.

    He needed to do better in the transfers rather than anything else.

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  • 162. At 10:04pm on 16 Dec 2008, Ichi_1 wrote:

    To be honest he had to go. Blackburn are in trouble and its his fault. The players he has bought at times have been almost comical. Im sorry but you dont buy lower league standard players and get into Europe.

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  • 163. At 10:11pm on 16 Dec 2008, GunnerZulu wrote:

    I feel sorry for Ince. I think given time, he could be one of the best managers in the game. But the top flight is like a trip to Mars. There are not room for mistakes as failure could result in unwanted loss of human life. That is how the premier league has become. The premium on playing in the league has been so high no team can aford to slip into the Championship. Yet, everyday you see chairmen and boards of various teams making decisions that are so questionable you wounder if they tought about the effect if things go south.

    It is against this backdrop that I question why Blackburn took the gamble on Ince in the first place. Ince was a manager at training. You bring him all the way from two divisions lower and expect him to perform miracle. This is 2008 for Christ sake. Miracle are over. Even established managers are finding it very difficult to match their own records. Ask Wenger why Arsenal has not won the EPL since the days of the Invincible. This season in particle, teams have become technically difficult to defeat. A quick look at the weekend results for Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool and Arsenal prove my point.

    Therefore, it is cynical and cruel from any chairman to bring a young Ince into a team and sack him at this stage of the season. Ince is not a finished product. He needed guidance and directions in the transfer market, the training ground and the dressing room. I don't see any evidence that Blackburn provided him with the human resource integral for his success. So I don't see any reason why they use the fear factor as a premises for his sacking. Yes, lying next to the bottom from 17games is not a comfortable sight. And I cannot guarantee that it was going to get better. But to sack him with the fear factor is a lame excuss. Blackburn board to a gamble and they must accept the responsibility of their decision.

    As for Ince, I believe he is fighter and he's not going to give up. But I know it is not going to be easy. I must say, he must return to the lower division and learn his trade. He must not try to use a shortcut to reach the top. There is no shortcut to success.

    I hope all the stakeholders and the young and aspiring managers will take a cue from Ince/Blackburn saga. The top flight is very narrow with no room for experimentations. Stars who think they can use their past to push their way up the ladder are menace to their own ambitions. Stay at the lower echoleons and get learn you trade. Get your Uefa qualifications. They say when the student is ready, the teacher will show up. I believe if the former players take their time to learn the trade, the job will show up.

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  • 164. At 10:14pm on 16 Dec 2008, Dunc4444 wrote:

    As a Rovers fan of 30 years I just feel that Paul Ince did not do himself any favours. The signing of Robbie Fowler before a competitive match had been played set alarm bells ringing from the off. Why do this? Did he seriously believe he could still cut it at this level despite nigh on 10 years of evidence to the contrary? Was it because he is his mate? Only Paul Ince will know.

    His coaching staff left a lot to be desired. Ray Mathias has (I think) never worked above 4th Division/League 2 level. Archie Knox worked alongside Alex Ferguson and Walter Smith....many moons ago. Why is he no longer alongside them? Nigel Winterburn brought in as defensive coach (a statement that Ince has no idea how to organise a defence?). Winterburn on Sky Sports News on a weekly basis.....spouting his opinions on Arsenal, until yesterday. Maybe he knew his time was up.

    His persecution complex with his belief that people wanted to see him fail and the media were out to get him. Level headed managers give this short shrift and rightly so.

    The performances in recent weeks are symptomatic of the players not having a clue what their roles are in the side. Too many players played out of position (some due to injuries admittedly).

    All but stating we have no chance of competing over 90 minutes against the big 4. Granted we were second favourites but Ince gave the impression we were beaten before a ball was kicked.

    5 points adrift of safety plus a terrible goal difference. How long should we wait to sack him? 20 points from safety maybe? That is what would have happened!

    The people on here calling for managers to be given more time dont care whether we are relegated or not. We the fans do. Sacking Ince is regrettable but inevitable and sensible given the financial consequences of relegation.

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  • 165. At 10:32pm on 16 Dec 2008, Acnemanprice wrote:

    I think, like other people on here, that perhaps Incey made the step up to Blackburn too soon. Perhaps he would have been better advised to stay a bit longer at the MK Dons and get them as high up the league as possible. Didn't Martin O'Neill do a longish stint at Wycombe and look how good he is now.

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  • 166. At 10:36pm on 16 Dec 2008, Acnemanprice wrote:

    Incey is a top bloke and will be back in Management in no time. Maybe he should go to Hearts or Hibs and help them to destroy the Old Firm domination in Scotland.

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  • 167. At 11:13pm on 16 Dec 2008, FROCHDECKSCALZAGHE wrote:

    I would like to thank Paul Ince for everything he has done at Blackburn, i have no doubt whatsoever that he has always acted in the best interests of the club. I am really sorry to see such a nice guy leave my club and i wish him all the best for the future. It is a shame he has not been given the time to turn this slump in form around and i believe the board and the players have to take the bulk of the blame. If the board did not believe Paul Ince had the ability to handle this situation why did they appoint him? They must have known it was going to be a tough season after selling Bentley and Friedel? We had always punched above our weight under Mark Hughes and i'm not surprised to see our current position regardless of who is charge. However i know our top flight status is now at risk and for this i blame the board at Blackburn Rovers.

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  • 168. At 11:27pm on 16 Dec 2008, whufcboy94 wrote:

    Ince could accomplish great things as a manager with the right budget and backing. Can understand why Blackburn couldn't take the risk. One day will be a force to be reckoned with in Premier league management.

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  • 169. At 11:30pm on 16 Dec 2008, Ste wrote:

    Another piece of sensible leadership from the board to be honest, the fear of relegation is too high to have let Ince carry on...
    But lets look at the facts, the 3 teams coming up were expected to wither and die in the relegation zone and no one expected the success Stoke and especially Hull have had... surely they should have followed West Brom's example?
    And armed with a squad that finished 7th in the premiership last season, admittedly without Bentley and Friedel, you would have expected a tough introduction for Ince but thanks to the newly promoted teams and Mark Hughes genius a fairly comfortable season.... and a season for Ince to get his teeth into the premiership...
    However, for him to have done so badly with that squad is beyond me...
    Bring in Curbishley to rescue them like he did with West Ham for this season and then get rid of him (rubbish in the transfer market!) and bring in Alladyce and give him time to build his squad like he did with Bolton, a team in terms of support and size is fairly similar to Blackburn, where he took them into the UEFA cup...
    (Forget about Alladyces time at Newcastle, it is a cursed job) Problem solved....

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  • 170. At 11:40pm on 16 Dec 2008, valiantxhris94 wrote:

    I completely agree. However, I do think that Ince should not have been brought up to the Premiership so soon.

    If an unknown person had taken Macclesfield and MK Dons to the same success as Ince had, no way would they be considered for the Premiership. I think the fact it was Paul Ince, a great former footballer, that highly influenced Blackburn to go for him.

    I am a Peterborough fan, and I fear that, if we get promoted again this season, that Darren Ferguson will be on his way out, partly because of his profile as being the son of Sir Alex.

    I've always liked Blackburn as a team, they have some good players and I hope they stay up.

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  • 171. At 00:11am on 17 Dec 2008, duellingbanjo wrote:

    Yeah, put Souness in charge.
    I can't believe people actually think he could save anyone.
    This is the man that single handedly destroyed 30 yrs work at Liverpool.
    Right up there with Bryan Robson as the most overated manager in history.

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  • 172. At 00:45am on 17 Dec 2008, gnomefan wrote:

    Though I can understand why Blackburn sacked Ince, some of the comments made here are unbelievable. You can hardly expect a manager to get to grips with the Premiership after coming straight from League 2 without giving him sufficient time to learn. If Blackburn weren't prepared to do that, why did they appoint him in the first place? The fact that he was prepared to start with management "at the bottom", shows that he wasn't too arrogant to believe that he had nothing to learn. He had a pretty mediocre squad & not much money to spend. I hope he gets another chance - soon. He's already shown he's too good a manager to be left on the scrapheap.

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  • 173. At 01:22am on 17 Dec 2008, srh1978 wrote:

    Ince deserves a lot of credit for at least being willing to work in the lower divisions when many of his contemporaries seem unwilling. He was always on to a loser with Blackburn I'm afraid as he inherited a side with several key players who wanted away. Taking this all into consideration I think this is still the right decision an unfortunate mix of wrong (but capable) manager at wrong club at the wrong time.
    Hope he's not lost to the game forever, the game needs him more than he needs the game as he's surely got a fair few bob.

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  • 174. At 01:28am on 17 Dec 2008, Richyburger wrote:

    I for one never thought for a minute that Ince would be able to do the job in the Premiership. Someone said he moved up 2 divisions but he didn't because he never managed a single match in League 1. He went from managing two sides in the lowest league to managing one in the top one, who honestly thought that would work out. The writing was on the wall with his chasing of his old captain who had never managed to cut it in the Championship and he is expected to make it in the Premiership.
    My main point though is that obviously there are a lot of writers out there lumping Ince and Keane into the same boat (not you Phil I hasten to add) but this is completely wrong. Roy Keane didn't go straight into the Prem, he was appointed to the bottom club of the Championship and he transformed them into a Championship winning team. He earned the right to work at a team in the Premiership because he took them there (beating a Bruce team which spent far more money!). Ince didn't do this, he earned the right to manage a League 1 team by taking MK Dons back into League 1. If he had been allowed to move to Leicester City then we might not be having this conversation, he might have been able to cope with a team expected to be pushing for promotion in League 1 but not the Premiership. With the League 2 teams all he did was introduce professional training schemes and it enabled them to outlast their opposition but this simply could not work in the top league.

    Although one thing I note is that no-one has mentioned that this is partially Ince's fault. I know they say that the best people must be arrogant but surely he should also be criticised for the arrogance of assuming that with little experience he could cut it as a Premiership manager.

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  • 175. At 01:46am on 17 Dec 2008, Richyburger wrote:

    Forgot to mention that the other reason Keane and Ince shouldn't really be compared is that Keane had only been out of top class football for a year whereas it was much longer for Ince

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  • 176. At 01:47am on 17 Dec 2008, Brit-exPat-In-USA wrote:

    Ince will have no problem finding a job in the lower divisions. No shame, the premiership is merciless. He has talent, he just needs more experience.
    Blackburn should have no complaints, they plucked a manager from the lower divisions. If they did not have the money for a Capello or a Mourinho then shut up already.

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  • 177. At 02:26am on 17 Dec 2008, Bkkred wrote:

    It's not just the fear factor, it's the results. All credit to Blackburn for taking a risk with a 'bright managerial talent' but they are now paying the price, as they will if they re-employ Mr. Sourness.

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  • 178. At 03:23am on 17 Dec 2008, Faustino wrote:

    I agree with comments 172-174. Given the stakes, I'm amazed at how many EPL clubs have appointed managers without relevant experience and success, it's almost bound to end in tears. Tony Adams might be next on his bike.

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  • 179. At 03:34am on 17 Dec 2008, jollytinkerman wrote:

    Give Ince a break. We all have our own bad days at work, lets face it, who really can concentrate, with the merciless British media hawking at you at every point in time, even when you are taking a pee. Even the big coaches feel the pressure, Scolari didnt fool many when he said that he couldnt feel it, after coaching Brazil. Im sure the media was a little bit lenient, Roy Keane would still have been with Sunderland, and taking them out of relegation, as it is presently.

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  • 180. At 08:37am on 17 Dec 2008, King-Dion wrote:

    It always amazes me that smart businessmen who own and run football clubs can appoint simple minded ex footballers to spend millions of pounds and manage the team. I recall Paul Ince's controversial move from West Ham to Manchester United. He was pictured making stupid faces in a daily newspaper and prematurely wearing a United shirt. His comments at the time were stupid in the extreme and he came across as a man with very little intelligence. Quite how he got to become manager of what was a top ten Premiership club is highly questionable. It asks more questions of those who actually appointed him, rather than of Paul Ince himself.

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  • 181. At 08:45am on 17 Dec 2008, adampsb wrote:

    Weren't Blackburn relegated the last time they sacked their manager when they got rid of Roy Hodgson and brought in Brian Kidd.. Hopefully history eill repeat itself as teh board show they deserve it.. As for Ince trading off past glory didn't he win promotion and a trophy last season....

    Face it Manchester United, Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool are key examples of getting results by being patient. Even clubs like Wigan and West Brom are sticking with their managers because success takes time.. get real Blackburn and (hopefully get relagated) so a club with common sense who treat their managers properly like Wolves, Burnley, Birmingham or Reading can come up instead

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  • 182. At 08:53am on 17 Dec 2008, TheGMen wrote:

    The main issue is about results.
    Ince's record was dreadful and it was impossible for the club to retain his sevices without the potential loss of Premier League status which would be a huge blow to the city of Blackburn and their supporters, so the Board had no choice.
    The secondary issue is should Ince have been appointed in the first place?
    With hindsight the answer is clearly no however you have to give Blackburn some credit in wanting to appoint an English Manager.
    However given the intensity of the job and the skills that are required, Ince was clearly well short of experience at PL level so the Blackburn board gambled and lost.
    Losing Friedel and Bentley didn't help with no top level replecements to fill these boots (Robinson had been proven to be hugely suspect at Sours and International level i.e. damaged goods).
    You also can't blame the media.
    They are what they are and aren't responsible for results.
    Love them or hate them they are what they are and are there to comment and provide opinion.
    Ince should have be given more support in how to mange the media which could have helped his cause.

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  • 183. At 09:08am on 17 Dec 2008, Nick wrote:

    There are plenty of managers these days that havent had a jot of experience before landing a big job, for example Klinsmann, Deschamps, Zola to name but three.

    Hughes is potentially another one, managing internationally before doing anything else.

    Inces problem was that he took over a Blackburn team that had lost key players in Bentley and Friedel.
    While Sparky was there it was more luck than judgement that they didnt flirt with relegation more often.

    In the past Ince would have been given longer but in the past you didnt lose 30 million by dropping a division.

    When United went down in 74 they didnt suffer financially and the Doc bulit a pretty good side, just wouldnt happen now.

    It doesnt make Ince a bad manager because how an earth can you really judge someone on 17 games?

    As for Sparky , don't make me laugh about not having spent yet. Didnt City spend roughly £60 mill in the summer?
    Granted Sparky had no idea who it was being spent on but do you think he'll have much say in January? With his team only goal difference above relegation i cant see Abu Dhabi listening. Plus do players like Chris Samba, Warnock and Santa Cruz fit the bill for launching City as a global name?
    I fully expect Sparky to be gone in June unless by some miracle City qualify for Europe but with either Villa or Arsenal taking care of fifth place that would require an FA Cup win which aint gonna happen is it?

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  • 184. At 09:33am on 17 Dec 2008, Bergysdeftflicks wrote:

    Rovers are a fair Club it seems to me. Not a crisis torn, shooting from the hip outfit. They have had some good bosses, but slipped up appointing Ince, thats all.

    He went because hes not very good. Like Keane i suspect that his overblown ego and inflated view of his own self worth irritated the players there and the end result was predictable.

    Its all very well saying nice things about him and the football world saying he hasnt had the time, but this ignores the fact that the Rovers heirarchy see him every day and have done for 6 months. We only see him on sound bites on TV, but it isnt hard to detect the type of guy that he is.

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  • 185. At 09:34am on 17 Dec 2008, martynbaggs wrote:

    Blackburn will be fine, just as long as they dont appoint Bryan Robson!

    He had to go, looked like a case of losing the dressing room to me, pity he wasnt allowed much of a budget to sign players

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  • 186. At 10:19am on 17 Dec 2008, shakac wrote:

    If the rumours are true and Souness is the next manager then justice will have been done for he will surly take Blackburn where they belong out of the premiership!!!!

    Paul Ince will bounce back stronger and better!

    Good luck Incey

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  • 187. At 10:19am on 17 Dec 2008, Crossy1686 wrote:

    wasn't Jean Tigana, the ex Fulham manager the first black manager in the premier league? just thought i'd bring this up as Ince kept banging on about it.

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  • 188. At 11:00am on 17 Dec 2008, martyboy35 wrote:

    Boys against men! LOL Serves him right for not focusing on his own teams problems and instead focusing that 'high powered football brain' of his at other sides! I doubt we will see him in the PL any time soon - and if we do, I feel sorry for whoever he is at the helm of!

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  • 189. At 11:54am on 17 Dec 2008, pontoon_g117 wrote:

    Phil, you say Paul Ince was 'successful' in League Two. It is precisely that view of alleged success that led to Ince being woefully over-rated as a manager, in my view, and led to him being out of his depth at Blackburn.

    Let us be realistic about his previous achievements. At Macclesfield, he was fortunate to have a woeful Torquay side dropping like a stone as well as several other very poor sides at that end of the division.

    Then, at MK Dons, he had resources only remotely matched by those of Peterborough United. To achieve anything less than what he did last season would have been failure. It is as simple as that.

    The appointment of Ince by Blackburn was always a massive gamble. It's no surprise that all his ex-player friends in the media have been whining about more time and all that today. But the simple reality is that Ince was out of his depth at a Premier League club with comparatively limited resources. Blackburn couldn't afford to wait any longer to make a change.

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  • 190. At 12:01pm on 17 Dec 2008, DaveC wrote:

    What annoys me is the number of people (here and elsewhere) claiming that Ince someho"demanded" quick promotion from the lower leagues to the Premier League as a former star player.

    Given what he did with Macclesfield and MK, he is clearly a good manager in the making, but it was Blackburn's decision to offer him the role at Ewood Park and, let's all be honest with ourselves, who here would turn down an opportunity like that?

    I think it is clear that he isn't yet ready for the rigours of the top flight, but he will be ... and the coaching badges will help him because they give a manager/coach and awful lot of background knowledge to work with. Knowledge that Ince certainly doesn't posses given his comments about not knowing what to do.

    The best thing he can do is go back down the leagues, take his badges and gain some more experience. I think he will come back strongly in the future if he does that.

    The best thing Blackburn can do is acknowledge that they were the ones who called this one wrong by giving him the job in the first place.

    Pity that it is the manager who suffers in those circumstances though.

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  • 191. At 1:16pm on 17 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    At 5:46pm on 16 Dec 2008, r1bby0 wrote:
    Title: Ince forced out by fear factor
    More like: Ince forced out by media


    Yeah the media had a role. Ince however was forced out by intelligence,(which wasn't there when he was appointed) and common sense and his own lack of ability. There are tons of managers who have won promotion in lower leagues...they are still in lower leagues.
    Ince is not and never will be a leader. Perhaps the MK dons were a little Star Struck but when it comes to the premiership weekin weekout he clearly at no time was cut out for it. That was translated to the pitch. Robbie Fowler for crying out loud..... what has got to offer unless it's a place to live to a couple of the foriegn players.
    Ince was forced out because he is crap! If was any good at all he would still be there. 3:0 against wigan on the day they were supposed to turn around the season says it all.

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  • 192. At 1:50pm on 17 Dec 2008, Eewires wrote:

    Post 112 says:

    'Some people say he had a big 'ego', yeah but so did Cantona, Di Canio and Zidane and so does Ronaldo. It does not make you a bad person.'

    Actually it probably does make you a bad person. What it doesn't make you is a bad footballer or football manager or bad at any other job. (it might also make you in sufferable to be around)

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  • 193. At 3:08pm on 17 Dec 2008, Dazz wrote:

    @192 Your ego is sometimes a result of the circumstances in which you grew up. Most people of any noteworthy talent usually have a big ego as well (actors, great sportsmen etc.) love them or hate them it will always be a fact of life.

    Many people around the world think the English feel superior and turn their noses up at them (just ask the average American!) whilst the English might feel they are entitled to gloat at the world domination they achieved in the last century. Are they then entititled to conclude that the English are a bad people? Certainly not!

    Sometimes people develop this whilst trying to achieve the confidence to be exceptional in life. The guy was a great player and in time will be a great manager (remember Sir Alex was sacked at St Mirren?) live with it

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  • 194. At 6:45pm on 18 Dec 2008, l00py wrote:

    This is an old thread now but I still wanted to add an opinion....

    I think Blackburn have made the right choice. Paul Ince was a gamble and they couldn't afford to lose. There's no guarantee that Sam Allardyce will keep them up but he is a manager with a proven track record in the premiership and has to be a better bet than Ince given how this season has gone for Blackburn.

    The problem is, if you don't shake things up where is the change going to come from?

    Tony Adams has called the decision 'spineless' and I can understand why as he may be in a similar boat in a few months time. But premiership football clubs are not there for young managers to 'cut their teeth'.

    They gave Ince a shot, it didn't work out so well and they're hoping to cut their losses. There's nothing spineless about that, it's just the harsh reality of the premier league. Just ask Ramos.

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