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Ince forced out by fear factor

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Phil McNulty | 11:26 UK time, 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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  • Comment number 1.

    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...

  • Comment number 2.

    "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?

  • Comment number 3.

    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.

  • Comment number 4.

    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.

  • Comment number 5.

    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!

  • Comment number 6.

    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.

  • Comment number 7.

    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.

  • Comment number 8.

    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

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    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?

  • Comment number 11.

    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.

  • Comment number 12.


    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.......

  • Comment number 13.

    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.

  • Comment number 14.

    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

  • Comment number 15.

    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.

  • Comment number 16.

    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.

  • Comment number 17.

    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

  • Comment number 18.

    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!

  • Comment number 19.

    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?

  • Comment number 20.

    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.

  • Comment number 21.

    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!

  • Comment number 22.

    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.

  • Comment number 23.

    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.

  • Comment number 24.

    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.

  • Comment number 25.

    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.

  • Comment number 26.

    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.

  • Comment number 27.

    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.

  • Comment number 28.

    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.

  • Comment number 29.

    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..........

  • Comment number 30.

    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.

  • Comment number 31.

    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.

  • Comment number 32.

    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.

  • Comment number 33.

    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!

  • Comment number 34.

    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.

  • Comment number 35.

    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.

  • Comment number 36.

    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.

  • Comment number 37.

    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

  • Comment number 38.

    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.

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    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.

  • Comment number 41.

    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.

  • Comment number 42.

    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.

  • Comment number 43.

    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.

  • Comment number 44.

    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.

  • Comment number 45.

    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.

  • Comment number 46.

    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.

  • Comment number 47.

    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.

  • Comment number 48.

    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.

  • Comment number 49.

    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...

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    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’

  • Comment number 52.

    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!!!

  • Comment number 53.

    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

  • Comment number 54.

    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.

  • Comment number 55.


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

    Still a gamble though.

  • Comment number 56.

    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.....

  • Comment number 57.

    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

  • Comment number 58.

    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.

  • Comment number 59.

    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"

  • Comment number 60.

    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 .

  • Comment number 61.


    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.

  • Comment number 62.

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

  • Comment number 63.

    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.

  • Comment number 64.

    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.

  • Comment number 65.

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

  • Comment number 66.

    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.

  • Comment number 67.

    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.

  • Comment number 68.

    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.

  • Comment number 69.

    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.

  • Comment number 70.

    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.

  • Comment number 71.

    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?

  • Comment number 72.

    make a sentence from these words...

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

  • Comment number 73.

    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.

  • Comment number 74.

    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.

  • Comment number 75.

    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.

  • Comment number 76.

    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.

  • Comment number 77.

    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!

  • Comment number 78.

    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.

  • Comment number 79.

    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.

  • Comment number 80.

    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'.

  • Comment number 81.

    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.

  • Comment number 82.

    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.

  • Comment number 83.

    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)

  • Comment number 84.

    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.

  • Comment number 85.

    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.

  • Comment number 86.

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

  • Comment number 87.

    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?

  • Comment number 88.

    @ 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.

  • Comment number 89.

    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

  • Comment number 90.

    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.

  • Comment number 91.

    Leliepoet - couldn't agree more !!

  • Comment number 92.

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

  • Comment number 93.

    Mark Hughes Mark Hughes - you are next !!

  • Comment number 94.

    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.


  • Comment number 95.


    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?

  • Comment number 96.

    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.

  • Comment number 97.

    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.

  • Comment number 98.

    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

  • Comment number 99.

    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

  • Comment number 100.

    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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