I had just finished watching the highlights of Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Game of the Day on Sky Sports. Then the presenter broke the news. Steve Clarke had been sacked by West Bromwich Albion after four successive defeats. Straight away I told my brother who was sat beside me “What have West Brom done?” he replied, “Got themselves into more of a relegation fight that’s what.” And I had to completely agree.
Steve Clarke was a favourite of mine, not just because he managed West Brom to their best Premier League finish in their history last season (8th) but because he was genuinely a lovely man who loved the game. He had progressed up from being a no.2, and he has shown off his potentials and credentials at the Hawthorns so I don’t think he will be out of work for too long.
I fear for West Brom now. I don’t know if they will be able to replicate or even exceed their achievements last season without Clarke. Roberto Di Matteo is the early bookmaker’s favourite to take the job on and make a return to the Hawthorns where he was in charge between 2009-2011. He did do a marvellous job at his previous club Chelsea but he hasn’t got the same world class squad that he had at Stamford Bridge. Will he or whoever takes charge be able to win over a squad who are clearly in discontent with the club’s owners after the sacking of Clarke? Only time will tell.
Fast forward to Monday Lunchtime and I was making my way to history at college and casually decided to look up my Sky Sports Football app on my IPod. Breaking news it read… Andre Villas-Boas has been sacked by Tottenham Hotspur. Finally. The Portuguese manager has, unlike Clarke, turned Tottenham into a laughing stock in the previous few weeks. A 6-0 demolition at Manchester City followed a few weeks later by a 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Sunday marked the end for AVB. For a team who let’s not forget splashed out around £110 million in the summer, sitting mid-table is simply not enough.
The Tottenham job is always an exciting job to take. However the new guy who comes in needs to find a system and a core in the side for them to exceed. The new players have been at the club 6 months or so now and have begun to adapt to the English game and are obviously struggling. Personally I would drop Roberto Soldado and stick Jermain Defoe on because he seems to always find a goal in a game. Also, I would always stick Sandro in front of Paulinho any day. Perhaps the system needs changing from this 4-2-3-1 that AVB seemed to be playing week in, week out. Names like Fabio Capello are being mentioned but we saw what he did for England and to be honest, I would rather see a young upcoming manager, someone like Michael Laudrup, take the reins.
This is the trouble with modern football and club owners. They just want success. If the team are on a bad run, the manager’s neck is on the line, no matter what club it is. There are times for change, and also times to let the manager take the challenge on and turn the club’s fortunes around. These two sackings over the past week that I have mentioned above are prime examples of when a manager should and shouldn’t get sacked.
Who will the teams bring in? Will they have money to spend in January? What if they don’t turn the club’s fortunes around? We saw that last year with both Nigel Atkins and Harry Redknapp who failed to keep Reading and QPR in the Premier League last season.
In the business that is Football, being a manager means putting yourself in the firing line when times get tough. You never know when you’ll lose your job, so be prepared for the worst if the teams’ fortunes begin to deteriorate.
Oh the joys of being a football Manager…