Thursday, 29 November 2007

Managerial Merry-Go-Round (Part Deux)

So the metaphorical Mangerial Merry-Go-Round is once again up and running in metaphorical theme park we call football. The Premier League has seen 3 major changes that just might have a major impact on the impending relegation battle. At the start of the season, I said I believed that 8 sides will be fighting to avoid the drop and a little over a third of the way through the campaign, Derby, Wigan, Fulham, Sunderland, Birmingham, Bolton, Reading and Middlesborough have done very little to change my mind. With only two away wins between the lot of them this season I anticipate a very interesting second half of the season. Tottenham and Newcastle realistically wont get dragged into it despite their awful starts. You expect both sides have the quality to keep themselves afloat.

For these eight, the panic may be settling in quite early and their Chairmen seem to be trying to rectify their problems very early on.

Billy Davies surpringly parted company with Derby earlier this week. Not much is expected this season at Pride Park. Relgation is a certainty and new Chairman Adam Pearson realised it was pointless for Davies to constantly harp on about lack of investment in the team. Paul Jewell has been brought in and while he is the master of great escapes, he is surely only there in Preparation for the Rams championship campaign next year.

Following Bolton's apparent resurgence under Gary Megson (Yes, I know. It's a surprise to me as well), Jewell's former club Wigan will not be prepared to allow them any opportunities to pull away. Dave Whelan decided that Chris Hutchings was not up the job and showed him the door. This desite backing him to make a lot of transfers in the summer. The latics have gone for the experience of Steve Bruce who has left Birmingham City - another struggling side.

If you believe what you read, Bruce apparently was on borrowed time and lack of trust and disloyalty were the main reasons he cited for his decision to leave. Will he fair any better at Wigan? I'm not sure he's made a great decision there. Birmingham have arguably a better squad of players. Bruce's objective is to keep Wigan up if he doesn't succeed, there's a good chance he will be searching for another job in the summer.

Bruce is replaced at Birmingham by Alex McLiesh. Off the back of an incredible but ultimately unsuccesful Euro 2008 qualifying campaign with Scotland, McLiesh returns to club management and renews his professional rivalry with Villa boss Martin O'Neill.

McLiesh is a dark horse. Having never managed in the Premier League, it's extremely difficult to even comprehend how he will fair with The Blues. He seems fairly astute and has learnt from the best so there's every chance he could do a decent job. I think having chosen to come in at the deep end, he obviously backs himself.

NB: The front-runner to take over from McLiesh as Scotland Manager? Billy Davies! If he gets it, all four managers would have replaced each other in their most recent roles. I swear these guys just all sit around and just decide to swap jobs just to mix things up a litte!

In The Championship, Plymouth, Liecester, Preston and Burnley have all been playing Mangerial musical chairs and the complexion of the already unpredictable division will almost certainly change as a result.

Will I be writing another one of these before the season is over? Dont bet against it.

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