OH dear, the natives are getting restless!
In the impatient world that is football, calling for the manager to be sacked even before we’ve entered the month of December is commonplace.
The majority of football supporters are not known for their common sense and logic but the biggest tragedy is that that also applies to club directors who can be, and often are, too easily swayed by the whinging of fans and, of course, the media.
This weekend’s fixtures saw the managers of three Premier League clubs coming under the cosh:-
Apparently at the end of Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke, which keeps them marooned in mid-table, angry supporters were calling for the reappointment of former Kop hero Kenny Dalglish as manager.
Down in London, Avram Grant, manager of bottom club West Ham, has insisted that he won’t quit despite being held to a 0-0 home draw by Blackpool, the team tipped by everyone to be the Premier League’s whipping boys.
And of course we have poor old Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, toiling under the pressure of being in charge of a side assembled at a cost estimated to be around £220 million. They drew 0-0 at home to unfashionable Birmingham City which led to chants of ‘What’s Going On?’ amongst the 44,000 crowd.
It always baffles me why people who go to football matches can’t get their head around the fact that their side can’t win every match and that club fortunes go in cycles, regardless of how much money is spent.
However, it was a good weekend for two centre-forwards. Josh McQuoid, a 21 year old playing for League One side Bournemouth, who netted his second hat-trick in a week as they beat Walsall 3-0 to keep them in third place. All strikers have to endure barren spells when they can’t score for love nor money so when a golden patch comes along they have to savour it.
Mind you, finding the back of the net wasn’t the only source of joy for Cardiff City forward Jay Bothroyd. Sure, he netted twice in their emphatic 4-2 win at Scunthorpe which took them to top spot in the Championship, but he later learnt that at the grand old age of 28, he has received his first call up to the England squad for a friendly against France. If Bothroyd plays he will be the first Championship player to receive a cap since David Nugent, then of Preston, scored in a 3-0 win over Andorra in Barcelona in March 2007.
Cardiff boss Dave Jones said: “There are some good players down in the Championship and it would be a shame if they are overlooked because of the division they are playing in.”
Finally, more financial tales of woe.
The BBC has reported that League One club Sheffield Wednesday face a “distinct possibility” of going into administration. The Owls face a winding-up petition in the High Court on Wednesday over an unpaid PAYE tax bill of £600,000. Their plight is so serious that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a Sheffield MP, has offered his help to keep the club afloat, and is understood to be considering talks with the Co-operative Bank as the High Court hearing approaches.
There are reports that the bank, the club’s main creditor, may now decide to place the club into administration in order to secure the £23m owed to it. Several different parties have been linked with a rescue plan but there are fears that Wednesday are running out of time. A top flight club for the majority of the 80s and 80s, they were relegated from the Championship last season.