JOL TO FILL THE GAP OR ANOTHER BIG SURPRISE?
So it’s been 24 hours or so since Chris Hughton’s unbelievable sacking and whilst there is still obvious anger and confusion from fans the simple fact is life goes on and in football you can’t really dwell on the past. Chris Hughton did a great job here but no man is bigger than the club.
I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense, of course the sacking seemed to all stem from the board but the fact is he is gone and we have a game on Saturday and 21 games after to that in which to make sure we stay in this division.
This may all sound slightly heartless but I’m a realist. This is football and nobody has died here. Football managers come and go, something I’m sure Chris was aware of when he took the job. He leaves with his head held high, an improved CV and no doubt the remaining 6 months of his contract paid up, it’s not like he is going to be joining the nearest dole queue. Like I say I’m not being disrespectful here but focus has to now turn to getting in a replacement and just trying to get through this tough period because should the club and fans sit around moping about this then the potential is there for utter disaster.
So who is the replacement to be then? Well the fact that the board wants experience would rule out the usual potential suspect of Alan Shearer and in all honesty I couldn’t see him working for Ashley again anyway. The main names being banded about at the moment are Alan Pardew, Alan Curbishley, Martin Jol and Martin O’Neill.
They are all out of work currently which I think sadly needs to be the case from a financial point of view and they seem to tick the boxes in terms of experience.
First impressions are that list doesn’t appeal to me a great deal, certainly not in terms of Pardew and Curbishley – I just don’t really see how either of those could really be deemed as any kind of massive, if any, improvement on Hughton.
I would take either Jol or O’Neill, my personal preference being the Irishman although I would say he is the least likely of all 4 of those mentioned to take it as I doubt he would fancy working under Ashley and also if rumours are to be believed he left Villa due to lack of transfer funds which aint gonna change here!
That leaves Jol really who has a decent reputation from his time at Spurs and who has coincidentally (or maybe not) become free after leaving Ajax.
I’ll be honest I have no idea who it will be with these clowns in charge. I didn’t expect Hughton to get the job in the first place, I didn’t expect Joe Kinnear before that, the return of Keegan before that and even going back pre Ashley to when Freddie Shepherd was in charge the Souness appointment came totally out of the blue so it really could be anyone.
I just hope that whoever it is comes in quick and is someone that can at least be deemed as a genuine improvement on Hughton – it would just be farcical to replace him like for like and cause all this disruption.
Time will tell, the noises from the club are that it will be sorted before Saturday’s game but then again the noises from the club not long ago were that Hughton would get a new contract so I won’t hold my breath.
At least it’s never dull eh?!
What are peoples thoughts having had time to reflect and who do you want and more to the point who will we actually get?