Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughTo stick or to twist, the biggest dilemma of a modern day chairman. - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough To stick or to twist, the biggest dilemma of a modern day chairman. - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

To stick or to twist, the biggest dilemma of a modern day chairman.


Football managers live and die by their decisions, so do chairman.

Most recently Steve Morgan has come under a lot of criticism for his handling of the sacking and replacing of Mick McCarthy. After sacking him he really needed to bring someone in with experience and the ability to help Wolves avoid being relegated. The man he chose was Terry Connor, promoting him from his role as assistant manager. The decision looks to be the wrong one seeing as in the 9 games he has been in charge for they have only picked up 2 points and look destined for relegation with 4 games to go and 11 points adrift of 17th place Wigan. So the question on Steve Morgan’s mind is likely to be questioning his decision to appoint Terry Connor. So should managers be given time before they are sent through the revolving door?

For the last few seasons Wigan have always looked the most likely club to be relegated. With limited funds and a lack of home support they always seem to find some ability or determination that no one realised they had. Despite pundits suggesting that Martinez maybe isn’t up to the job Dave Whelan has stuck by his manager through thick and thin, even when they looked to be being cut adrift this season they stuck by him and Wigan seem to have come good and are hitting form at the right time in the season with recent wins over Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.

Sunderland have been in recent seasons a regulation lower mid table team who you wouldn’t associate with being in a relegation scrap, but this season they found themselves in trouble and replaced Steve Bruce with enthusiastic manager Martin O’Neill. This has been a wonderful decision for Sunderland, who now sit comfortably in mid table and can easily finish as high as 7th this season after their outstanding form in Martin O’Neill’s era.

Steve Kean has taken a lot of criticism from most sections of the Blackburn fans but the Blackburn board chose to stick with him in charge. Blackburn have had an up and down season, at some parts this season they’ve looked reasonably safe, but other teams around them picking up points has meant they find themselves in the bottom 3, 3 points off Wigan with only 3 games to go. Whether the Blackburn board made the right decision remains to be seen.

Alex McLeish has proven himself as a manager in Scotland but not at all to Aston Villa fans. His appointment was met with protests and disappointed Villa fans as they weren’t happy with it. Considering he crossed the city leaving Birmingham who he had managed to a carling cup win and relegation, he needed to get off to a good start to prove he was the right man to lead Villa. They’ve been unfortunate with injuries but Villa aren’t a team you associate with relegation battles but this season they poor end to the season and the bottom teams picking up points has led to them being sucked in to it. A lot of fans are blaming McLeish for the problems with his tactics, but he hasn’t really had the chance to put his mark on the squad and has recently had to field a very young squad because of injuries to key players such as Petrov, Dunne and Bent. If Villa don’t improve their squad I can see them being in it from the start next season, but will McLeish be given the time?

An example from history where sticking with the manager has seemed to work is Sir Alex Ferguson, probably the greatest manager in Football. A few years into his reign he was widely criticised by fans who wanted him out and a new manager in for their poor league form which led to them being in the bottom half of the old division 1. But they stuck with him saying that his job was never in doubt despite the rumours and since then he has led Manchester United to 12 league titles 9 Domestic Cups and 2 European Cups. Although in the modern game a manager is unlikely to be given 3 years at a club to turn their fortunes around.

Andre Villas Boas was brought in to Chelsea to build a dynasty like Sir Alex has at Man United. They paid a lot of money to get him and a lot of money to fire him. Like Wolves Chelsea brought in the assistant manager (Di Matteo) to change the clubs luck. Since Di Matteo has taken charge they have got themselves into the semi-final of the Champions League, the Final of the FA Cup and their league form looks to be improving. But was AVB given enough time to bring his own players in and give Chelsea a new look. In my opinion no but he tried to do too much too soon pushing aside key players like Lampard and Drogba when they still have the ability. But di Matteo deserves the chance to lead Chelsea after impressing on his managerial return.

Firing a manager because of players performances seems harsh but can give teams new energy but can also hinder the club, to sack a manager is a big decision for a chairman and needs to be thoroughly thought out considering who they could bring in to change the clubs fortunes and if they are going to make a difference.

So at the end of the day the cards are on the table do chairman stick and hope what they have is enough or twist and look for a different combination.

Calum Steel @Calumsteel


For more Football Blogs and opinion from football fans around the world