the september sack race

Well it’s not quite the season for  mists and mellow fruitfulness just yet but it’s definitely the time when misses (by strikers) and shallow ruthlessness (by club chairmen) strike fear in the hearts of Premiership managers. Yes the football season is only a few games old but the knives are already being sharpenned as chairmen’s sphincters start to squeak. Who’s going to be  winner of the annual race to be first manager to walk down the road clutching his P45 and £multi-million pay-off?

It’s understandable, after seeing his Portsmouth side lose their first 7 Premiership games on the trot, that Paul Hart is everyone’s favourite for the chop. After doing well last year to keep Portsmouth up, his side has been ransacked following the club’s take over by some dodgy Arab businessman who’s cashed in the club’s primary assets faster than Danielle Lloyd moves on to the next rich footballer and true ‘love of her life’. But I actually think there are a number of reasons why Hart might survive for a while yet at least;   a) he’s actually doing a decent job in the circumstances. He played no part in the sale of the club’s outstanding players and he was given a pittance in fees to recruit replacements. Despite all this the side aren’t playing bad football and have been really unlucky, from the highlights I’ve seen,  not to have drawn if not won several of their league matches b) he’s not likley to be on the highest managerial wages in the Premiership but the club’s finances are in such a state that it’s unlikely the club could afford to sack him and  make him a severance payment c) the charman looks like he knows as much about football as my auntie Betty but he’s a businessman and will be reluctant to get rid of an obvious scapegoat and put pressure back on himself by jettisoning the hapless Hart.

Before the week-end I would have put a little money on Megson losing his job as the miserable and unloved manager of the increasingly dour Bolton Wanderers. But an away-win at equally grim Birmingham City has seen the Trotters leapfrog ahead of the Blues into 13th place in the table and luckily for Megson, allowed him to keep his position for now.

My favourite for the chop is the manager for whom the words ‘ooh look at me’ could have been specially minted.  It’s Hull City’s Phil Brown of course, who this time last year was talking about taking the Tigers into the Champions League. Yeh right. Ever since Brown undermined his position of respect with the players by keeping them on the on the pitch last season to give them a half-time lambasting in full view of the crowd, they’ve barely drawn let alone won a game and they’re certs for the drop in my view. And if that piece of misplaced showmanship wasn’t bad enough, he continues to attract derision for his orange perma-tan, the dodgy leather jackets and pink sweaters worn frat boy style and, of course, for that ridiculous headset/mouthpiece he wears during matches. Just who is he talking and listening to?  I can only guess he’s asked his assistant to stand high up in the stands to comment on the game from a different perspective. It must have been fun on Saturday as Brown asked his assistant for his strategic assessment on the match with Liverpool…’Er, it’s a mess gaffer; we’ve losing 6 fuc*ing 1′. A loss against Wigan next up and I reckon Brown’s number’s up.

Best outside bet for a mutual consent departure to beat the first ruthless sacking – sadly the very admirable Gianfranco Zola at West Ham, another train crash club waiting to happen?

In the other leagues it’s hard to look beyond Paul Sturrock at Plymouth, Ipswich’s beleagured Roy Keane and that poor sap at Notts County, McParland, who is nailed on to be replaced by some  big time charlie of a manager any day now. Did I read over the week-end that Mancini was on his way to join the Sven revolution? It’ll no doubt be as successful as the  Sol Campbell experiment.



9 thoughts on “the september sack race

  1. Pingback: the september sack race Match Web

  2. Couldn’t agree more Paul, but on a lighter (and opposing) note, how about a mention and/or knighthood for one Ian Holloway?

    The Blackpool players were reported to be suffering from nose bleeds over the weekend, as they are not used to sitting so high up.

    Is it too early to be talking play-offs? Wembley here we come…again!!

  3. hi russ

    you’re right; the Pool are going gangbusters at the moment. I have to pinch myself after every result. but something inside me says wasn’t gareth southgate manager of the month for september last season in the Prem and look what happened to Boro by season’s end – relefuckinggation. So I’m trying not to tempt fate but wouldn’t it be great to see a side with a two-sided stadium in the Premiership? Ooh Roman Abram will love it at the ‘Pool!


  4. I know what you mean – in the words of Tim Lovejoy ‘It’ll never last”, but it’s a nice pipe dream.

    I honestly can’t see them going up, but a potential play-off spot can’t be written off. Only to be beaten by arch rivals PNE…

    Apparently, they wouldn’t be allowed in the Premiership anyway with the stadium being in the state it is. Although two sides are new, the away stand is almost illegal from a health and safety perspective!

    I would love to see Chelsea turning up for ‘Pool away, staying in an £8/night B&B and following the match with a ride down the illuminations in the team bus. Highlight of the season for the London clubs!

  5. ooh those london boys would love it russ. total northern sophistication. tate modern pah! but you’re right russ it’ll never last but what a roller coaster at the moment eh! come on the ‘Pool,

  6. Hi Tn

    many thanks for checking in. I think if you go to the home page on the pasta paulie site (click on masthead above) you can select the rss feed on the right hand column. you’ll need to follow one of the relevant actions then. ok?

    you’re welcome to browse around any time.

  7. ps

    well, as predicted, macparland’s gone from notts county (though it’s hardly a shock) and although paul hart’s hanging on at portsmouth his end must surely be nigh following the arrival of the grim reaper himself, old avram the hangman as the club’s new director of football – or next manager in olde english.

    i still think zola might be italy-bound sooner rather than later. sadly.


  8. pps

    Well as i’ve covered off in a later posting unlucky Hart did lose his job, unsurprisingly, to the vulture Grant. Since then City sacked Mark Hughes in rather shambolic circumstances and Megson’s was finally put out of his misery at Bolton yesterday. They say Peter Reid is in the frame for a return there. They probably deserve each other. City have gone for Italian flair and no premiership experience in Mancini, who will probably make it to the end of the season before being ousted by an even bigger name. I read that City fancy Arsene Wenger. They have about as much chance of landing him as they did with Kaka. Cack all.


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