Tuesday, 11 December 2007

The turning point?

Lads and lasses here's my latest column for Nufcview and The Bleacher report (links down the right hand side, near the bottom) - I fully expect a slagging from at least one red shirted huckle but am publishing it anyway - cos I can!

The Turning point?

At some point in every manager’s career they hit a sticking point. They find that they have an underperforming team, the chairman is getting twitchy and sections of the crowd start vocally showing their dismay. This is the point at which great managers are made.

When plain old Alex Ferguson didn’t immediately deliver success to, the then, mid-table Manchester United of the 1980’s a lot of the Stretford End faithful wanted rid of him. Fast forward twenty years and Sir Alex is widely respected as one of the best managers ever.

Martin O Neill kept the letters he received from deeply unhappy Leicester fans, one promotion and a cup final later he was writing back to them and asking what their problem was. He’s now a prime candidate for the England job and considered one of the best crop of managers in British football today.

Arsene who? Was the cry some years ago in parts of North London as concerned gooners wondered about the non-existent track record of their new manager – do you think they’d swap him now

Sam Allardyce hit his own wall at home to Liverpool recently but it had been coming for a while.

Dour performances straight from the Souness handbook had been glossed over by wins and draws but when the wheels came off at home to Pompey and the scousers then there was nowhere to hide.

Sam took the abuse like a man and got on with it.

The new owner kept his finger off the trigger and the team started doing their job with a key factor being the crowd’s support. They got stuck in away to Blackburn where we lost unluckily, they were the better team at home to Arsenal where we drew but could have won and they kept getting stuck in against Birmingham where we picked up all the points.

Now I’m not saying Sam hasn’t made mistakes and I’m not saying the football’s been brilliant either but you’ve got to give the bloke time.

This club, my club, has been undermined by short term thinking for the last ten years and it needs to end. We’re not going down this year and could quite feasibly end up in the European places if the manager is allowed to get on with his job – why don’t we cut him some slack, support the team and see what happens.

Who knows, in ten years time we could all be clapping as a statue of Sir Sam is unveiled outside St. James alongside the new trophy room we’ve had to build!!

Howay the lads


THE-SHADO said...

Kind of agree sunshine. I think you mean Brum though, not Leicester?!

Rivs said...

Don't know what you mean...ho hum!

Daz said...

Fergie never played left wingers as full backs and centre forwards as left wingers, although he did sign Ralph Milne. I agree with what you're saying and i like big Sam, but will your fickle crowd (who for some reason think you've always played fast, flowing attractive football?) give him time? I hope so.