Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Championship Managers

You might describe this year's Championship as open and exciting ; you might also describe it as being below the usual standard. But with Cardiff, Preston, Burnley and Plymouth in the top six at the moment, no one could describe it as predictable.

Is it that much of a surprise ? Plymouth maybe. I do respect Ian Holloway as a manager, but I'm not sure if they'll stay the course as high as that. Certainly with the other three clubs, it's maybe not quite such a surprise that three good managers are getting on with the job and doing it well. Experience counts for a lot in this league and, whatever happened last night, it seems clear that Rangers made the right decision to replace Gary Waddock. Have a look at how the wheels have fallen off at Ipswich this week, two home defeats with 8 goals conceded ; and Leeds, basically without a manager and in apparent freefall.

Then again, Norwich and West Brom have already swung the axe on their experienced managers, with immediate effect. I'm sure the Canaries were disappointed not to win at Rangers on Saturday, and last night they saw Birmingham off at St Andrews. Which brings me to their manager in residence, Steve Bruce. Tempting as it is to stick the boot in yet again, we'll wait and see what happens there. One thing I can tell you is that, new manager or not, if you can't score at home to Norwich it says very little for your promotion credentials. The interesting thing about this is that even after 7 games when City were in second place, fans were ringing up Talk Sport (the only tolerable phone-in show) to say how poorly they were playing, only to be fobbed off with "but they're second, cah, there's no pleasing some people". Well, sometimes people who are watching every game know a bit more about a team than those who are just reading the league table, whatever caps and qualifications the latter may have. Some fans are idiots and some aren't - just like the rest of the population. In this case, 2 points from the succeeding 5 games indicate that the talk show hosts might owe an apology or two. Yeah, that'll happen, and Barnet for the Champions League :-)


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