Monday, 27 August 2012

Mixed feelings about Thorn's dismissal.

Sorry, another football blog, and my first post in a month. I really need to find more hours in the day.

Yesterday my beloved Coventry City Fc, I shall pause here to say Play Up Sky Blues, announced the departure of Andy Thorn and the start of a search for our twelfth manager in as many years since dropping through the Premier League trap door.

It was with mixed emotions I received the news from a friend of mine. He started my expressing the belief that the club we both support is a joke and I was quick to agree with him (for a full list of reasons you will need to research the history of the club starting from the day Bryan Richardson said we were going to have a punt). Of course, at this time I was still unaware that we had sacked Thorn, I was just generally agreeing with the notion of Coventry City  being a joke (PUSB) and when he dropped the news that Thorn had been dismissed I can honestly say I wasn't surprised. Many fans have been on his back from the first few games of last season and having been relegated and then starting the new season with three draws the pressure was always going to be there.

The news he had gone was not a surprise in the slightest, not even the timing of the sacking. Conventional wisdom, or common sense, or whatever you want to call it says you either sack him at the end of the season he gets you relegated or you give him a fair crack of the whip in the next season, say ten games, to show he can turn things around. Certainly, once you have decided not to sack him at the end of the season and you have given him full backing to re-build the squad, you wouldn't expect to sack him after just three games. Add to that the transfer window about to close, preventing the new manager any chance to tweak the squad. That would be the worst option of when to dismiss him.

Although not if you are the board of Coventry City FC. When we left the Premier League we kept Strachan for a similar amount of time.

Of course Tim Fisher is right in saying things aren't right, and it has been clear to the fans for a long time that Thorn has limitations as a manager. From the purely footballing side of things I am relieved he is gone, but it still doesn't stop the anger at the timing.

Then there is the issue of the fact I actually like Thorn. I am sure he is the kind of guy that I would happily drink with down my local, he seems genuine. He did a great job as a scout for Coventry City (PUSB). He was loyal, and he guided the team through the most difficult season in our history, and probably one of the more difficult seasons of any team other than Portsmouth. So I can't help but have sympathy for him. I feel somewhere along the line the club (PUSB) has let Thorn down.

Finally there is the thorny issue (pun not intended) of who will replace him. I am happy to see Shaw and Carsley in the caretaker position. They know the players and both have history with the club (OK, both being part of the team that got us relegated from the Premier League isn't a great endorsement but history is history). But I am uncomfortable with appointing somebody with no experience as a manager. We need an experienced hand.

Gary Megson was an early favourite and I had the misfortune to see his West Bromwich Albion team on a number of occasions. To Megson I say a big no. The same can be said for Alex Mcleish. Having almost done the unenviable double of relegating Birmingham City and Aston Villa in consecutive seasons I don't see any advantage.

There are two names that we have been linked with that I would be happy with, Both are unlikely, in my opinion, for different reasons.

Andy Morrell from Wrexham would be my first choice. He is young and hungry as a manager, he hsa done well in the time he has been in charge at Wrexham and he is a former player who I felt was a little unlucky to be played out of position for most of his time with the club. I can't see us approaching him for the simple reason of compensation. Coventry City (PUSB) have well documented financial problems. Whoever we hire will need to be unemployed.

The other name I have heard is Gareth Southgate. I think he is a decent manager and a good guy. He is happy to bring youth though, he was in charge at Middlesbrough when Johnson and Bate etc.. where getting games, and he is also available on a free. But of course, his wages will be higher than most and he already has a job working with the FA and as a commentator. He also doesn't know league one, his playing and managing career have pretty much exclusively been at the top level. He is unlikely to galvanise the fans- I like him but many fans don't share that opinion, and he still has a lot to prove as a manager. But I think he would do a good job,

A lot of the reason for me favouring these two is down to the lack of competition, the vast majority of other candidates are people I really wouldn't like in charge.

And that is another reason that I have mixed feelings about Thorn going, I might not have felt he was manager material but I don't think much of most of the candidates to replace him either.

Whatever happens I wish Thorn luck wherever life takes him, he is a good guy who was not quite up to a very difficult job,

And fingers crossed the CCFC board can make an inspired (or lucky) decision when appointing the new manager.

Play Up Sky Blues!!!