Lower Life: Pompey are doing well to avoid the managers’ merry-go-round

Swindon Town V Cobblers. 'Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio.
Swindon Town V Cobblers. 'Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio.

Pompey, I think, can afford to be rather smug about the fact they haven’t sacked a manager for three-and-a-half years, writes Steve Bone.

It’s quite amazing when you think about it. Bosses are told to sling their hook for sneezing at the wrong time these days, so for a club to slide from the Premier League to the relegation zone in League One without wielding the axe takes a great deal of patience and understanding.

Obviously it’s largely factors other than poor performances that have seen Pompey plummet, but even so, there have been times when any of the men who have done the job since Paul Hart was relieved of his duties could have felt a bit of pressure.

Recent managerial changes have left me wondering what good a new boss actually does a team.

Changes at the top don’t seem to have much of an effect one way or the other these days.

Even the days when a new manager was almost certain to win his first two or three matches seem to have gone.

Look at the current merry-go-round.

You’ve got Nigel Adkins keeping Reading’s losing run going after the sacking of Brian McDermott, who may now go to Leeds to replace Neil Warnock, who was replaced at QPR by Mark Hughes, who in turn was replaced by Harry Redknapp after Andre Villas Boas got the job he needed because Roberto di Matteo had his, though di Matteo was soon replace by Rafa Benitez, who is near-certain to be replaced himself.

Then you have Paolo di Canio quitting Swindon for Sunderland, leaving Martin O’Neill without a job but his old right-hand man at Villa Park Kevin MacDonald with one.

Then you’ve got the one-club merry-go-round that is Blackburn Rovers, not to mention the one-man-many-clubs manager that is Michael Appleton, who you have to feel just a little sorry for.

I have a solution to this madness. Stop managers being contracted to clubs and allocate them to teams at the start of each season with a Cup-style draw.

Mark Pougatch can oversee it from a nice executive box at Wembley (or maybe Ewood Park).

One old pro gets the job of drawing out teams; another picks out the name of each one’s manager for the season.

Think of the fun that would ensue. You could have Sir Alex Ferguson managing Aldershot for the season, Benitez at York City, Gary Rowett (look him up)taking over at Old Trafford or, in the funniest pairing of the lot, Appy back at Blackburn.

I’m genuinely not convinced the random pairings would make a lot of difference to how the divisions would pan out.

In fact, so convinced am I that this should happen, I may do my own imaginary draw and bring you the results next week.

In the meantime, I’ll leave our own Corporal Punishment to dream of being pulled out the hat with Manchester City and given some actual money to spend.

It would, of course, be only a matter of time before he decided life was rosier at Fratton and set about rigging the following year’s draw.

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