Give Managers A Chance
It was hardly a surprise to find out that Premier League strugglers Fulham have got a new manager – but the circumstances leading to the departure of Rene Meulensteen have been a little bit hush-hush for my liking; as was a statement pertaining to the future of Norwich boss Chris Hughton.
February 19th, 2014
In the week where manager A said referee A was rubbish, then manager B had a go at manager A, then we all had a go at referee B, the headlines of late have all focused on mind games rather than the actual business of mismanagement. With this storm raging on overhead, a new manager was hired underneath the grey skies at Craven Cottage – despite the old one having not been formally dismissed.
Fulham’s hiring of relegation-staving-then-title-winning manager Felix Magath last Friday came as news to nobody except Meulensteen himself, who was still technically head coach following Martin Jol’s dismissal and therefore replaceable in the more senior role.
Meulensteen and his staff Ray Wilkins and Alan Curbishley – the latter of whom can now get back to the business of being linked with every vacant managerial job in England – left the club officially on Monday after a severance fee was agreed; this is what was thought to be the sticking point in simply firing Meulensteen as his deal was to end in the summer anyway.
Despite the unusual and half-baked nature of the Fulham replacement, at least owner Shahid Khan showed some professionalism in doing the deed and arranging for the former Man United assistant’s timely departure – which is a lot more than can be said for Norwich City’s top brass.
Chief executive David McNally showed flagrant disregard for the position of Canaries manager Chris Hughton – whose side are also experiencing something of a meltdown in form this season – when he told the Eastern Daily Press that “if a change was necessary it wouldn’t be a case of, who are the contenders? It would be a case of reviewing what is required, where are we going and who is best placed to take the club forward.”
Now I was a little confused on behalf of Rene Meulensteen when he wandered into work on Friday morning to find someone else sitting in the manager’s chair – a chair which by its most technical definition he was only keeping warm – but for Chris Hughton to arrive in his office in the upcoming weeks and find it’s turned into a waiting room for his own job?
Have some respect, McNally. Whether you’ve apprised your manager of the situation or not it will still hurt him to read that, with all the goodwill in the world that he can cure your club’s current plight, you’ve got someone lined up to put their foot in the door after he’s walked out of it – whether under his own volition or not.