OK, I have taken a bit of time to think about what happened so I could post reflectively rather than emotionally. A couple of things to say first, I’m not going to be critical of anyone – because 1. It doesn’t help and 2. I can’t change the decision anyway even if I wanted to. The second thing is, I have chosen not to read any blogs, news etc other than J&S forum on the subject – so the thoughts here are genuinely what I am thinking and not influenced by others. There is a practical reason for this though, the last two days I have had meetings all day and into the evening! Right down to it.
Firstly let’s start with Gary Rowett. The bloke has done an amazing job since taking over from Lee Clark. He has turned us into a solid mid table Championship side. His statistics are pretty good:
Won 42 Drawn 32 Lost 32 Total number of games 106 win rate of 39.62% After losing at home to Wolves we only lost 2 games away until the defeat to Barnsley. While that defeat was annoying, and we didn’t play well, most people I spoke to assumed it was a blip and we would get back into things again.
Newcastle I think if we are honest, we expected to lose to – although our performance was pretty poor too. Of course Gary’s last game saw us beat Ipswich but from chatting to people it wasn’t a good performance either.
There have been rumblings and grumblings about recent teams and the usage, (and non usage), of certain players. I guess my point is, we weren’t exactly firing full on towards the top of the league. We have had a number of good results but poor performances if we are honest. I also think that GR has probably found his level – as much as I like him and appreciate what he has done. Do I think he should have been sacked? No. We have never been a sacking club. The number of managers we have had in 5 years some of our neighbours have had in months! However there have been signs that we have been punching above our weight, and it may be that the performances more than the results in recent games have made the board decide to do this.
There is obviously another issue and that is transfers. We had a reasonable summer of transfers, however Adams and Fabbrini have hardly been used. The latter is clearly odd as we know the quality he has. There could be a number of reasons, but it does seem odd to me. Maybe there isn’t confidence that GR will bring high enough quality players in over January and the decision was made now to give the new manager the opportunity to get to know the squad to identify players for then. Don’t know.
So as far as GR is concerned, I would like to thank him for what he has done at the club, his level nature in interviews win lose or draw and of course for those wonderful jumpers!
So we have Zola as the replacement. I have to confess I don’t know much about his management experience except he got Watford to the play-off final and of course has Premier League experience with West Ham.
His stats are:
Watford Won 33 Drew 15 Lost 27 Total 75 Win Rate 44.00%
West Ham United Won 23 Drew 21 Lost 36 Total 80 Win Rate 28.75%
So with Watford, a decent return but clearly not as good at West Ham. He didn’t do that well in Qatar either. HOWEVER, he IS the new Blues boss. It isn’t his fault GR was sacked, so I would hate to see him get stick for what is in effect a decision of the board. Apparently he was very complimentary of GR in his press conference, which is good.
So there is a question mark over not just the decision, but also the timing. I have touched on some of that already. I guess no one outside of the club will really know. Maybe there was a huge falling out, or there has been no confidence for a while and with Zola becoming available, the opportunity was taken.
The problem is, that decisions can alienate owners with fans. You only have to look at Blackpool to see that. Our board will need to go on a charm offensive to win fans back. The club will have to work hard to bring the fans back onside. Gary was very popular. If we had lost 4 or 5 games, I reckon many more people would have been more OK with the decision. It just seems really quick!
One thing for sure though, I don’t agree with boycotting the game or being abusive either to the new manager or to the board. That won’t achieve anything. Let’s give Zola a chance.
So they are my few thoughts. Sorry it’s a bit rambly I just wanted to capture them.