Wednesday 10 December 2008

The View from the Continent

I wasn't at the game last night as I am still working over in Germany, which also means I am likely to miss the Derby County game next Monday. At the moment, I can't decide whether this is a good or a bad thing but having read some of the reports from last night I may be sparing myself some serious heartache.

Another defeat, without a win in twelve and at risk of being cut loose at the bottom with Forest and Doncaster … not looking great is it? From what I've read about last night's game, it seems we were turned over by another pretty average side which is all it takes these days. I have to say I was pretty confused by the inclusion of Izale McLeod and I'm not sure Semedo deserved to be dropped in favour in Holland. It didn't take long for him to get a run out from the bench though as luck does also not seem to be on our side with Jay McEveley going off with a suspected fractured shoulder.

From my currently distant perspective it is frustrating that we haven't been able to build on what we saw against Southampton. Although it wasn’t electric, it was certainly an improvement and to my mind gave reason to believe that Parkinson may be able to do a decent job for us. However, one point from twelve tells a different story and if you believe the Daily Mail (more) then he is heading the same way as Pardew. As many have pointed out, the problem with Parkinson is his association with the Pardew era and it's difficult to overlook this. His post match interview gives the impression that he is a decent guy just trying to do a good job until told otherwise, but I'm not sure this is enough right now.

This season is quickly beginning to mirror the 2006/2007 season but played out in a league lower. Manager gets sacked, caretaker given a run only to find he's not actually that good, new man comes in just before Christmas but it's too little too late. Will there be a different ending this time around? I do think we would benefit from a complete change of managerial steer and I do think there is enough time to turn things around. My two principle concerns are a) the squad has been, for lack of a better way of putting it, 'mucked around with' so much over the past year and I'm not sure it's good enough any more and b) I think confidence levels amongst the players must have dropped through the floor by now.

So where to from here? Newspaper speculation aside, it's difficult to know what must be running through the board members' heads right now. Whether they stick with Parkinson or twist with a new man, I think they need to make a decision before we travel to Norwich in a couple of weeks time and stand by it for the rest of the season. Any changes beyond this are only likely to be detrimental to our cause. Personally, I think we need somebody new to come in although it has to be the right man and they have to appreciate the magnitude of the task in hand.

Billy Davies and Adrian Boothroyd are still the obvious front runners with Big Sam apparently ready to pack his bags for Sunderland (lend us Andy Reid back would you?). However, I had a strange dream about this last night and there is something in the back of my mind that tells me it could still happen: the return of Curbishley. Whilst many appointments could be seen as a gamble, for me there is no doubt that he could turn this rabble around and save us from an away trip to Hereford next season. Whether this is seen as a backwards step is now a moot point I would have thought. It's all about survival and if Curbishley is the right man to manage it then the board need to swallow their pride and make a move.


Anonymous said...

Whoever takes this job on is taking a hell of a gamble with their reputation, based on the poor squad of players which we have. I've always believed that Curbs was a sensible, level-headed person, and therefore cannot believe that he'd put his neck on the line with the current rabble, and with no apparent money to improve things.

Anonymous said...

This blog is a good read. Whoever takes the job isn't taking any sort of gamble. First, a job is a job. Second, the new manager would have a one way option, much like Pards two years ago. Nobody blames him for relegation from the PL, but he would have been a real hero had the club survived. Today's situation is exactly the same. I suspect Curbs will consider that he could do without the aggro, but if he wished he could position his return as "I'm doing my old club a favour in their hour of need". Again, nobody would blame him if he failed to achieve the impossible. What a hero he'd be if he pulled it off and then rode off into the sunset.