Five more managers shown the door in March as clubs look to beat the drop
Panic has set in among many boardrooms over the past few weeks as chairmen roll the dice for the last time in the hope that a change in manager will be enough to turn fortunes around in the latter stages of the football season and in most cases, avoid relegation!
March saw a total of five managers shown the door. They are:
• Dean Holdsworth, Aldershot
• Gary Mills, York City
• Brian McDermott, Reading
• Michael Appleton, Blackburn Rovers
• Gary Smith, Stevenage
There has rarely been a week since the start of 2013 that has not seen another football manager lose his job, as the boards of various clubs endeavour to find a replacement that will bring about a change in results.
It’s Reading head honcho Anton Zingarevich who caused the biggest stir on the managerial merry-go-round last month when the Russian wielded the axe on Brian McDermott. The 51-year-old was given his marching orders from the Madejski Stadium after just over three years in charge.
Having masterminded their path to the Premier League, McDermott was then given limited resources to keep the club in the top tier of English football. The Royals have duly struggled to gain any consistency, which was shown by McDermott winning the manager of the month award in January, only to be shown his P45 weeks later.
Four defeats on the bounce for McDermott put the final nail into his coffin and, with the team seven points adrift of safety, Zigarevich had seen enough and opted to give McDermott his marching orders and appoint former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins, who will have a gladiatorial task to keep them in the top flight.
Some may have been shocked by the departure of McDermott but there was just a sigh mixed with chuckles across the football world when Blackburn Rovers parted company with Michael Appleton after just 67 days in charge at Ewood Park!
Since acquiring Rovers, the club’s Indian owners, Venky’s, have chopped and changed consistently having only given Henning Berg a matter of months at the helm earlier in the season before sending him packing.
It was Appleton’s job to take on the poisoned chalice. His failure saw the Lancashire side plummet further towards the lower reaches of the Championship and has sparked the realisation that they are staring at the prospect of back-to-back relegations!
It was no surprise therefore that the impatient owners gave Appleton the boot. Caretaker manager, Gary Bowyer, has been handed the job until the end of the season and is favourite to be named the manager on the permanent basis should no established manager wish to touch the Ewood Park hot seat with a barge pole.
Also in managerial news this past week, the rumour mill has been on high alert after Jose Mourinho returned to England to watch an international friendly between Brazil and Russia at Stamford Bridge, which immediately raised optimism among Chelsea fans that the ‘Special One’ could be returning to the capital.
Rafael Benitez has faced vitriolic chants since his arrival as an interim manager, but he has always been insistent that he will only be at the Bridge for the season and come the Summer, Roman Abramovich will be going in search of his next boss. Mourinho’s tenure at Real Madrid is rumoured to be coming to an abrupt end and he has already exclaimed his will to return to the Premier League and Chelsea could be knocking on his door come the end of May and he is a hot favourite to be handed the permanent manager’s job at Stamford Bridge.