Often Partisan

Managerial Musical Chairs

It appears that Houllier’s departure from Villa yesterday has finally started off the end of season game of managerial musical chairs, and as McLeish is seen by many within the club as under threat of losing his job, I thought this was worth a discussion.

It happens every summer; one boss is given his p45 and all of a sudden there is a veritable pass the parcel as managers on the make look for a step up in prestige whilst those managers with the sword of Damocles hanging over them are nervously watching to see if they too will get the tin tack. Already today we’ve seen the departure of Mark Hughes from Fulham, although if the Guardian are to be believed, it won’t be to go to Aston Villa.

What does this have to do with Blues? Well, as Pat Murphy kindly pointed out on Radio Five Live (and I stress, I got this second hand via Chris Skudder’s twitter feed) that McLeish has a house in Fulham, so surely he’s a natural choice as Sparky’s successor at the Cottage. The bookmakers seem to think it’s a possibility too, with Bet365 offering 25-1 for McLeish to be the next Fulham manager at the time of writing this blog. As much as I can see that Craven Cottage might be a handily easy commute for McLeish, I can’t see it myself.

As a good friend of mine pointed out, McLeish is still under contract at St Andrews. This contract means that if another club want to take him on as manager, it’s going to cost them some cashola in compensation. Whilst Craven Cottage might be around the corner from chez McLeish, is that going to come into consideration when there are some very good managers available for no compensation – such as McLaren, Jol and O’Neill? I have to be honest, I cannot see it happening. For all the talk of McLeish being under pressure, and having a good friend (Paul Montgomery) being sacked, Big Eck has said nothing to the press whatsoever about his future. Whilst Eck is very media-savvy and guarded in press conference, I am a believer if there was that much wrong at BCFC we’d know more about it in the press.

I think Blues are in a strange place right now with regards to managerial change. As much as I like McLeish, I don’t think I’d be overly bothered if he went. It’s evident that there has to be some change within the way we play, and there is going to be a sea change in the squad anyway judging by the amount of players already released. If it meant a change in the hotseat, then so be it. Then again, there is an argument for stability, and that it would be churlish to can a manager who has delivered silverware and European football to Birmingham City. Thus I’m almost ambivalent about what direction we take; I can be happy with either, and I think I’m not the only fan to see it this way.

Like anything, it’s going to be a wait and see thing. No doubt there will be loads of rumours in the press and on twitter, and most of them will be bovine excreta. The music is still playing right now, and we’ll have to wait until it stops to see where everybody sits down.

 

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