The cycle of sacking managers


We spoke about Stale Solbakken here as an option during one of our recent management vacancies.  At the time he was manager of Copenhagen, who were playing monopoly with the Danish game and had become the first regular Champions League competitor from that country.  Yesterday he was sacked as manager of Wolves, who are 18th in the second tier of English football.

Mick McCarthy led Wolves to promotion into the FA Premier League in 2009 but was sacked in February after slipping into a relegation place.  The club were relegated and Solbakken was appointed in July.  Solbakken, still only 44, won five leagues in six seasons at Copenhagen and competed well with a tiny budget in the Champions League.  He is a good manager but his failure at Wolves presents more evidence that the fabled guru football manager doesn’t exist.

Managers are cogs in a management system which involves players, scouts, technical experts, coaches, youth development staff and administrators.  If a club gets all the other components right, as Copenhagen unquestionably did, the guy with ultimate control over team matters will appear to over-perform.   Conversely, if you have a genuinely talented manager but he doesn’t work with a crucial part of the football structure, progress will stall.  Martin O’Neill taught us more about football tactics in his first season than we had learned in the previous 20 years, but he was not known to sign players he hadn’t identified when playing against his teams.

Wolves chance of recruiting a manager as good as Mick McCarthy is slight.  They could do worse than look at how Celtic stemmed the flow of failure by taking a guy who was already working with the scouts, coaches, technical experts, youth development staff and administrators.  Don’t look for a guru, get the system right and find someone who will work within it.

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  1. Gene's a Bhoys name on

    Watching the darts -sevco supporting larkhall inhabitant loses in first round -oh dear

  2. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on





    14:51 on 6 January, 2013







    Did Jonathon Wilson not suggest in Inverting the Pyramid, that managers were almost the most expendable in the modern game



    Why should we bother what a rotten impressionist with a stale hogmanay show thinks >)

  3. Valentine's Day on




    Great post pal.I think if you look at Swansea


    it’s a perfect example of your saying.

  4. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    I never knew that Celtic and Burnley FC operated in such close harmony. Lennys stint at Nottingham Forest was the Boards highly researched and coordinated was our administrators master plan before appointing Big Tony.



    Does this mean that Solbakken is a shoe in to replace Lenny with Big Eck coming back in to steady the ship.



    I honestly would not be surprised to read it on here in about three years time.




  5. Interesting article. I have long wondered how guardiola will fare at a new club without his ‘system’ in place. He would do well at man united where a legacy is in place. or at free spending man city. But i believe he would crash and burn at chelski.

  6. 1-1… was lookin’ inevitable.


    I don’t give a monkey’s though…just killing time until The Hoops play again.


    : > )

  7. From BBC where it is now 2-2







    Kyle Bartley lamps Jack Wilshere on the edge of the box. It’s a wild lunge, a booking, and a free-kick in a dangerous area.







    Sam Walker in Merseyside on text via 81111: “Michu may be Swansea’s key bargain buy, but an honourable mention surely goes out to Ki. Holds the midfield together wonderfully.”

  8. Baku/Black Isle Celt on

    Quick Quiz:


    Arsenal take the lead 6 minutes from the end of an away cup game, 5 of their players including the scorer leave the field of play and celebrate with the fans for 10-15 seconds – How many are booked by the ref?




  9. MickMacPaddyWhack on

    Hurting Stupid Huns




    IT was most interesting on Hogmanay to discover Celtic had chosen to describe their win over Rangers in April as the ‘last ever derby’ between the clubs on their website.




    In doing so, they effectively said their stance was the Light Blues had gone out of existence over the summer – something which is completely inaccurate and untrue, of course.



    It was the first time I could recall the Parkhead club saying something as bold in an official capacity and I must say it genuinely took me by surprise.



    If you read between the lines, the chances are it was nothing more than someone from their media team causing mischief and pandering to fans by looking for a cheap laugh.



    But now, some six days on, the phrase still hasn’t been removed so one can only assume it is a view shared by Peter Lawwell et al.



    That is something which disappoints me greatly and I am sure I’m not the only person from within Ibrox who feels that way. It’s embarrassing for them.



    Had it been the other way around, I’m not sure Rangers as a club – forgetting their supporters for a moment – would have been so foolhardy.



    We have come to expect fans of the Parkhead team to preach that the Light Blues are no more.



    As much as we rightly project this is the same club – something recognised by governing bodies including UEFA and the ECA – they will continue to insist the opposite is true.



    That comes with the territory and it’s a two-way street. Just as those from across the city gloat any time we slip up, the same happens in reverse when it’s the other way around.



    What I didn’t expect was for Celtic itself to jump on the bandwagon, particularly after its majority shareholder Dermot Desmond’s comments about the Light Blues late last year.



    It was back in October the Irishman spoke of Rangers being a fantastic club with a great history, one which he felt was needed at the top of Scottish football as soon as possible.



    He talked with class, dignity and, most of all, common sense. For me, it was refreshing to hear someone from the other side refuse to allow hatred and bitterness cloud the truth.



    If only his colleagues were as distinguished and honourable. I’m all for having rivalry because it’s healthy but it’s worth chucking in an ounce of respect from time to time too.



    That’s something which is very sadly lacking too often in footballing circles around here and I dearly hope that changes over the course of time.



    When Rangers were at their lowest ebb a few months ago, the likes of Celtic, Dundee United and Hibernian seemed to be most keen to keep them pinned down.



    There were others too, including some in the media, who seemed to delight in the fact the Light Blues were getting weaker by the day.



    Now they are strengthening again and the future looks very bright indeed as a new era continues to gather momentum at an exciting rate.



    Lawwell once said Celtic didn’t need Rangers and perhaps he was right. They seem to be prospering both at home and abroad without us so let’s leave them to it.



    By the same token, I think the last six months in particular have proved Rangers don’t need Celtic any more either.



    Backed by a wonderful support and sound investors, the Light Blues have risen from their knees and are on course to get back to their rightful position at the top of the pile.



    I said on Twitter the other day I looked forward to Celtic saying sorry for their words with my tongue firmly in cheek. If the apology doesn’t come? No matter.



    The best way for Gers to respond is to keep moving in the right direction as they are and beat Celtic on the park when the time comes for the two teams to share a pitch again.



    It was almost fitting in a way that Celtic ended 2012 with a petty dig at Rangers. As the last year has shown, their support’s obsession with this club knows no bounds.



    But as for there being any truth that was the last ever derby just over eight months ago? We’ll see how their fans react the next time the Light Blues play their team and beats it.

  10. glendalys……,



    He was only making excuses!



    valentine’s day,



    Easy for you to say………eventually.

  11. Rankers, non-existent.


    Sevco 5088…..pale tribute act.


    Same old arrogant self-entitled bigotry however.

  12. Just had a read of sevcos web site. Or was it a fan site? Hard to tell. It appears they are still shamelessly playing the fans of the former gers like a fiddle.



    Hell mend them

  13. A very satisfying moment after the second Arsenal goal as Burley says ” well after all the euphoria earlier Swansea now find themselves out of the FA cup”


    How do these people keep their jobs?

  14. The ‘loving cup’ sounds like an Anne summers product. Anywayturns out they got it second hand from stoke.



    Hope it was properly accounted for by THE LIQUIDATORS.

  15. What aspect of liquidation do sevconians not understand? Is it the whole liquidation bit? The bit about ‘history, trophies, the lot’ being, well, history.



    Chick used to understand it but he appears to have forgotten. Which has nowt to do with trying to sell shares in a new club…….. Get it?

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