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

    It’s surprising that none of the oldco creditors haven’t gone public re the antics of newco claiming it’s the same club with history in tact – i would be asking BDO for my money back in full

  2. Robert Tressell 15.23 That really made me laugh out loud.



    Suffering serious withdrawal symptoms from winter break. Its good for the players no doubt but bad for supporters. Thanks be to God I’m off to Lanzarote on the 16th so that will provide a bit of diversion for the last 4 or 5 days of the break. I’ll be watching the JamFarts game in the Hal’penny Bridge Pub in Puerto Del Carmen, can’t wait.

  3. Gene



    It would be interesting to know how many oldco share holders have now bought sevco shares.

  4. Corkcelt



    You lucky man going to my favourite holiday spot The Ha’penny Inn. Sean and his missus will make you most welcome.



    I would urge any Tim going to Lanzarote to make sure you go to the best Tim boozer on the island.




    Have a good one Cork and enjoy the after game sing song with wee Joe on guitar.

  5. Pirlo has really got away with a lot this game, hand in face to player nothing done , then just now hits ball at player less than 10 yds away as he has cheated 10 yds up the field.


    Samp player booked.

  6. Hi corkcelt,


    This week at least, I`m enjoying the mid season break. I put it down to seeing our players blowing bubbles late on against Motherwell and regularly listening to Radio Scotland when the team play away. :-) (only 8 away games left).

  7. Thanks tractorbhoy, I have gone to Lanzarote almost every January for past 7 or 8 years and watch all the games in the Hal’penny, had some great days & nights there, a couple of disappointing results as well but I have a good feeling about the next one.

  8. Corkcelt



    I am off to lanzarote on the 20th for a week as well and was going to ask for recomendations for pubs. Tractorbhoy has just done it. Cheers







  9. Dae we hiv the Name o’ oor Opponent, in the Next Round o’ the Euro Tourney..


    Is it Soup , Yet?



    Ah hiv bid oota the Loop.. so, Ah genuinely .. Don’t Know.






    Hiv We?






    Ah happened tae catch the Manchester United.. West Ham… game..


    yesterday, oan the Local.. Channel Five.. IN VEGAS.



    It was a Cup Game…



    Well.. after seeing whit Manchester his tae offer..



    Ah Must declare..



    “Nae Much!”



    Ah Hope…and Pray…( Three Hail Mary’s .. tae St. Jude.. oughta Dae it… ed)



    That Celtic .. get the Next Round.



    Becks and his Wee Wifey.. Wus in the Stand..






    (He and She… and Their.. Retinue…left… Five Minutes, before the end.( Retinue? By jings.. that’s the first time Ah hiv seen wan o.. “Them”, since.. Ma Auntie Matt.. arrived


    expectantly.. at Ma Humble Abode… accompanied wi.. an Army o’ Retainers.)




    Manchester ,wur Losing 2-1.. after 90 minutes play..



    They looked deid in the water..






    During the Added.. FOUR MINUTES of Extra Time..



    Van Persie..who wiz a Late, Late.. Substitute.



    Scored a real. Cracker..



    From a Real Live “Hail Mary”—- Over the Top—- Thirty yard , Desperation Pass.. fae..


    Giggs… or. is it Griggs?



    Like Ah hiv said..



    A Hope N Pray… that we get Manu..



    We wull Spifflicate ‘Em!



    They’re Nuttin’






    Still , Laughin’

  10. Paul, very interesting article. I totally agree with the ‘cog in the wheel’ analogy. However, this will only work if the entire management team is working towards the same longer term, sustainable strategy.



    I was puzzled by your holding Mick McCarthy in high esteem as a manager, though. Mick, in my view, is an old school manager, whose weaknesses were apparent in his last job.



    There are too many of these kind of guys in ‘british’ football. They believe that football management is an art and have little knowledge of, or interest in, the science of football.



    He will show up again, no doubt, to salvage some relegation battle, have short term success and then fail. Our game is filled with too many jim Jeffries type characters.



    Just my 2 cents…….

  11. Very interesting watching the Juve game and a few things I picked up where, left back suspect if we run at him (Jamesy).


    Pirlo hangs very deep but is great with the ball (Broonie in his face as he can be rattled), also if you get past Pirlo he cannot track back.


    They are very good in possession a little like Barca so no jumping in and same game plan of counter attack could reap benefits.


    All in all a very good team but once behind rattled and falling around looking for pens and cheap free kicks.


    Just my observations from this morning’s game.

  12. 3mick3 The Hal’penny is close to the Biosfera Shopping Plaza in Puerto Del Carmen. From outside the shopping centre take the street leading down to The Old Town & Harbour its about 150 yards down that road. Its upstairs on the left in a little complex of pubs & restaurants.If you see a wee pensioner with receding hair and a strong Cork accent then say hello to corkcelt.

  13. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    FC Koeln paid the Norwegian FA half a million Euros to get Solbakken released from the national job. A job he had yet to take up the job. He bombed at Koeln. He foolishly took over a vipers nest. Koeln FC players were never off the front pages. He was eventually fired by Koeln FC. I would imagine to great personal relief.



    He then ended up at Wolves who paid no compensation for him.



    WBA are doing well with Steve Clark is he a guru manager or do WBA do better at recruiting managers ? De Matteo CL winner ? Or do they get better bang for buck ?



    It would seem that we are every bit as good as Sevcopaths at denying history. I noted no comment on the conveniently deaf Justice Minister imploring the SFA to do something about Match scheduling over the holiday period on CQN.



    If anybody is going to see Billy Nowell tonight maybe they can request ‘history will teach us nothing’




  14. Hi corkcelt


    It will be my first time to lanzarote so cheers for the directions. I will look out for the accent and buy you a pint. Looking forward to it me and the Mrs away ourselves for a change and a bit of winter sun hopefully. I will be the overweight guy with the Glasgow accent.




  15. Gene's a Bhoys name on



    Must admit never fancied lanzarote can you recommend an hotel – usually go to gran canaria around end feb – but looking for somewhere different


    Well,that’s enough tidying-up for one day-I’m on holiday!!!



    Off to the boozer to watch the fitba’,and perchance have a few sherbets.



    This prepping for the nightshift takes a bitta work,you know……..

  17. tommytwiststommyturns on

    P67 – “Martin O’Neill taught us more about football tactics in his first season than we had learned in the previous 20 years…”



    You’re being a wee bit unfair on Dr Joe, and certainly Wim the Tim there, Paul. Jansen in particular, wasn’t averse to varying his tactics depending on the opposition, going from a flat back four in one game to two man-markers and a sweeper in the next.



    Utilising the slowest man at the club, Annoni, to man-mark the Rankers legend Laudrup out of a game was a truly inspired tactical decision !




  18. Corky and gene



    Ive been to pdc twice and frequented the wee complex with those bars in. Watched a few celtic games in that pub. Fond memories.


    I like to lunch down at the old harbour…. Nice area

  19. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    If only those previous managers had the budget that MON was given following the appointment of the dream team.



    Oh and you be careful you may find yourself failing to participate in intelligent debate, in fact any kind of debate if your not a follower of the re written gospel according to the board.




  20. So we goat..






    Ah knew Ah should hiv Gien that Joab.. tae.. St.Malachi.






    Juve.. is an unknown quantity, tae me.



    But, they tell me that they are quite Formidable.



    Seein’ Prayers didnae Woik….. wull hiv tae rely oan,


    my Genuwine.. Bugs Bunny Rabbit Foot.. tae see us Thru.





    Still, Laughin’

  21. ‘At the end of the day’



    ’24/7′ – or worser ’24/7/365′



    ‘In the same ball park’



    ‘Let’s put this one to bed’ etc – all horrible.



    ‘Blue sky thinking’ makes me want to perform my first ever headbutt. *I don’t, of course*



    The insertion of the word ‘like’, usually just after a pause and an ‘uh’, in to every sentence usually by teenagers but increasingly by people who should know better – risible.



    But the worst is the constant insertion of the word ‘pure’ e.g. I was pure mortified – so I wis, it was pure terrible i’m pure never doing it again,



    Neither a um CSC

  22. Valentine's Day on




    Have you recovered from your early morning tiff


    with you know who.

  23. Sorry to get political but I listened in to rte radio today. A ‘spokesperson’ was being interviewed for the ulster people’s forum – good god he was totally incoherent and couldn’t answer any of the interviewer’s questions. They are protesting in Dublin soon -no problem with from me-welcome to democracy UPF

  24. Gene's a Bhoys name on

    In honour of the 3 wise men from the east I am doing thai green curry with homemade naan bread – well it was either that or forfar bridies – makes a change from Sunday roast -back on later

  25. corkcelt



    7 years since I was in Lanzarote, fiona/pub is on my FB page…



    favourite of the 3 Canaries I have visited… Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote.. I have only been to PDC once, usually visited Costa Teguise..



    enjoy the trip…

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