St Johnstone have been a managerial proving ground in recent seasons. Owen Coyle did a great deal of good work without achieving promotion to the SPL, but his two years there managed to sufficiently impress Burnley that they tempted him south. The people of Burnley were probably as surprised as the rest of us when Own led them to the FA Premier League but five months into the season he jumped ship to Bolton Wanderers.
Coyle kept Bolton up in 2010 and again in 2011 but they slipped from the league last summer. Poor form in the Championship soon turned sentiment against the manger and he was relieved of his duties in October.
Derek McInnes followed Coyle at St Johnstone and brought them into the SPL in his first full season but 15 months ago, after being touted for several jobs in England, he left for Bristol City, who, bottom of the Championship, sacked him today.
Steve Lomas is St Johnstone’s current manager and the latest to impress clubs south of the border offering larger pay-packets. He would be foolish to accept a job from a struggling club who have sacked their manager mid-season. As we have said several times before, managers receive a great deal of credit or blame but the success of a football club is infinitely more dependent on the entire structure of the club.
St Johnstone’s structure is just fine. The same is true of Inverness, where Terry Butcher decided to stay this week, as well as Ross County and Motherwell. The city clubs, Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts, Dundee United and Dundee all churn through seasons as compulsive underachievers. If they were able to do something about this fact our league would be the envy of most.
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