Managerial runaround

by Dexy Longshot

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Bruce Almighty, Jewell in the Crown or Alexander the Great?

It was all change last week at the bottom of the Premiership with a managerial runaround that the dearly departed Mike Reid would have loved to have a monkey on, gawd bless. All three managers had similar attributes, desire, motivation bad hair and p45’s. Wigan, Birmingham and Derby got the Nelson Eddies out, made them sign on the dotted line and that was it, playtime. The past weekend saw all their debuts for their new adoring fans.
It was backslaps all round for McCleish after his 1st win, Jewell felt like he’d been slapped after a last minute Black Cats goal, and Bruce has just got a face like slap.

Here is the lowdown on the bottom dwellers. (No offense big Sol)

Paul Jewell
Of all the changes, Jewell has probably taken on the biggest task of trying to keep Derby up. You have to feel sorry for Billy Davies, he exceeded everyone’s expectations last season when he took The Rams to a dramatic play-off victory. Unfortunately, he didn’t improve the squad enough in the summer, got the elbow from new chairman Adam Pearson and now Derby are stuck on 6 points a fortnight before Christmas with 1 point from 24 and a -29 goal difference and that my Ram muckers is poooh!.

Last Saturday, Jewell felt like he had been “kicked in the teeth” after Sunderland smashed in a goal with the last kick of the game. It don’t help that there next game is Fergies mob. Bet 365 have them at 25/1 to beat Man United, a Premiership first for such long odds but even I won’t be having at gander at that. It’s only 21’s for Ronaldo to bang in a hatrick.

Salt of the earth Scouser, Jewell is a top man and a top coach but I fear it is too late for him to survive with the current crop of players. If I was him, I would accept relegation and prepare for a year in the Rola Cola league. He won’t be there for long, he’ll rebuild like he did at Wigan and bring them back up. With there history, support and cash, I believe Derby will be a regular sight in the Premiership with Ram-man Jewell at the helm in the coming seasons, not 2008-09 though.

Alex McCleish
Cut from the same cloth of as old red nose himself, no nonsense McCleish is touted by some (mainly north of the border) as the new Ferguson after he got the Jocks to within a snide free kick of a Euro 08 place against the spaghetti gobblers. What people forget though is that he wasn’t a brilliant manager at Rangers before and now he’s gone and thrown himself in the deep end south of the border at the not so bright lights of Birmingham.

The Brummies are another sleeping giant but it all looks a bit iffy with this proposed takeover. Hong Kong Billionaire Carson Yeung has been putting off this takeover for months now and the big brum boss men Davids’ Gold & Sullivan are bricking it.

Mind you, McCleish did get off to a fantastic start against Ramos and co on Sunday with a Larsson screamer right at the death taking them up to 12th in the table. I’d be a tad concerned about the front-line, though, O’Conner, Forsell and Jerome just don’t cut it at this level.

McCleish will survive if he is given cash in January and will no doubt go on to win England the world cup 3 times.

Steve Bruce
AAAAhh Bruce the bruiser, a serial grissler who whines about everything that goes against him but he’s just got to get on with it, he can’t help his looks!
This wasn’t exactly his Latics debut. He was at Wigan, more famed for meat pies and Rugga bugger in 2001 for just 8 games and has worked under Whelan before.

The weekends game kicked of and whalloouuurrp!!!, Geovanni netted for Sven’s blues after 28 seconds, hardly the best of starts. All credit though, they pulled one back later and Bruce was awarded with a standing ovation in the last few minutes, just before Melchiot picked up a red at the final whistle. Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas Saint Steven.

It was better than Wigan’s previous 8 games though where they failed to pick up a single point in 8 defeats.

I do think Wigan will survive the drop mind, Bruce has been down in the trenches before and is a great motivator. With a full squad, the likes of Heskey, Koumas and Kirkland should have just enough to keep the Latics up but it won’t be pretty, a bit like Bruce.

Here are a few odds on all of them.

To be relegated
Derby 1/10
Wigan 1/9
Wigan 37/13

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