On the FLIP Side

Blame The Manager!

Written by Sam Hopkinson

When a team is doing well, it seems as if everyone at the club is a hard-working genius—from the players to the board, big smiles. However, when a team is doing badly often just one person gets the blame—as well as the psychopathic focus of mainstream media and disgruntled fans. Suddenly, anything can be laid at the manager’s feet. Lost to Northwich Victoria? Player broke his leg at a charity function? That nasty headache I got yesterday? Blame the manager.

We take a look at some managerial partings of the ways, and sit in judgement. Rated at 1-5 (1 being entirely innocent, 5 being an intentional attempt to destroy the club).

DICK ADVOCAAT

Dick Advocaat taking over at Sunderland was like offering to bet on the lame horse at the races, simply because no one else would. The ultimate journeyman, Advocaat had really been around the block before arriving in the north-east—but he did the job, he kept the Black Cats up. His resignation was probably a result of the turmoil behind the scenes at the Stadium of Light, and it felt like seppuku rather than walking the plank. Sunderland are in the relegation zone though, and Advocaat will have to live with that stain on his record. BLAME-OMETER: 2

BRENDAN RODGERS

Unless Roman decides to pull the trigger on Mourinho, Rodgers leaving Liverpool will probably remain the highest profile sacking of the season. A classic example of everyone piling on a manager when things go wrong, Rodgers went from messiah to pariah in what felt like a freefall in public perception. He did play his part in some under-par signings, despite all the talk about the ‘transfer committee’. And for all the millions spent in the summer, Liverpool have been distinctly unimpressive. FSG backed him, they have the right to sack him—but it’s hard to see it as all Brendan’s fault. BLAME-OMETER: 3.5

MARINUS DIJKHUIZEN

Brentford couldn’t wait to throw Dijkhuizen under the bus early this season. The Dutchman was sacked after just nine matches that saw the Bees lose repeatedly—they even lost to lowly Oxford in the League Cup. Brentford did see some changes over the summer, particularly losing Alex Pritchard at the end of his loan. Dijkhuizen clearly didn’t handle it well though, and he was ushered out before he could do any more damage. It’s not difficult to understand this decision. BLAME-OMETER: 4

IF…STEVE MCCLAREN

He’s not been sacked yet, but Steve McClaren’s hot seat is looking exceptionally toasty at the moment. The ex-England manager did very well in his time at Derby, guiding them up the table and making a couple of pushes for promotion. So why is it going so wrong at St. James’ Park?

Nobody looks like coming out of this with their hands clean—the players look like shadows of who they are supposed to be, the manager seems out of his depth and the owners are tight-fisted and trigger happy. It’s certainly not all the manager’s fault, but he knew what he was getting into. BLAME-OMETER: 3

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn’t have football, he’d probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.