Sunday, April 30, 2006

Where now for Curbs?

Memories of Curbs

Yesterday's home defeat by Blackburn, the first since Arsenal, was almost a footnote to the news of Alan Curbishley's departure and the closing minutes were marked by a standing ovation for the long-serving manager. But I will write a report soon. Incidentally, one interesting appraisal is to be found in the Sunday Times:


The line taken by the Sunday Times is that Curbs is on his way to Boro but I would have thought the Barcodes would be a more attractive northern destination than the Smoggies. Mrs Curbs would not be keen to move north, which is why I have always thought that Villa was a possibility because he could keep his pad in Essex and live in the 'Second City' a few days a week. However, having gone straight from playing to management, Curbs thinks that he needs a break and he certainly deserves one.

The Bloke Behind Me was saying that the press would be saying that Charlton fans had hounded Curbs out, but there is no sign of such commentary in the press today with the sports news being dominated by the injury to Rooney in any case. The Bloke Behind Me's view is that slagging off the manager is done by all fans anywhere and is part of the game.

No doubt that's true to an extent, although I suppose one thing I don't like about football is the negativity and the tendency to slag off one's own club. Managers (usually) have substantial experience of the game, they are observing the players at the training ground all week, and they have sophisticated ProZone analyses to give them all the hard information they need.

Even given that, they all make mistakes, even Sir Alex or Wenger. But the recorded tendency for a shorter and shorter tenure for managers is not good for the game and reflects unrealistic expectations. So let's hope that we don't have a succession of short term managers at The Valley as happened after Jimmy Seed departed, but give the new manager enough time to develop and put into place his strategy.

I remain doubtful whether he will be able to push us much beyond mid-table without a substantial injection of funds. There is a downside risk that we could do worse. But equally we could finish up in mid-table by a more exciting route with fewer goalless draws.

It's going to be an interesting summer. And one difference from the Jimmy Seed days is that we have a much better board, not interested in recouping their investment but in putting into place a strategic vision for the club.


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