The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Check the bath water before you throw it out.

 Another fine mess! But who's going to clear it up?

The JimmyG2 Column

The waking nightmare scenario takes a bold step forward with Chelsea's 1-0 victory over Barcelona. The first leg of the semi final at Stamford bridge was another milestone on the recovery of Chelsea's season and the credentials of Roberto Di Matteo as a candidate for manager. It was also another potential nail in our coffin after the widely reported premature death of ours. Mark Twain thou should be living at this hour.

The final irony of our season would be for Harry and the team to dig in and hold off the challenges of Chelsea and Newcastle, secure fourth, redeem our season with only minimal disappointment only for Chelsea to win the Champions' League and secure the fourth spot for next year at our expense.

Clearly there are all sorts of stumbling blocks to this scenario. We might not make fourth in any case and Chelsea have obstacles to overcome starting with the second leg of the Barcelona tie at the  Camp Nou (edit). This cruel twist to the story of our season couldn't actually happen could it? I wouldn't bet against it after the phantom goal last week. Why not kick a man when he's down?

The simple way out is for us to recover whatever we had for most of the season, beat QPR on Saturday, go two points behind Arsenal, ease into third, nightmare ended, welcome to the bright new dawn. The living dream continues. But there are no signs at the moment that this is likely to happen. Remember, 'For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong'.
(A.L. Mencken)

Sacking Harry our most successful manager for some decades whether you look at the points per match statistics or the level of football played over the past three years is quick easy and probably counter- productive. For every Chelsea scenario there is the Wolves outcome. The 'New manager bounce' is by no means a certainty.

Harry is leaving soon anyway for the England job and any new man will have little time to effect the changes of tactics, mentality, psychology even, that would produce the dramatic turn around required. It might have a negative effect on the players. It's not a likely eventuality in any case. Manager sacked by Spurs on Monday appointed England boss on Tuesday.

Sacking the manager also absolves the players of any responsibility and it is the players who are key to this. According to William Gallas the squad are at a low ebb. Thanks for letting everyone know Bill. No matter what happens on the bridge the work has to be done below decks. If the stokers stop stoking the ship goes nowhere. Well if it's coal-fired anyway.

It is difficult to solve a problem when there are so many unknowns and variables. We are in a slump, a blip, a bad patch. But we don't know why and therefore the simple solution of sacking the manager could be wrong. Is it Harry's fault; poor decisions by officials; injuries, tiredness and collective physical and mental exhaustion; uncertainty over his possible move, failure to invest..?

The truth is that we just don't know. Tick the box marked 'All or none of the above'. If they were true  some of these are partly, if not wholly, Harry's fault. Lack of motivation by the players is surely down to the manager. So is over-dependence on certain players, the lack of rotation which has been a regular criticism of Harry. Tactical naivety is another charge; over reliance on 442 and the failure to adapt to different circumstances.

So Harry is not perfect. How then were we so successful over an extended period at both Premiership and Champions' league level? The squad has been virtually the same over the past two seasons, which is another criticism of Harry but perhaps more of Levy, the failure to fix the roof when the sun was shining. But why such a sudden decline 20 minutes into the NLD?

Of course if you don't know why we did so well before you can't analyse why it all so suddenly went 'Conference' shaped. But the knives are out for Harry and not just from those who were always in the 'Harry out' brigade from the day before he was even appointed. My reaction on hearing the news was 'Oh shit' but I have on many occasions acknowledged his positive impact and being an advocate of stability and steady progress have no desire to see him made the premature scapegoat.

The Manager revels in the praise and wallows in the blame but it's a mysterious concoction that produces success, or results in failure. Harry inherited a talented squad and harnessed their abilities very well.  So how much is due to Harry, the squad, the faltering of other teams, luck, the weather, the Government or whatever, is difficult to work out.

Sack Harry and you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You should be recycling the bath-water these days in any case.

Video Spot:
 Just in case you've forgotten the Glory Days under Harry, with Bale, Crouch and Pavlyuchenko. FA Cup? FA Schmuck more like it.
 What do we want? Champions League. When do we want it? Next season preferably please.
Check that bath-water, Harry and the soap could still be in there.


TMWNN said...

I let it go last time out, but you need telling; it's Camp Nou!

As for kicking out the sad orangutan, is anyone really that bothered as long as he's not here next season?

Anonymous said...

Who said anything anywhere about sacking a manager with what, four games to go? what a daft article.

JimmyG2 said...

Thanks. I don't know where Neu Camp came from. I've been there as well.

Many people, with Hoddle as interim manager .
You don't know your Spurs fans.

Anonymous said...

You sure its not Heuddle, and I bet you've met him too. Ah, the many spurs fans, no your right I haven't met them all. Still daft.

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