To many, the recent sacking of Cardiff’s Malky Mackay represented the very worst of modern football. A popular manager who had achieved promotion to the Premier League just six months previously, he lost his job as his team continued to fight admirably for their place at English football’s top table.
Even though his team remained outside of the dreaded relegation zone, owner Vincent Tan decided that Mackay’s outspoken approach and a perceived lack of on-field success left him with little choice.
While critics may point out that Mackay spent heavily in the summer without achieving any immediate return, however, it is hard to deny that such a dismissal would not have taken place before the influx of foreign owners and the advent of Sky television.
Money speaks louder than common sense in the modern game, and it can certainly be heard above the noise of disgruntled fans and spectators. So with that in mind, who will be next in the managerial firing line?
Why Paul Ince may be expecting the worst
In truth, Blackpool’s Paul Ince may well be feeling a little uneasy in the Bloomfield Road hot seat at present. A run of six defeats in seven league games (stretching back to the 30th
November) has left the Tangerines languishing in 14th place in the Championship, as injuries and suspensions have taken their toll on an already depleted squad.
This situation is made even worse given that Blackpool were plying their trade at Old Trafford and Anfield just two short years ago, as Ian Holloway’s brave hearts won nationwide plaudits for their exploits in the top flight.
Of course, there are mitigating circumstances that demand attention. Firstly, Ince’s squad has been left threadbare by high profile departures, as always seems to be the way following
relegation from the Premier League.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Charlie Adam, Alex Baptiste and Matt Phillips have all gone on to pastures new in the last 18 months, while the manager’s own son Tom Ince could be set to follow in their footsteps in the summer. Additional injuries have also impacted on the squad, meaning that the side was unable to continue its promising start at the beginning of the season.
Ince has hardly helped his own cause, however, especially after incurring a five match stadium ban after his conduct during the win at Bournemouth in October. The five red cards that followed in the next two games stretched the Blackpool squad even further, with Ince’s conduct thought to be a catalyst for further indiscipline.
The manager’s supposedly negative and baffling substitutions have also angered supporters, who have become accustomed to the type of attractive, free-flowing football that Ian Holloway presided over during his time at Bloomfield Road.
Whether there are enough mitigating factors to spare Ince has yet to be seen, although the portents do not look good for the former Manchester United and England midfielder. The club, who are sponsored by Inenco and have their training ground equipment supplied by the Fitness Warehouse, have a multitude of commercial partners to appease in addition to their expectant fans, while the teams on-field performance has lacked flair, determination and discipline in recent times.
Given the lack of patience that exists in modern football, it is surely only a matter of time before Paul Ince is shown the door and the latest manager leaves the season-long merry-go-round.
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