Big Eck Poll!

Sorry for the delay in responding to this poll, I’ve been a bit busy!

The final results are below:

Should Big Eck Be Sacked?

  • Yes immediately (47.0%, 65 Votes)
  • No, he deserves more time (22.0%, 30 Votes)
  • Possibly, but let’s see (21.0%, 29 Votes)
  • Yes, but at the end of the season (11.0%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 139

I do understand the frustration that everyone is feeling, however I have to say I am staggered that out of 140 or so people, nearly half of them wanted the manager to be sacked NOW! Amazing.

The bloke hasn’t had a full season as manager yet, surely anyone deserves time to prove themselves. Sir Alex was struggling at Utd before he turned things around. I’m not comparing our Alec to their Alex – but just making a point.

You only have to look at Newcastle, Man City and more locally the Albion to see the folly of changing managers like the proverbial underwear!

Let me be more specific about us then. Firstly the arguments that may support this drastic action.

Firstly, we are definitely playing well. We seem to be using the long ball too much, and not well. Those of you who remember Gould’s Crazy Gang – will remember the long ball being used well. So it CAN work.

Secondly, there does seem to be issues about players and their positions. The manager does seem to be unsure sometimes where the best position for people really are – particularly earlier in the season and particularly at the back.

Thirdly, following on from the previous point – the match tactics  don’t always seem to be consistent with the players picked. The long ball is fine – but we have a number of midfielders who have pace and skill who seem to get missed out.

Fourthly, Too many signings of loan signings with many of them being, well shall we say, mature!

Finally, substitutions seem to be left until very late – leaving little time for them to make an input on the game.

(I have decided to leave the issue of Bent out – because I think the criticism levelled at him is unjust. Maybe I’ll discuss that one another time 😉 )

Right, having discussed the arguments for dismissal, let me give the arguments against – and to be clear, his is my personal position.

Firstly, Our position is second in the league – with one of the meanest defences in the league. After the initial problems with the back four – things seem to be a lot tighter. We have conceded 1 in our last 3, (yes last night’s goal could have been avoided – but is THAT the managers fault?) From what I have seen – we are looking our most organised at the back for a while, Carr seems to be an excellent signing, (addressing point four of the negative side a bit!).

Secondly, It is true we haven’t scored many, but we have had real problems with injuries. We lost O’Connor at a critical stage because he and Philips looked like they we getting it together. At the moment we only have 2 forwards fit – with O’Connor close to return. I believe if we can get competition up front again, that may well kickstart things.

Thirdly, linking the previous two points, despite the lack of scoring forwards – we are STILL 2nd! Yes we have depended on Wolves and Reading failing to pick up points – but that’s what happens in a league and it’s not the manager’s fault.

Fourthly, Removing a manger this close to the end of the season, will probably be negative resulting in players being de-motivated, resulting in failing to be promoted. (Yes there is an argument that it could go the other way – but I can’t think of an example, specifically talking about 2 1/2 months to go.)

Finally, sacking a manager within two years is madness. Managers do need time. There is the building the squad that takes time – that is completely re-set with a new manager. Also the financial impact both paying off a manager, bringing in a new one and the whole change of staff. As previously mentioned, other notable clubs seem to be happy to chuck money down the pan in this way.

Our board aren’t the richest around, and maybe they don’t buy the players we’d like to see – but one thing they do appear to get right, and that is being loyal to managers.

As and when we do need our next manager, this is critical in encouraging managers to come to the club. If they know they are going to get time, they are more likely to take the role on. For this reason alone, I believe the Alec should stay.

Having said that, I also believe that McLeish could become a great manager and for us. I like the way he conducts himself and if he could get more cash, particularly should we get promoted, I believe he will deliver for us.

We just have to get through this sticky period of time.

Keep the faith, (and the manager!)


Discuss this post, and other items, in the Joys and Sorrows Forum.


4 Comments on Big Eck Poll!

  1. Well balanced review of the statistics and a great article on the implications of an early manager change on our club.

  2. I am also staggered that nearly half of the voters of this poll wanted the manager to be sacked NOW! It would take a miracle to still be promoted on doing so, why throw it away. Is it that the Villa boys and girls are voting here, if not, then this is stupidity.

    I’ve been amazed at the lack of backing by the fans all season. Moan, moan, moan, mostly unrealistic in expectation. I think this this club wants to fail. There have been decent performances, although not consistently, but they’ve been there but very few are interested in opening their eyes. For example, we were awful v Burnley for 35 mins but then we were the better team second half – and yet picking ourselves up and showing some spirit meant nothing to most fans. I still heard moaning during the fantastic Bristol City performance, unbelievable. If you want to watch Man Utd, then stay at home!!

    On a more positive note, like two years ago, the final two months started to unite all as the end was in sight. I think this will be the case for the next few home games. Fingers crossed we can get the strikers back.

  3. I was one who voted to change the Manager, although I do appreciate that as a mere supporter we do sometimes fail to see the bigger picture…But, surely some of his decisions in recent weeks seem to be so bizarre, loaning Kelly , and then playing Larson out of position, loaning McSheff. when wer’e down to two strikers, and finally last night, putting O’connor on the bench and then not giving him at least 10 minutes to get the feel of things. If he wasn’t fit he should not have been on the bench, give one of the ‘kids’ a chance.

  4. I belong to the ‘keep Eck’ camp. It is complete insanity to get rid of him at this stage of the season and we are second for heavens sake. OK we haven’t been great but we have had awful misfortune with injuries. Injuries affect all teams but we have lost key players for prolonged periods; Phillips, O’Connor, Parnaby, McSheffrey and Ridgewell immediately spring to mind and we must remember that we lost Seb Larsson, Carsley and last evening Bowyer and Bent for important games at crucial times. Added to the debacle of a refereeing performance at Sheffield Utd when we deserved at least a point but were robbed by incompetence there are the two goals that were disallowed at Wolves that should have stood. There have been another couple of goals for us chalked off for offside when replays suggest otherwise and let’s not forget Franck Queudrue’s ‘equaliser’ against Coventry that wasn’t given and our goal in the reverse fixture that was disallowed. Furthermore, Reading had that ‘phantom’ goal at Watford allowed and as for the penalty awards for them against Norwich and last night against Charlton – well it’s a joke! Some teams in the division have had more than their share of penalty awards, we’ve had one! I can think of at least half a dozen that were nailed on for us and were waved away. They say that luck evens out; well all I can say is that we are due a lorry load of it in our last few games! No manager can legisilate for some of the things that have gone on this season and I believe that given time Big Eck will suceed for us whichever division we are in next season.


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