Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ince, Inepxerience and the Ineffable


Quick one today, as I'm in the midst of Messiah Madness this week. I'm also still recovering from an awesome, awesome weekend of Serie A football. Congrats to Amauro and Juve on that front.

Paul Ince is gone. Can't complain really as the results speak for themselves, although Paul Wilson is already wondering why Ince was ever hired to begin with.

Conventional thinking says Premier League managers should be selected from an 'elite', highly-experienced group of managers ranging from the likes of Sam Allardyce, Gary Megson, Sammy Lee, David O'Leary, and Harry Redknapp (I can hear your guffaws even over the Handelian choruses ringing through my ears).

But I'm reminded of Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker piece last issue on the impossibility of determining a quality elementary teacher or NFL quarterback on CV alone. Take old 'Arry for example. The man did a decent job at West Ham, than on to Pompei, so his stint with Southampton should have been marvelous no? But after a twenty-seven year run in the top flight, Southampton fell through the floor.

So when Harry returned to coach Portsmouth afterward, fans expected the worst. And yet Pompei turned out pretty well, and eventually won the FA Cup. None of this makes any sense.

So in the end, was it so crazy for Blackburn to appoint a younger, less experienced manager who managed to get a nothing club with MK Dons to go places? Probably not. The result could have been the same with any number of so-called 'proven' managers.

Nonetheless, does this mean we won't see this sort of move in the Premier League for a long, long time? Probably. Therefore, expect to see the gang Premier League 'elites' at a Sunderland or Blackburn near you.

Update: With grim inevitability, Graeme Souness and Big Sam Allardyce have tossed their hats in the ring for a go with Rovers.

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