Leon Wobschall: March’s madcap managerial merry-go-round is a sorry state for football

Steve McClaren was sacked for a second time by Derby this week (Photo: PA)
Steve McClaren was sacked for a second time by Derby this week (Photo: PA)
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Steve McClaren’s sacking from Derby County took the season total of managerial departures in the Championship to 14 and followed the exits of Alex Neil from Norwich City and Warren Joyce at Wigan Athletic, Leon Wobschall takes a deeper look at years of managerial turmoil across clubs in the Championship...

OF ALL the plethora of statistics out there that are being trotted out regarding the increasing volatility of life as a football manager, perhaps this one is the daftest.

This weekend’s East Midlands derby between Derby County and Nottingham Forest will represent the fifth successive occasion that two different managers have patrolled the technical area in the respective home and away dug-outs. Crazy, eh.

It used to be October that was the traditional sacking season. March (with January a close second) is now a strong contender to usurp that unfortunate title. It is a madcap, hare-brained month after all.

The month is not even halfway through and five managers have already gone. The time of charge of four of them? Warren Joyce (131 days), Steve McClaren (151 days), Graham Westley (153 days), Russell Slade (74 days).

Comfortably less than a half year, comfortably lower than a quarter in one case..

Warren Joyce lost his job as Wigan Athletic manager

Warren Joyce lost his job as Wigan Athletic manager

All told, 18 managers have left their roles so far this calendar year. Three have managed less than 100 days in charge, Slade, Chris Brass (Bury) and Andy Edwards (Orient).

You want more of this statistical carnage? One club, trigger-happy Orient, are now onto their fourth manager of the season, while Wigan, Derby County, Rotherham United, Wolves, Bury, Swansea City and Coventry are onto their third managers.

Do we have any hope. Not really, given the modern world and transient attitudes in many a boardroom - although at least it has been a touch more sedate in Yorkshire this season, for once.

Just three departures so far, with Mike Phelan leaving Hull at the start of the year and Alan Stubbs being sacked by the Millers in the autumn and replacement Kenny Jackett upping sticks before the Christmas decorations were up.

It is a madcap, hare-brained month after all.

Leon Wobschall on what March has become

This time last year, seven managers had left their post for one reason or another in the Broad Acres.

But given the lack of security of tenure in the dug-out across the land and the pressures to succeed and the price of failure, the smart money is on this year’s sense of order being an anomaly, sadly.

Let’s hope not. Some good operators and good people reside in the dug-outs across Yorkshire these days.

Some proper ‘football people’ among that number with a clear depth of feeling for their respective clubs. Let’s hope the relative serenity continues.