The sacking of Nigel Adkins by Southampton was classless but calculated. Out went the double promotion-winning poet, but in came a well respected up and coming manager. It was a move that was morally the wrong thing to do, yet tactically the right way to handle such a situation. In the firing of Brian McDermott, Reading owner Anton Zingarevich has got the classless aspect down pat, but hasn't been so quick with the calculated part.
McDermott has been sacked and nothing else. No manager has been lined up. No plan had been set in a place. Those making the decisions have just a list of names that are unsuitable, uninterested or right wing fascists.
Reading Football Club is in as much of a mess today as they would have been if McDermott had resigned on Monday. Many will have strongly agreed or disagreed with the decision, yet few could argue the timing and strategy behind it is agreeable in any way.
The sorry situation seems to indicate that Zingarevich has no understanding of the club he has bought and no grasp of recent football history.Reading is not an attractive club at the best of times. Let alone when mired in the relegation zone with the weakest squad in the league. Zingarevich's best hope is to just throw a load of money at the problem and hope it solves itself. If Brian McDermott was sacked for his perceived bad management, then the club and Zingarevich are carrying on this tradition very nicely indeed.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are the example used by many, a club now contemplating double relegation since the sacking of Mick McCarthy when in a similar situation last season. They followed that decision with dysfunctional and unproductive attempts to find a replacement. Anything was better than what they had now, they thought. “Change was needed,” they said. They got their change and now the team's only hope rests on the odds offered by Ladbrokes. While as an interesting side note Kaspars Gorkss, on loan to Wolves from Reading looks set to enjoy a double relegation in one season.
One of the typically lazy and cliche arguments that some fans leveled at Brian McDermott was that he had “No Plan B”, one of those utterly baseless phrases beloved by the clowns that have the number to call Collymore on speed dial. As it stands, it seems it is Anton Zingarevich that has “No Plan B.”
As the official club statement was at pains to point out, this decision was Zingarevich's and his alone. It is now down to him to make it better but he has given himself the worst possible start. In life we like to give certain people false reverence. A privately schooled heir to a Russian billionaire with a supermodel girlfriend must know what he is doing, surely?
After a goalless draw with Norwich in November last year some “fans” shouted “You don't know what you're doing” at Brian McDermott. Today it is completely acceptable to chant: “You don't know what you're doing” again, but this time at Anton Zingarevich.