Cracks were appearing for Slade in an earthquake behind the scenes
I was skeptical when Russell Slade was first unveiled as the club’s first manager since Chris Powell, but I warmed to him. He talked in honest terms in words we could understand and clearly was much better qualified for the English game than all of his recent predecessors. He also talked of promotion being the only goal.
However nothing ever seemed perfect, or anywhere close. There were rumblings of discontent over transfer policy and interference from Duchatelet’s network scouts. The signing of Andrew Crofts took an age, and it was clear to everybody that as the season kicked off at Bury we were very short on numbers, and this was not improved before the transfer deadline.
Nonetheless money was spent, and a lot for this level, and Russell Slade cannot complain that this was not a team that he built, albeit missing a few bricks in midfield. He bought known firepower, had a wealth of riches at centre-back, a goalie too good for League One and had the added benefit of the further emergence of Ademola Lookman and the potential of Ezri Konsa to work with. We were short on numbers and our midfield was like a 14-year old addicted to football manager had put it together…. but there was more than enough to have us knocking around the top 6, a position we made just once in the early weeks of the season.
I wanted for Slade to do well, but cracks appeared early. His style was cautious and negative, not becoming for a team that should be grabbing this division by the scruff of the neck. He had a go at supporters who travelled midweek to Port Vale, and he became cautious when talking to the press, and reverted to a kind of condescending football speak belonging to another era.
Of course we all know that Slade is not the villian here. A 3-year contract with manager on his business card, allowed to appoint his own assistant, on the outside things looked on the up. Lessons learned, a different direction. Well, no, not really. The storyline is the same, the strategy, whatever that is, made out of paper. All the sacking of Slade does is further show the football world what absolute chumps that Duchatelet and Meire are, bringing further humiliation on our club they’ve now shown beyond all reasonable doubt that they are utterly incapable of managing.
Slade’s football and negative approach were concerning, and our league position is not good enough, but he was at least his own man. The sacking of him after just 16 games only serves to illustrate further the complete incompetence of the CEO and owner as they create yet another crisis resulting in another hefty payout to rectify one of their badly wrong decisions.
What is the plan now. Is there even a plan? Who is in charge of training and the team on Saturday? And who an earth do we get next. There can’t be a football person on the planet that is not aware of our situation under these two football club murderers. On that note this is what Steve Evans said today after being appointed by Mansfield Town:
“I didn’t want to go in somewhere that was fire-fighting in the leagues above and fighting against supporters and trusts and different people – I wanted to join a football club like I joined previously where everyone was pulling together and it’s fair to say that the chairman sold himself and the football club in a very admirable fashion and it didn’t take me long to want to be here.” I wonder who he can be talking about?
For me it is beyond coincidence that Slade was sacked the day after Duchatelet had his birthday lunch interrupted by Charlton supporters and the day when CARD were out in Belgium embarrassing the old fool in his home town. Even by Meire’s Pinocchio impressions, spouting off to talkSport last week that Slade was the way forward, and then sacking him a week later, is beyond parody. No, this decision came from Duchatelet, a man so out of touch with realty, and who for a supposedly successful business reacts so impetuously and stubbornly to any crisis.
But who will the old man blame? Not dear Katrien that is for sure. Just a few actors, ex-employees, misogynists, unruly customers, weirdo’s. The people and their forefathers that built this club.
Meire, who has no doubt just cut Pitch PR another fat cheque, and still sits smugly in her office spouting crap and wasting money, clearly has no authority over a business that she is ripping into tiny little pieces. But if she is a cancer, then he is a demented and vindictive old fool.