Nigel Adkins' switch from Southampton to Reading is bonkers
Appointment highlights the knee-jerk decisions being made by football clubs
Amazing how a manager considered unfit for purpose at one club seeking to maintain Premier League status can find himself hired to save another. Welcome to management on the hoof football style. Two months after being cast aside at Southampton for the latest, must-have coaching accessory from Spain, Nigel Adkins is handed a three-year deal at Reading to replace the man who brought them into the top flight, Brian McDermott. Bonkers.
Adkins, of course, should still be in the post at St Mary’s after guiding Southampton to successive promotions and establishing a template of high-tempo, quick-passing football. But that is not how the knee-jerk, unthinking world of the football boardroom works, and as such Adkins departure is still a matter for the League Managers’ Association fighting a claim of unfair dismissal.
Similarly, the qualities that saw McDermott carry Reading to promotion last year have not gone away in the space of eight months. For either club to survive in the context of a stacked economic deck is arguably a question of luck as much as anything, the odd break here and there in close matches against similarly hampered sides.
Of course Mauricio Pochettino is doing a decent job at St Mary’s. He is a fine coach working with talented young players. Just as Adkins was. Now Adkins must start over again at Reading, unpicking the work and habits of the last man in order to establish his own. Reading have been destabilised as a result and their chances of staying up arguably diminished.
Meanwhile McDermott is left to sit out time somewhere quiet while his credentials gather momentum relative to some other poor sap about to get the chop. When that happens McDermott will be invited to take over, handed a three-year contract in a blaze of impossible optimism, and the whole, sorry cycle repeats ad infinitum.
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo could return against Manchester United - but it won't be like previous reunions
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren forced to train with the under-21s after US visa mix-up
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us