If you choose to believe our friends in the tabloid press, Paul Ince will be collecting his P45 at Ewood Park at some point today. Incey’s guided his team into the bottom three and whether or not he gets the boot before Rovers’ next game against Wigan on Saturday, the vultures are definitely circling.
It was obvious Incey was cracking at the weekend when he publicly declared people were out to get him. Young managers, he said, were not given enough time and there were unnamed people who were deliberately destabilising his reign.
The subsequent 3-1 defeat to Liverpool didn’t help his cause but the fact Ince came out with such a bizarre rant just goes to prove once again that great players don’t always make great managers.
Claiming there was a conspiracy against him missed the point in two fundamental ways.
Firstly, it seemed to suggest he was suffering from selective memory loss. Rovers finished seventh last season under Sparky and some of the fans were hoping to repeat or built on that. Bottom three was not what they were hoping for and understandably they’ve been less than impressed with his efforts to date.
But Incey’s having none of that. He wants time but forgets that managers are judged on results whether they’ve got 15 years or just 15 games under their belt. Rovers is not his finishing school, it’s a top-flight club that wants to stay there. You can moan all you like but managers who don’t get results get the chop. It’s not rocket science, is it?
Secondly, and more importantly, his little outburst was simply asking for trouble. It invited even more speculation about his future and literally begged the tabloids in particular to find new ways to speed up his exit.
Every half-intelligent manager knows you never admit there’s a crisis because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s the football equivalent of a wounded wildebeest wandering into the lions’ den and inviting them to tuck in.
Incey no doubt thought his impassioned little speech would buy him some time and show how much he cared about the job. It only really served to reveal how out of his depth he’s been so far this season.