It’s been nearly three weeks since the takeover became official, and we’re still waiting for a new permanent manager to be appointed.
We knew Bruce was going to get the sack eventually, and I think we also know it should have been done sooner. Jones as caretaker was always preferable for me, but the international break was prime time to be looking at new candidates.
There are quite a few hats in the ring by the looks of it, and it seems our new owners are taking it seriously and approaching it pragmatically and diligently.
But how much longer can we hang on?
Jones as caretaker is a good stop-gap solution, but it’s an interim one. While there were definite improvements on Saturday, there were still a lot of issues hanging over us from the previous coach.
We need a win on the board, and the ensuing momentum, ASAP. Our run in for the first two months of the season has been gentle. We’ve only played two “top” sides so far (although I’m not really sure if we can call Man U a top side after Sunday’s hilarious drubbing). We haven’t played Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City, Everton or even Brighton so far. And let’s be honest, Spurs are there for the taking these days.
We’ve played a Watford side under a coach that’s now been sacked. A Wolves team still finding its feet under a new manager that hasn’t quite set the team alight. We played a winless Burnley in the cup and lost on penalties. An Aston Villa side that looks weak without Grealish. Leeds are suffering from second-season syndrome, it would appear. A Southampton side who’ve looked like absolutely nothing this season.
If we can’t pick up points in these games, how are we going to against these much, much better sides?
We’ve made the rest of the season a lot harder for ourselves by not picking up a few early wins, and although we’re not quite adrift yet, Christmas will be here before you know it. In the entirety of the Premier League’s history, 50% of the teams who were 19th at Christmas got relegated.
In that run up, we have Chelsea, Brighton, tricky Brentford, Leicester City, Liverpool, and Manchester City to play. It makes the need for a permanent new manager all the more pressing.
There are more people involved in the running of the club than ever before. And while Amanda Staveley, the Rueben brothers and Ghodoussi have got us stoked and reassured us that they’re doing their best to find the right man, I hope bureaucracy doesn’t get in the way. Perhaps too many cooks may be spoiling the broth in this instance?
What I will say is that I have confidence that the new owners are prepared to invest in the club. They do seem genuinely committed to making us competitive once again. I hope the time it’s taking to find a new, permanent manager is down to due diligence instead of too many people in the hierarchy to sign off on it.
Because if we don’t get that first win soon, we’ll end up having to pull off a truly great escape.