Monday, November 26, 2007

Goodbye, Billy Davies

As I predicted back on November 5th after Chris Hutchings was sacked by Wigan ("Billy Davies Next to Go?"), Derby County has ended Davies' tenure at the East Midlands club by "mutual consent", aka "take this buyout gratefully and we won't say we fired you."

Derby have just one win in the Premiership this season and have been held scoreless in six consecutive matches and seven out of their last eight. Their problem, as one pundit on FSC put it the other day, is that they're playing the same style of soccer as they played in the Championship, and that simply doesn't work. It's one thing to play the likes of Barnsley and Burnley and Stoke City (no disrespect to those clubs) and it's another to play Chelsea and Manchester United and Liverpool; any Premier League team for that matter. Derby's defense has been atrocious and they currently have a -28 goal differential. Most importantly for a team that was basically condemned back to the Championship before this season even started, they weren't showing any progress under Billy Davies and the change needed to be made.

This now makes five managers who started the year with a club to have left by "mutual consent" or been sacked (Chris Hutchings, Jose Mourinho, Sammy Lee, and Martin Jol), not counting Steve Bruce, who left Birmingham for Wigan. You would have to say that Gareth Southgate at Middlesbrough and Sam Allardyce at Newcastle are now the odds-on leaders in the sack race.

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