Jackett should stay – but not as manager

© Edmund Boyden

IN MY long career, which at times seems almost as precarious and quixotic as football management, I've been sacked about five times.

It didn't feel very nice. At least once it was out-of-blue, never-saw-it-coming goddamn awful. So it's not easy, given the stress of the storm that event can produce, to call for someone else to lose their job. Unless he manages Millwall. Badly. Potentially disastrously.

I believe it's time for Kenny Jackett to fall on his sword, or for John Berylson to sack him.

Neither event, I suspect, will happen. Jackett is hanging on with the grim illusion that he can, still, miraculously, turn it all around, while Berylson seems to have suspended his all-American tycoonery toughness to stay loyal in the face of what is a calamitous set of figures.

Those figures include a team anchored at 20th position for most of the season; 2 wins from our last 13 games; 9 points from a possible 39 over the last 13 games. It all adds up to relegation.

For me, Jackett doesn’t have the tactical nous for this division. It has taken three quarters of the season for him to decide that a passing side is needed to thrive in the Championship. But for that you need Championship quality and the heart of this team is still full of mediocre players: Forde, Dunne, Barron, Smith, Ward, Abdou, Craig.

So if Jacket won't jump and the admirable Berylson won't push, what is to be done?

I think the honourable way out – for Jackett, for the owner and for the fans who believe the manager should step down – is to kick Kenny upstairs. Give him a new title (Director of Football, Chief Talent Spotter, Man Without a Plan, whatever), thank him for the past, amend his salary , and see if we can hire a new manager in time to lift the morale of the team enough to keep us in the Championship.

Only, make it quick, John.

7 thoughts on “Jackett should stay – but not as manager

  • February 22, 2012 at 17:18
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    I don't think Jackett is the type of man to be kicked 'upstairs'.
    He enjoys the coaching side of management too much, if was to take on another role it would be at another club.

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  • February 22, 2012 at 17:55
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    Im not convinced about letting Jackett go, he is superb at the training ground, and us a real mans man. And Abdou is a good championship player, and so is Forde. This guy obviously did not see the game against Middlesbrough.

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    • February 27, 2012 at 16:00
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      If the 2nd half against Middlesbrough had followed the pattern of the 1st, the general feeling was that KJ would be gone...but it wasn't and perhaps that defeat will prove to be the turning point?

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  • February 22, 2012 at 21:40
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    I heard similar rumbles in the stands during the Middlesbrough game and I'm having none of it. What short memories some of you fickle bunch have. Have you forgotten what it was like before Jackett took over? Do you remember how many managers and chairman we went through looking to "lift morale"? These men drag us from the edge of oblivion, win us promotion and stabilize the whole club and that doesn't buy them your trust, your loyalty and your patience? How can you justify dispensing of a man who has continually improved this club year on year since 2007, just because he's had one mediocre season (which, by the way, isn't over yet)? Look at clubs like Everton and Stoke - they have had bad seasons under Moyes and Pulis, but look how much better they are for having stuck with them. Get real and learn to appreciate what we have while we are lucky enough to still have it - with attitudes like the one in this article we are only a knee jerk reactionaway from another Nigel Spackman!

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  • February 23, 2012 at 11:14
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    StanLDN: I confess to being one of the "rumbles" and it is a view I have held since the Bristol City home game. Let me say why. I do not think KJ is a bad man or a bad manager, I just don't think he is a championship manager in the same way that players can serve you well to get you somewhere doesn't mean they have the quality to play at the next level. Bar a couple of exceptions Millwall seem to have been outplayed tactically against just about every team they have faced this season. For example, after a couple of good games, managers had watched Feeney and decided to simply double mark him we were playing without any width on the left hand side so were reduced to long balls to Henderson, KJ was unwilling or unable to come up with a plan B consequently we weren't scoring and our defence was under pressure. This is made worse in my view by playing 1 man up front at home making whoever that it further isolated.

    I do agree with you about chopping and changing managers, that doesn't work, if a change is made (and I don't think it will be by the way) then whoever comes in needs to be given proper time to do the job but we do need a manager who can do it at this level. I think our Chairman is excellent and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

    Relegation would be a financial disaster for Millwall and we need 50 points to stay up, can you honestly see us getting those with the current manager, do you honestly believe today's team is better than last year's? If yes then great, if no then the way forward is a no brainer.

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  • February 23, 2012 at 13:24
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    I don't understand how anyone can say Jackett doesn't have a `plan B': we've played 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-5-1... We've used around 20 different striker combinations. We've had Bouazza wide left, we've dropped Feeney for Henry, we've brought in Josh Wright, but no-one has been at the required standard over a prolonged period. It would be fair to say that a lot of these changes haven't worked, but to say that there have been no changes at all is plain wrong.

    We're now playing (or trying to play) a more patient, passing style and it's had some encouraging results at Southampton and Brighton, at home to Derby, and the 2nd half against Middlesbrough. If we can replicate those performances, we will pick up enough points to stay in the division. But it takes time to build confidence and passing accuracy required, and the responsibility lies with the players as much as the manager.

    This season has been a learning curve for players, manager and fans alike. And, while I don't want to watch the resultant poor football every season, I think that Jackett has earned the opportunity to implement what he has learned.

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  • February 23, 2012 at 14:20
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    I personally think KJ worries to much about the opposition,and as a result has become far to negative,especially at home. Our home record speaks for itself, a result of only playing one up front. When playing at home lets go for the jugular, two wingers two up front which in turn gets the crowd going .Why buy Keogh a striker and then not play him up front with Henderson . For me KJ has lost the plot he seems obsessed with playing five in the middle,and refuses to admit this doesn't work for us,despite the terrible results which clearly proves that it doesn't work. Why not go back to 4 4 2, after all it can't make matters any worse,im convinced if we dont we will be relegated.

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