PNE sack Alan Irvine

Big surprise news today – PNE have sacked their popular manager Alan Irvine. It was thought he’d have more time.  Not long ago everyone was sweating on whether he’d go to WBA and even if he’d manage Scotland.  There was gratitude he stayed and it seemed a loyal decision.

When writing this it has to be considered that someone we like has been hurt today. Although going into sport makes winning and losing,  apparent justice and injustice seem part of all the jobs, and there is good compensation in many cases.

What can have brought the board to this decision now? Could it be any combination of the following:

Going down? A string of poor results pointing PNE more towards the bottom than the top.

Not scoring?  That the team are looking poor at the front and maybe that stretches into other areas of creativity.

Lack of money?  The possibility that there is no-one to sell without damaging the team and no-one to bring in cheaply who might become valuable.

Timing?  That the board believe that to bring in a new manager after the transfer window would not set him off in the best position.

Negotiating?  That changing managers later when in desperation isn’t a good position to be in.

Opportunities?  That the board have someone else in mind who is available now.

Looking at the list of potential managers in the Evening Post isn’t encouraging. I’d put Alan Irvine above many of those.

Rob Kelly is stepping in as temporary manager. Is there a possibility he has matured to be the man? Sometimes people in their mid-forties get a blast of realisation and it all comes together to make the real thing.  I know a few who did that, but it didn’t happen in my case.

On the boards decision and Derek Shaw. Stepping above the fray and making wise, if harsh, decisions is what a board has to do. Perhaps they could have waited till the new man was known, Man City announced their new manager immediately, PNE haven’t.  Perhaps they could have waited a few more games.

Interesting to see what will happen in the next few weeks and decide then if it was the right decision. Football isn’t like that though, it’s about venting immediate emotion more than logic most of the time and it wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t.

Alan Irvine did a great job last year and at the beginning of this year.  Everyone on the terraces has great regard for him.  Best wishes to Alan. Let’s hope the team plays better though and it has undiverted support.

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