New and views from the Football League – Middlesbrough’s Strachan disproves ‘New Manager Syndrome’

People often talk of the classic ‘New Manager Syndrome’ – the view that when a club appoints a new manager, the next match can’t end in defeat. Should your club have found their new manager, you are guaranteed a result come Saturday, if not three points then a draw is certainly on the cards. Of course, this is just footballing myth shall we say. Just ask Middlesbrough fans after Saturday’s result. Disappointingly, Gordon Strachan’s first match in charge on Teeside ended in defeat as Paul Sturrock’s Plymouth Arygle made the long trip home with a crucial victory.

Now it would be foolish to say that Strachan is at fault here. Boro’s home form has not been what it should be so far this season and as stated above, the very idea that a club simply can’t be beaten in a new manager’s first game in charge is simply laughable. It won’t be a simple case of waving a magic wand either, but Strachan will improve the side and they will still be in the mix for the promotion spots come May.

Strachan has also moved to improve the squad without delay. He has highlighted the need for more goals in the side and the acquisition of the experienced Marcus Bent will no doubt be a boost to the side. Don’t be surprised to see those goals follow.

Sticking with the Championship and it seems that rather disappointingly this writer was wrong about Edgar Davids and his imminent arrival in the Midlands. The former Dutch international could not agree terms with Leicester City and will not be appearing at a Championship stadium near you any time soon. Perhaps fairly, many raised their eyebrows over this potential move, fearing that he would not have the fitness required to be playing at this level. Davids has been without a club since leaving Dutch giants Ajax over a year ago. It seems a shame that he won’t be returning to England because in his day he was undoubtedly one Europe’s top talents and those around him could only have benefitted from his experience.

However, it is a fair point that we simply cannot tell if he would have been completely match-fit and if he wasn’t, just how long it would have been for him to get up to speed. This writer is disappointed that Davids won’t be playing in England and would suggest that many others would feel likewise. However, had he been on the verge of joining your club, would you have been so excited and welcoming to such a gamble? It’s also worth questioning that with the Foxes currently flying high in the play-off positions whether such a risk would have been worth taking and indeed do Leicester City really need Edgar Davids?

Dipping into League One now and it seems that while things are looking a little rosier at Leeds these days, sitting atop the table by a clear seven points, there is yet more doom and gloom to be found a little further down. Southend United are the latest club to be threatened due to their financial insecurities as they owe money for an unpaid tax bill. Club Chairman Ron Martin has stated however, that although there is still a distinct chance of the club going into administration, measures have been put into place to pay the money that is owed shortly. Now it would be fair to say that this writer has made his feelings on points deductions well known, so here’s hoping that Southend can avoid such a punishment.

One cannot pretend to understand the ins and outs of the situation at Roots Hall, and very few can give an entirely accurate picture, but what is worth noting is that over the last week Ron Martin has made statements on the club’s website, updating the club’s supporters and indeed the wider public as to the developments and the potential glimmers of hope that the Shrimpers’ fans can look forward to. Of course there is no quick fix for United, but as an outsider it is so refreshing to see a figurehead of a football club keeping the supporter’s updated in such uncertain times. Of course, as with every business, not everything can be made public knowledge, but every piece of good news will be warmly received by Southend’s fans.

Supporters of all clubs across the nation will worry about their team should they find themselves in a similar position to that of Southend. As such, any piece of good news will go a long way to putting a few smiles on faces in Essex.

News and views from the Football League

Keane for more time to prove himself – October 5
It’s a funny old game – October 8
A new owner does not guarantee success – October 12
Tied up in Notts – October 16
Climbing the Football League ladder – October 19
League structure in need of resuscitation – October 21
There is still magic in the cup – October 26
Blink and you’ll miss it – October 29
Middlesbrough’s Strachan disproves ‘New Manager Syndrome’ – November 2

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