Well, it’s finally happened. After 15 games and a mere 5 months in charge, Iain Dowie has been relieved of his duties at Queens Park Rangers. A decision that isn’t a huge shock to anyone really, no less Dowie, who must have felt like a dead man walking throughout his tenure. So much for Dowie’s comments through the week, then, where Dowie himself spoke to the media sure that his job was indeed safe, with the team still in the playoff mix and into the last 16 of the Carling Cup.
So, another premature sacking, or completely justified?
It has to be said anything less than challenging for promotion at this stage would be deemed as failure, such was the big expectations from the wealthy owners of the club. And that’s just what happened, with Rangers currently lying in 9th place and winning just one from their last six – against bottom club Nottingham Forest. Hardly promotion form, and not good enough for a club who dream of Premiership football – however deluded these dreams may be.
However, in days like this where managers are all too often given the boot, would it have been too much to ask to give Dowie more time? Titles arent won in October, and I’m sure Dowie would have had Rangers in the promotion mixer come May. He’s got teams promoted from worse positions than 9th, afterall. Remember Crystal Palace? Dowie took them from relegation candidates to the Premiership in a matter of months. And with a bit of money to spend in January, who’s to say he couldn’t have done it again?
The last straw for Dowie surely came at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night, where QPR and Swansea played out a goalless draw. Not a bad result on the face of things, but when you consider Swansea were without a specialist goalkeeper for the majority of the match, things become more alarming. Swansea were rarely troubled, with Dowie choosing not to go on the offensive, but to take the draw on offer. Not the sexy, thrilling football that Flavio Briatore would like to see, I’m sure. Suddenly his new toy didnt seem quite as exciting.
It’s clear that Dowie never really fitted in with the new glamourous image at QPR. He’s never been an attractive appointment – in more ways than one. And his direct footballing philosophy didn’t really fit in with the technically sound foreign players that were brought into the club. However, with the right personel, he does get results. He’s proven at this level. But in today’s money crazy football world, results sometimes aren’t enough.
Almost inevitably, big names will be linked with the job – from the likes of Gianluca Vialli to Roberto Mancini. You feel a big name manager will be on the agenda for Briatore and his board, and with the finances on offer, the job will look tempting to some.
Others might see the job as a poisoned chalice however, a job where the owners are expecting too much, too quickly. A job where the manager can never feel truly secure in his position, and will always be looking over his shoulder. Yes, the huge cash on offer is nice, but will the new manager truly have a say in who’s being brought in?
But that’s just the nature of the beast at the moment. Football’s no longer about long term goals, it’s all about instant success. And there’s only one way to achieve that, and it doesnt matter how many managers are given the boot on their way to doing so.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’d think with the new Italian influence at QPR, they’d have realised that. Yet apparantly, the penny hasn’t dropped.