independent

Sunday 21 September 2014

Sack sometimes justified

Published 28/11/2012 | 09:15

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SO he's finally been forced to walk the plank. The only surprising thing is how long it took QPR's owners to finally hand him his P45.

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And we don't just mean the six day wait between the Rs' humbling at the hands of 19th placed Southhampton at home and his sacking the following Friday, we mean how the hell did he manage to hang on in there until November 23, a solid three months into the season.

From what we could see Mark Hughes simply wasn't getting the job done for whatever reason. He's got excuses. The trouble is of the problems he was forced to deal with he was the root cause of most of them.

A plethora of new players were signed in the summer, for example. It takes time to gel a side into place, but who's fault was it that he was dealing with such a radicially altered side at the beginning of the season?

His own primarily. Maybe the owners signed those players for him and he simply had to make do with what he had... but more than likely not. He had to have had a significant input into which players were purchased and by and large they've been very poor signings.

They were older players (over the age of thirty), on big wages, with little sell on value and they've just not been up to it.

Esteban Granero signed from Real Madrid for £9m, Park from United, Julio Caesar from Inter Milan, Andrew Johnson from Fulham, to name but a few. Hughes brought nine players in all to the club during the transfer

window.

Whatever you might think of these players individually there's no doubt that it hasn't worked collectively. They didn't win a single game in the Premier League this year under his management. He deserved to go and following his stunt a couple of years ago, when he walked out on Fulham, there won't be a whole pile of sympathy around for him.

The same can't be said of Roberto Di Matteo. It would be wrong to say people were shocked at his sacking last week – the goings on on the King's Road have lost the capacity to shock us – but it still seems outrageous. This is the man who led them to their first ever Champions League title and the FA Cup just a couple of months ago, afterall.

People will decry this as a case of the football world gone mad. They could well be right. That doesn't mean certain managers shouldn't be sacked.

For every Di Matteo and Sam Allardyce (when he was sacked by Blackburn on dubious grounds)

there's a Mark Hughes.

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