Short changed

Posted by on Oct 27, 2010 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Anyone who doubted football’s capacity to surprise, startle and dumbfound will surely have had their views shaken by the events of the last week. The highest-profile stories, of course, were Wayne Rooney’s dramatic volte-face, reneging on an apparently unequivocal statement of intent to leave Man Utd and signing a new five-year deal, and reports of Pompey’s imminent demise, which – according to Sacha Gaydamak at least – turned out to be nothing more than manipulative public mischief-making by the administrators at the expense of the fans’ nerves.

Events at Old Trafford and Fratton Park dominated the media, but lunacy was equally in evidence at Meadow Lane, where just five months into his tenure as manager Craig Short was given the boot by Notts County – a bizarre decision for several reasons.

The Magpies (East Midlands division) have won five of their 13 fixtures thus far, including the last four home matches – and, lest we forget, last season’s League Two champions could be fully expected to still be finding their feet at the higher level. They may be five points off the foot of the table, but in a very tight division they’re also four off the play-offs.

Perhaps most significantly, though, the axe was wielded by owner and chairman Ray Trew, who swept into Meadow Lane after the insanity of the Munto Finance and Trembling era with his spokesman vowing “we want to bring some stability to the club”. So much for stability (and living “in the real world”): the new incumbent – due to be announced tomorrow and rumoured to be former MK Dons and Blackburn boss Paul Ince – will be County’s sixth manager in little more than a year.

A shell-shocked Short has pleaded his case, but with admirable dignity and no malice or bitterness. How long before his replacement finds himself doing the same?

Ben is a long-suffering Newcastle Utd supporter (is there any other kind?) who co-founded and co-wrote Black & White & Read All Over, a blog that, over the course of a decade, chronicled the ups, downs, chaos and calamity of the club he has the misfortune to follow. Since the blog hung up its boots in May 2014 (note: not as a mark of respect for Shola Ameobi leaving St James’ Park), he has contented himself with sporadic, splenetic Twitter outbursts and shamefully rare contributions to The Two Unfortunates. He is currently haunted by visions of Joe Kinnear returning to the club for a third spell and pondering whether he’ll live to see another victory over the Mackems, but at least has a cardboard coathanger with Robert Lee’s head on it for consolation.


  1. Stu
    October 28, 2010

    I can't find issue with a single part of that.

    Ray Trew has said he thinks the league this year is a poor one and he sees it as a great opportunity for us to be promoted. So i think what must frustrate him most is seeing the likes of Bournemouth and Rochdale out performing is nearly every week.

    We're all putting our hands together currently hoping that Paul Ince is given the time to succeed now. Whether it was with Short or with Ince, a season of consolidation would hardly have been the worst thing for Notts.

    Ray is on record about his ambitions, and he says Ince feels similarly. Hopefully the two can get the season back on the track after weeks of inconsistency.

    Mind you, still not sackworthy inconsistency.

  2. Lanterne Rouge
    October 28, 2010

    Absolutely agree – not sackworthy at all. Notts only came up last year and are only 4 points off the play offs. Too hasty by half.

  3. Stanley
    October 28, 2010

    Inconsistency in a league full of inconsistent teams shouldn't deserve the sack. With Notts County looking comfortable in a new league, the last thing the club needed was another change of management. My mind immediately turned to behind-the-scenes issues when I heard the news. What Paul Ince has to offer that Craig Short didn't, I really can't fathom.

  4. Stu
    October 28, 2010

    Contacts? We've gone from a man with with frieds at Blackburn, Sheffield United and Everton, to someone with allies at Man Utd, Liverpool and Inter haha! I kid, mostly.

    On a serious note, the inconsistency of the league as a whole is another thing we don't understand.

    No one is pulling away with the league, the gap between the drop zone and playoffs mean any one team can go from one to the other in a matter of weeks!

    Short was doing a perfectly adequate job and the “dropped four” games would've been hours had we been a bit calmer in front of goal.

    For the record though, when Ince was in the running a few months ago he was many people's pick for the job. With how things have turned out though, a lot of us managed to be pleasantly surprised by how Short was doing (our more optimistic hopes for the season were shattered on opening day) and had fully expected that season of consolidation.


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