The Great Debate: Should Paul Ince Be Replaced by Blackburn?
In recent years, a lot of criticism has been dished out for the way under-pressure managers are treated. Many have said that they don't get enough time and, after a spell of bad results, they are too often given the boot.
Recently, the criticism arose once more, but this time for a more distinguished manager—Arsene Wenger. Since that argument died down, however, another one, for a relatively new manager, has surfaced.
The manager in question is Blackburn's Paul Ince, who, since taking charge in the summer, has seen his team go from European contention to relegation candidates.
After today's results, which included another demoralising defeat for Blackburn, they are five points behind 17th place Sunderland, and have lost their last six league games, the worst run of results for the club in 42 years.
They are without a league win in 11 games, and have conceded at least three goals in each of their past four games. Clearly, then, the defence has been a huge problem.
But where did it all go wrong?
Big things were expected of Paul Ince when he became the first black British manager in the top flight, after impressing at MK Dons, winning the Football League Trophy, and then League One.
However, the step up from League One to the Premier League seems to have been too tough for Ince so far. If there was one thing he demonstrated throughout his illustrious playing career, however, it was that he was a fighter.
I fully expect him to keep fighting until it gets better, or until the board get rid of him. He won't quit. Then again, I said the same about Roy Keane, and the pressure of management seems to be getting to Paul Ince in a similar way.
In almost every interview since the pressure started mounting, Ince has complained that he, and other former Manchester United players who have become managers, get unfair treatment from the press.
But any manager in his position would be under pressure. His team has been on an awful run of form recently and, since taking over as manager, he has just a 28% winning percentage.
Ince has already received the dreaded vote of confidence from both his chairman, and even his players.
Today's 3-0 defeat to Wigan could well be the straw to break the camel's back, but if not, it can't be too long before the Blackburn board hammer the final nail in Ince's managerial coffin.
He needs to do something, and soon.
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