Controversial owner? Dugout equipped with an ejector seat to assist in jettisoning the manager ? Not Brentford – things are relatively stable at Griffin Park and Matthew Benham is a legend. But the same can’t be said elsewhere. Yesterday saw Cardiff City follow Leeds United in replacing a cult favourite as Russell Slade departed
Earlier this week we got the sad news that Elland Road head honcho Massimo Cellino had given Steve Evans the ‘thumb down’ and exercised his regular right to change head coach. Whatever Leeds United supporters think about the situation, it is a massive shame for Brentford fans who will be deprived of those wonderful press conferences that only Evans could give.
Packed with more sour grapes than a cocktail of ‘past its sell by date’ value brand lambrini and liebfraumilch (and often sounding like he had consumed too much of it, such was the nonsense spouted) you can’t deny these were colourful events. He was good for a quote, that’s for sure, and certainly wore his heart on his sleeve.
Possibly the only manager in the Championship to match this intensity was Russell Slade at Cardiff City. Those of us with an eye on the news will know that owner Vincent Tan had already replaced him as the Welsh club’s manager last month, moving the former Leyton Orient boss into a ‘head of football’ role.
Now, just 28 days later, itis all over. Slade has left the club altogether and, with it, in all likelihood the Championship. Charlton Athletic are currently being touted as a possible destination although having just left the clutches of one alleged crackpot would he want to walk straight into the chilling embrace of another ?
That’s his decision, of course. I take no pleasure from seeing anybody lose their job. Genuinely, like Steve Evans, I’ll miss the chance to cross swords with Russell Slade this coming season. Nobody could deny they weren’t wonderful occasions.
“They celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup” he so famously said after Brentford had beaten Leyton Orient to move ahead in the race for promotion to the Championship back in March 2014.
It is a line that has never been forgotten and inspired everything from my own first ‘season review’ to those famous Beesotted trophies. Indeed, I have good reason to believe one of these may have made it directly into the hands of Mr Slade himself…
The Championship is going to be a quieter place with out the likes of Slade and Evans in her press conferences and dugouts.
Let’s hope that both are back soon.
For more ‘Last Word’ reading, today we’ve also got a special guest column from regular correspondent Bernard Quackenbush. Given his thoughts and views on the refereeing upheaval that awaits next season.