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How Much Time Is Too Much Time?

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 14/11/2004

WE fans are at our worst when our team loses, and who can blame us? In two weeks we have suffered the worst kind of defeats. Losing our 'local Derby' and falling to a non-league club in the cup. Enough to make a grown man cry!

Home > Editorials > How Much Time Is Too Much Time?

And when we are at our worst, what do we turn to? Apportioning blame and/or sacking the manager. That's what!

Those who use the old cliché "OK it's the cup over, now we can get on with the league" are not only fooling themselves, they are failing to recognise the true situation we are in.

And no matter where you stand, you cannot deny that relegation may not be a certainty, but it is staring us in the face.

So the manager should be sacked and someone else brought in before it is too late to save us. (Or is that the echo running through Blundell Park from last season and the season before?)

But is sacking Russell Slade the answer? Should he, as some suggest, be given more time?

The question is' "How much time should he be given? And how much time is too much?

Some would say he has had far too long already. Others that he needs more time to get the squad together, find the right line-up with the right players in position and time to get a few good results under his belt.

Now that seems fair enough to me, but I would venture the question, which line-up? Are we talking about 3-4-3, which Slade, of his own admission, likes and the players like too? The same 3-4-3 that the fans are saying is not working with the players we have?

I would also ask which players? The one's we have now who appear to be under performing, under achieving and under siege?

Or should we get rid and find a few more? If so where from and who will pay?

For that is the real situation we face. We do not have the financial resources to replace what we have. So we need a manager who can get the best out of what appears to be a bad bunch.

Whether that man is Russell Slade is something you will have to make your own minds up about, but one thing is clear, Russell Slade however good or bad he is, should not be allowed to determine the future of this club. That is the job of the directors. They are the one's who should make their minds up quickly and take whatever action is necessary.

Which is exactly what we said last season about Paul Groves when the board never had the guts to call it a day and replace him soon enough to save us from relegation. Paul Groves was a nice bloke and much respected by all. As a manager he was, in my opinion, crap. A view shared by the majority of fans but not by the directors until it was too late.

I am not saying the same about Russell Slade, another nice bloke. I would much rather those who see him in action make the judgements. But if he is a no hoper then the board should act quickly and get rid.

If he isn't he should be given firm support in the form of additional funds, even if it means an increase in entrance fees. Short-term pain for long-term gain. I am sure that the fans would pay an extra quid if they knew the additional income was going straight into the player acquisition budget and nothing else. 50P even, if the club really are that short we cannot afford a couple of new players. (Preferably not from Scarborough or Tranmere)

But whatever the reason, no matter who is to blame, if we continue like this we may as well start budgeting for a Conference League side right now. Or have we already got one with a conference side manager to match?

Some would say yes. Others would say more time is needed. Hold back until Christmas, now is not the time to be making changes.

On that point I would say that seems fair enough. But what I cannot say is if Christmas is too long to wait.

Which brings me back to my original question. How much time is too much time?

Your answer on the Message Board please!

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