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Mr Slade - Our Hero!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 16/03/2005

THE board's decision to give Russell Slade a further year at Blundell Park will bring joy to some and despair to others, depending on their point of view.

Home > Editorials > Mr Slade - Our Hero!

In accepting the principle that whoever pays the piper calls the tune, the board had every right to make the decision, but looking at all the feedback from the fans, it was not a popular decision.

But if one looks realistically at the situation and considers all the facts, it would seem the decision was right.

Slade was promised another season if Town finished 12th or higher in the division. The board have now canned that proviso and made a very courageous decision to give him another 12 months regardless.

And why wouldn't they?

Some will say that he is not a good manager, we play crap football, his selections are not always good and he seems incapable of motivating the team.

But before him, we had three other managers under which we played crap football, saw some comical selections and no motivation in the squad at all.

And we got relegated!

Three times!

But Russell Slade despite all his shortcomings has taken us to within 6 points of the playoffs. Not bad for a crap team that plays crap football.

Some, who think quite wrongly that we are still a first division team, would see that as our rightful position. (I suppose we all have our dreams and fantasies)

We really do have to face facts. There is little pure football in division four. It is not always pretty and as long as clubs like ours run on a shoestring it will always be the case.

Slade has brought good players to this club and those who have seen them play say there have been times when good football has been played by them but inconsistently.

But, in football in the fourth, it's results that matter most and points on the board.

Creating a good footballing team will take time and Slade has had little enough of that. You cannot build a championship team in one season. Ask Scunthorpe United!

At the start of this season, we were praying to stay in the Football League. How many times did we say forget the football, give us the points, we have to avoid another relegation?

Well it seems that we have achieved that main aim. But on the basis of some good wins, and some lucky ones too, people forget that and think we are another Chelsea in the making.

Face facts, it will not happen. Not for a long time. But that doesn't mean we cannot go on to greater things. We can. But we need to be patient and thank our lucky stars that we have found someone who, through either good luck or good judgement, and I don't care which, appears to have saved us from the Conference League.

That is what he was asked to do. That is what he has done. That is what we all wanted but now, it seems, we want more. And we may get more. That will depend on future results.

Slade is not the best manager in the world nor does he claim to be. He is probably not the best manager in division four. Who cares?

What counts is what he has done for us.

And on that basis he deserves another go. He has earned it.

That is not to say he is free of criticism. He knows that and expects it. But he also expects support because without that, we could still fail.

Criticism won't bother him. Lack of support will.

I for one have criticised him in the past and may well do so again in the future. But we must never forget that over the last 4 years he is the only one who has fulfilled what he promised.

And he doesn't deserve another go?

You must be joking!

Question of the Week: Should Russell Slade have been re-appointed for next season? Don't forget to vote!

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