Crunch Time for Dougie

Dougie Freedman
I am never a d advocate for changing a manager. Stability is what is needed in Football. The simple truth is teams that struggle are those that chop and change the boss whilst largely those who succeed stick through a manager rough times.

That said I feel this weekend is a likely turning point in the tenure of Dougie Freedman. Should we lose then the Scottish managers name could well be another brief footnote in the history of this football club. And it’s a shame as he’s a likeable guy.

The difference to before is that I think Fawaz realises now the mess he’s created. I think he realises the constraints he put the manager under. And I think he respects the work Dougie has done to bring down the costs that spiralled out of control as we chased promotion or bust.

I also think Fawaz is learning. He realises and has seen that chopping and changing manager is no immediate panacea to all of life’s issues. Its maybe a temporary reprieve, look at the bounce in form we took when installing him, but do we want to be a club who simply when the going gets tough, simply get sacking?

I fear it is a sign of the modern era with the rampant short termism in Football that it will be the case. Most changes have been made after a similar patchy run of form. Pearce and Davies certainly. O’Driscoll being the odd one out. But in each case it wasn’t as if these were changes for changes sake. At the time large swathes of fans wanted the change. It felt right. So when you see fans citing the managerial changes as a rope to Fawaz from I find it strange, even if this was a rope of Fawaz own creation.

There have been constants in Dougie's tenure though. Key personnel injured. He’s always managed to keep hold of the fact he’s never had a full squad to choose from. But excuses wear thin, even if they are perfectly valid. In a team who are goal shy, our two main goal threats have been out for months (and in the case of Fryatt, mysteriously absent of updates) and so we struggle to net.

That said we have a Portuguese international up front. We have a ratio of shots to goals which are ridiculously low, even shots on target, from overall shots. This is a frustrating state of affairs.
The defence seem to switch off at will and will concede when this happens. It just seems the team is disjointed.

The return of Michael Mancienne will be good news however, as he was a good steadying influence at the back. Chris Cohen and Robert Tesche are back training after lengthy layoffs, and these guys will play key roles in the midfield.

Will Dougie get the time to see his returning players get to be picked? Football at the end of the day is a results business. Results have not been good enough. But then over the past calendar year it’s all been bad. As much as I like Dougie, nice guys often finish last.