Friday, 21 December 2007

Al Fayed sacks Sanchez

I was saddened today by the announcement that Lawrie Sanchez has been sacked from his job at Premiership club fulham. Sanchez has been given a ludicrously short period of time to make an impact as the West London outfit’s manager with the club’s descent into the relegation zone and four defeats in the last five convincing his chairman Mohammed Al Fayed to wield the axe.

What Al Fayed knows about football isn’t worth knowing and I would suggest that he has made a mistake with this display of impatience. The ex-Northern Ireland manager’s departure coupled with continued uncertainty about the future of the current incumbent, Nigel Worthington, has led to some speculation that Sanchez could be asked to retake the reins of the international team.

I doubt that either the IFA or Sanchez will be as quick to consider this route. Sanchez was after all quite open about his desire to return to club football. His achievements as Northern Ireland manager were remarkable, but he did leave midway through a European Championships qualifying campaign and the IFA would not want to risk a recurrence of that defection. Managerial comebacks have a nasty habit of failing to live up to previous glories as well, although Billy Bingham was a notable exception.

Lawrie’s tenure in charge of Northern Ireland was an unqualified success and he left the GAWA with cherished memories which will last a lifetime. I wish him well in his attempts to get a new job and I’m confident that he will be back in charge of a club side in the not too distant future.

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