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Let’s not be Drawn into Ridiculous Manager Blame Game

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In Parky we trust, no matter bad things could look or get this season

Oldham Athletic V Bolton Wanderers- Sky Bet League One
Anyone questioning Phil Parkinson’s position this season needs their head testing
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Last night I listened to BBC Radio 5 Live’s 606 call-in show, during which Arsenal and Liverpool fans called in to demand that Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp be sacked just four games into the campaign - regardless of the fact that the former had just won 3-0 and the latter have been one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League this season, despite their 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.

This kind of mad manager blame talk and demands for managers to be sacked after a couple of bad results is, frankly, doing my head in. And, in my season predictions article at the start of this season, I pleaded for Bolton Wanderers fans not to lay any blame at the feet of Phil Parkinson no matter what happens this campaign.

However, to my dismay, some fans (aka Twitter Lemons, see below) are already questioning Parkinson’s position.

I firmly believe that if Parky keeps us up then he deserves to be manager of the season. Just as a reminder:

  • We’ve been under a transfer embargo for NEARLY TWO YEARS (it was first imposed in December 2015)
  • We can’t offer players wages of more than £4,500 a week - in comparison Britt Assombalonga, who scored twice against us yesterday, is rumoured to rake in as much as £60,000 per week
  • Key attacking players Josh Vela and Sammy Ameobi have been injured all season
  • We’ve got a threadbare squad
  • Our best player is a bloke that our fans call ‘Washing Machine.’

Unsurprisingly, we’ve not had a great start to the campaign. I write this article fresh from the 3-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough - a club that spent over £50 million this summer having just been relegated from the Premier League, and I predicted we would lose 4-0 to.

We only collected two points from the previous five fixtures, up against clubs that spent a combined £56 million in the summer. We’ve lost to two sides that have just been relegated from the Premier League, and a further two that will be fancying their chances of reaching the play-offs if not challenging for promotion - and drew at Birmingham City, who spent nearly £16 million in the transfer window. We’re up against teams that have seasoned internationals in their ranks, including the excellent Kamil Grosicki at Hull, and Adama Traore - the Barcelona youth product - against Middlesbrough - and we’re pinning our hopes on two West Ham United youth prospects.

I’ll freely admit I’ve questioned Parky’s tactics at times, particularly the defeat at Hull where it was clear that we had to single out their dangerman Grosicki. But does that mean I want him to be sacked? Does it hell.

Let's be clear. Our season, and ultimately our survival in The Championship, will not be defined by defeats against sides like Middlesbrough, Hull City, Leeds United and Derby County. If we could grab a point against these sides, great, but realistically we’re not even in the same ballpark as these guys.

As Parky alluded to in his post-Boro interview we are in a mini-league at the bottom of the division, and it will be clashes with the likes of Burton, Barnsley and at home to the likes of Sheffield United (who admittedly look a lot better than us at this stage) that define how our season goes.

Last season, I thought success would have been sneaking into the play-offs, yet Parkinson worked miracles to get us promoted automatically - without spending a penny. This season, he has had his resources limited even further by the powers that be at the EFL up against some huge spending opposition.

So please can we not lower ourselves to that idiocy of these clueless fans at big clubs and demand our manager be sacked in such difficult circumstances. I mean, if we were to sack Parky, who let’s remember we’ve just given a new contract to, who on earth would even want to be our new manager?

Finally, if you even think about moaning about Parky or suggesting that he needs to go, then you will be just as bad as these Twitter Lemon muppets post-Boro.