In the light of recent developments, what might not have been the most comfortable of occasions for a beleaguered David Jones, the now former manager of Sheffield Wednesday, will perhaps mercifully be avoided. Due in January to “welcome” back to Hillsborough Yorkshire’s top club Leeds United and the magnificent supporters he unwisely chose to dub “vile animals”, Jones has instead been issued with a pre-Christmas P45. There can be little doubt that he has earned it, having presided over the Wendies’ worst start to a campaign for 122 years as well as being prone to the occasional emotional outburst amid sloughs of deep and sulky gloom. If there are any wise Wendy fans out there – and we’re talking a seriously rare species here – they will concede that their beloved club are, perhaps, better off without the Jones Boy. Whoever takes over can hardly do worse.
It may, of course, not be such good news for Leeds United. Now they will be faced in January not just by the traditional chip-on-the-shoulder performance of inspired effort typical of all the smaller Yorkshire clubs facing the Elland Road giants – there will also be the new manager factor to contend with. They might even get another draw.
It’s difficult to feel any sympathy for Jones, but he can be relied upon to supply all he needs of that himself. Self-pity and self-justification are very much the strong suit of a man who seems to regard the world outside of his own little bubble of misery with a balefully jaundiced air of injured indignation. After the latest defeat for his former employers on saturday, he was holding forth on the undesirability of replacing him with someone better. ‘This club has had 12 or 13 managers in recent years but sacking managers isn’t the way forward,’ he said, hopefully. But Wendies owner Milan Mandaric had evidently seen and suffered enough, and the loss at Blackpool turned out to be the last straw. The search will now commence for someone who might be able to preserve the Howls’ Championship status and regruntle the apparently disgruntled Wendy fans – no easy task.
Whoever takes over the reins at Hillsborough will have his work cut out. They need somebody strong, an organiser, someone who will take no nonsense in the dressing room. Ideally the successful candidate’s CV should include at the very least a strong dislike for Leeds United.
Neil Warnock, perhaps….?