Edwards Won’t Say It But This Is Karma
Aboard the roller-coaster that football life is often compared with, Easter has brought some notable Wolves-related rises and falls around the country.
Rob Edwards continues to fly as Luton manager, his club’s sequence of six wins and three draws from the last nine games leaving them right in the race for the Premier League, with three weeks of the regular Championship season left.
Although automatic promotion remains a much longer shot than a place in the play-offs is, the former Wolves defender and coach must be cherishing his crack at going up for the second year running after taking Forest Green to the League Two title last spring.
We wrote months ago of our fervent wish that he would make Watford regret their decision to sack him in September after all of 11 fixtures at the helm as Roy Hodgson’s successor.
Well, Luton are third, their bitterest rivals are six points beneath the play-off line and the recent Kenilworth Road meeting of the clubs saw a 2-0 home victory that made April fools of the Hornets.
A lot of fans around the country will be enjoying the misery of a club who are hardly blessed with class these days. But wait – there’s more!
Chris Wilder, the man who went in several weeks ago to replace Edwards’s sacked replacement, Slaven Bilic (are you keeping up?), is apparently at the centre of speculation about how long he will last. So how do Watford respond? By coming out and saying that such whispers are ‘totally disrespectful,’ that’s how. You really couldn’t make it up.
Another man looking upwards is Darren Ferguson, who has achieved the difficult task of taking Peterborough into League One’s play-off places three and a bit months on from being appointed as their manager for the fourth time.
He has overseen a record of 11 wins, two draws and four defeats from his 17 games back in the dug-out and, despite seeing the leading quartet pull well out of sight, will be hoping to push on and achieve yet another promotion at the ground we used to know as London Road.
So, too, the Scot’s former Molineux midfield partner, Paul Simpson, who is among the nominees to become League Two manager of the season after inspiring Carlisle’s ascent into the automatic promotion places.
While they and others experience exhilarating highs, though, the roller-coaster has been less kind to two widely-known Molineux figures of the past couple of decades.
A 3-1 home defeat against fellow strugglers Cardiff convinced Mick McCarthy that he had come to the end of the line as Blackpool manager following less than three months in charge.
The Seasiders’ run of only two victories in 14 matches under his control has left them in huge danger of dropping back into League One and prompted the 64-year-old and his long-time assistant, Terry Connor, to walk away.
“I have thought long and hard and feel this is the best decision for everyone concerned with the football club,” McCarthy was quoted as saying in the wake of the damaging defeat against the club he left 18 months ago.
Paul Ince is another to be reacquainted with the jobless queues, although there will be sympathy for he and his no 2, Alex Rae, as a result of their dismissal at Reading.
True, the Royals are relegation-threatened but largely because they have just been docked six points for breaking Football League rules. And Ince, who was initially appointed late last season as interim boss, has been operating under a strict transfer embargo, which makes the fall towards danger less surprising.
One other manager we are keeping a close eye on is Paul Cook, who has turned Chesterfield’s fortunes round in the last month and a half.
Having looked in danger of disappearing out of the promotion frame, the Spireites have won six and drawn two of their last nine games to close in on a top-four finish and a spot in the play-offs.