A 'WILD Rover' special on Mark Hughes’ shock Ewood exit ...
SO IT’S farewell to Mark Hughes, Rovers’ second-best manager of the post-war era after King Kenny.
While his departure was not totally unexpected, the timing and destination certainly were.
Why Sparky should swap the security of Ewood for manic Manchester City, a club second only to Newcastle in the shambles stakes, only he knows.
Presumably he feels that City’s larger fan base and spending power will help him to further his ambitions of Champions’ League football – but few would bet on it.
And if he fails the axe will surely fall as it did on Sven Goran Eriksson after an excellent season by City’s standards.
Hughes has also effectively scuppered any chances of getting the job everyone supposes he really wants – a few miles away at Old Trafford.
But he has made his bed and he must lie in it.
The important thing now is Rovers do not allow a mass exodus of stars such as Bentley, Santa Cruz and Warnock, whether following Sparky to City or falling into the arms of other suitors.
To guard against that we need a new manager in as soon as possible – and he must be a strong one.
Please, please, please not bookies’ favourite Sam Allardyce, who has annoyed Rovers’ fans in the past with his blatant gamesmanship, notably trying to provoke Robbie Savage into getting himself sent off a couple of seasons ago.
I for one don’t fancy suffering a crick in my neck waiting for the ball to come down as his new breed of players chase down the channels in the hope of winning throw-ins.
He would also come with a lot of baggage including his refusal to speak to the BBC following the Panorama programme into alleged corruption in football.
So who then? Well, Alan Shearer and Mike Newell renewing their unforgettable partnership would be the dream ticket that would really galvanise Ewood and attract top-quality players as well as holding on to the ones we’ve got.
Chris Coleman and Alan Irvine are both ex-Rovers who would be in with a shout and I like the look of Paul Ince, the self-styled Guvnor who has worked wonders in the lower leagues and could be ready for a step up.
Anyway, this is not the time for doom and gloom. We have come through worse crises before.