So Stan Ternent is sacked as manager of Huddersfield Town. After Saturday’s late win over Crewe, it looked as if Ternent may have bought himself some time. Time to rebuild lost confidence and belief.
But, in reality, the writing was on the wall, for the experienced manager, a few weeks ago. After a four goal hiding at London Rd., Ternent spoke about not panicking, and being ok about spending his Christmas dinner at home, with his family, if it came to that. His managerial instinct, must have sensed what was coming.
Stan Ternent is not a bad manager. His track record and longevity in the game, tells us that. But occasionally, a manager and football club, just don’t fit together. A mis-match of old style management values, and the changing needs of the modern player.
Sometimes, the decision-makers need to be a bit more imaginative, in their managerial choices. In the way that Owen Coyle’s appointment was perfect for Burnley. Or Simon Grayson for Blackpool. Or Roberto Martinez for Swansea. Not obvious choices. All unproven in the English game. Yet, young and hungry to learn and develop. And all now successful.
There is clearly still a place in the modern game, for the old style manager. But the 21st century manager, and his management team, need to have expertise in the art of people development and management. In the science of performance. It’s my way or the highway may have worked, as a management style twenty years ago, but times have changed. And so have players.
Yes, the art of choosing a successful manager, can be down to luck. But it can also, be a conscious choice, to find, say, the new Phil Brown, or Tony Mowbray. You need to know what you are looking for. Aware of the key ingredients, that mark out a potentially good young manager. And, you also need to be brave.
After only six months at the helm, Huddersfield clearly made the wrong choice in Stan Ternent. They have made a bold decision to end his tenure. Now, can they follow that up, with an imaginative and unexpected choice of manager?