Southampton

Teams /  England  / Southampton 
Southampton have 242 Fans
 
 
 
 
 
Paul Ince begins task of trying to realise Notts County's vision
Jeremy Alexander at Meadow Lane - 4 years ago

Paul Ince made a modest start at Notts County two days after his appointment as manager, so modest it was almost invisible. Beforehand, with the wave of a man who has done nothing but get the job, he took his seat in the stand, where he was condemned by a five-match touchline ban from last season with MK Dons; this was the fifth. Afterwards he was condemned for leaving the postmortem to his assistant, Alex Rae, who had been at Meadow Lane for half as long.

Between times County lost 3-1 to Southampton, having taken an early lead and then the rough edge of a penalty decision that also reduced them to 10 men with the dismissal of their captain, John Thompson, for the last quarter. Lee Barnard, who "won" the penalty converted by Rickie Lambert, soon enjoyed Lambert's feed for a tap-in. The third, in added time from Adam Lallana, was needlessly hard.Rae was all sunshine. "The manager was very encouraged. Until the penalty we were comfortable and with a bit of luck might have scored just before it." Karl Hawley and Thompson flashed headers over in quick order after teasing free-kicks by Ben Davies, a tricky winger whose corner had been met by Mike Edwards for County's goal. Of Ince's no-show Rae said: "It's his prerogative."

It is Ray Trew's, as chairman and owner, to fire and hire managers. Ince is County's sixth in 13 months, not all Trew's doing. "The club wants stability," Ince said on Friday with impressive perception. "Attacking-wise we create a lot of chances," though on Saturday they were without Lee Hughes, suspended, and Craig Westcarr, their top league scorer with seven; Davies has five. "Maybe defensively we are not as compact as we should be," though they held up well until depletion against increasingly buoyant opponents. New managers can raise adrenaline levels but Ince saw it differently. "It's hard for players and important to make them feel relaxed, not too uptight," he said.

Having saved Macclesfield from going out of the league, playing his last match there as manager against Notts County, he rocketed up with Milton Keynes to Blackburn, where Venky's may soon have them playing like headless chickens. He was the top tier's first homegrown black manager, matched now by Chris Hughton, the pair of them assuming charge of the league's Magpies. But after 17 league games he was sacked.

He will know how Craig Short feels, the man he replaces. Short, a club legend from their First Division side of 1991-92, had 13.

He was preferred to Ince in June, when Trew may have been playing the popularity card. In revoking so soon he has played the opposite. He made the money with which he picked up the club for £1 in February as a recruitment entrepreneur. Perhaps he is practising on County.

More importantly he has picked up their debt, sustained their climb out of League Two as champions, averted administration and embraced Nottingham Rugby Club. A year ago County were prostituting themselves for Middle-Eastern money. As the oldest professional league club in the world they may have felt entitled.

Trew is still in credit, despite the Short cut to his ambition of the Championship in three years. But the hasty injustice of his axe may be seen in the League One table. County started two points and two places behind Southampton, whose victory took them to within a point of the play-off spots, with County 10 places behind. Without that penalty decision County might have been a point above Saints.

On 30 October 2004 Southampton drew at Arsenal and County lost 5-1 at Rushden & Diamonds. Movement is life and it is livelier outside the Premier League.

Short, wise to the club's financial straits, left with a three-month pay-off from a three-year contract ? once a legend always a legend. Trew has yet to attain that status. In appointing Ince he said: "He had some big ideas [Guv'nors do] and was ready to get stuck in straightaway" ? nothing new there, though it turned out otherwise and, as Ince said on Friday: "I am going to have to sit with the chairman, which is not the best position for me." From his seat he may have seen the blot on a fine old football view above the Jimmy Sirrel stand. The incinerator, probably full of former managers, sounds to have his name on it.

? This piece was altered on 1 November 2010 to correct the sentence that said Paul Ince was the Premier League's first black manager.

This is comment. GNM does not necessarily support the views expressed.

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
Contrary to Greg Dyke's fears, home-grown teenagers are being primed for the first team through under-21s, down at Southampton
/football/southampton/ - 11 hours ago
Southampton head up to Hull City for a Premier League clash on Saturday with manager Ronald Koeman embracing rather than bemoaning his high-flying side's busy
Fraser Forster hailed Southampton's fighting spirit in their 3-2 Capital One Cup win over Stoke City and admitted the Saints see it as a great opportunity to win silverware.
/football/southampton/ - 14 hours ago
Fraser Forster hailed Southampton's fighting spirit in beating Stoke to reach the Capital One Cup quarter-finals but is not yet thinking about silverware.
/football/southampton/ - 21 hours ago
Ronald Koeman felt Southampton deserved the late winner from Graziano Pelle that sent them through to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup at the expense
Ronald Koeman felt Southampton deserved the late winner from Graziano Pelle that sent them through to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup at the expense
Newcastle will travel to Tottenham in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals after beating holders Manchester City on Wednesday.
Southampton completed a league and cup double over Stoke City, Graziano Pellè scoring his second goal of the night in the 89th minute, but only after withstanding a furious second-half assault  ...
The Italian scored a brilliant opener before later burying the winner at the death, while the Potters had Peter Crouch shown a second yellow card after mounting a two-goal revival
Southampton reached the Capital One Cup quarter-finals with a 3-2 victory over Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke City v Southampton, Capital One Cup - Latest score, news updates, live match report and result from the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday, October 29, kick-off 19.45 (GMT)
Ronald Koeman felt Southampton deserved the late winner from Graziano Pelle that sent them through to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup at the expense of Stoke.
Stoke City assistant manager Mark Bowen answers the media's questions prior to the Potters' Cup tie with Southampton at the Britannia Stadium
Ronald Koeman wants his Southampton side to be more clinical in front of goal when they face Stoke City in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.
Stoke seem certain to be without defender Robert Huth for Wednesday's Capital One Cup fourth-round clash with Southampton.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman expects Stoke to once again provide a tough challenge in their Capital One Cup clash - just days after his side beat the
Stoke seem certain to be without defender Robert Huth for Wednesday's Capital One Cup fourth-round clash with Southampton.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is expected to make changes to his starting line-up as his side go head-to-head with Stoke for the second time in five days.
Stoke welcome high-flying Southampton to the Britannia Stadium for Wednesday's Capital One Cup fourth-round game.
Preview followed by live coverage of Wednesday's League Cup game between Stoke City and Southampton.

Latest Photo Galleries

Alan Shearer's career in pictures
5 years ago
The moments that defined the career of a Newcastle legend
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football