Actually, let's not. Parkinson might have put this team together and that might be a disadvantage to Chris Powell, but there is no getting away from it, we have performed well below Parkinson's teams since he left. I know there is an argument that not beating a ten man Brighton and Colchester were not exactly great achievements, but to be fair Colchester were on a bit of a run when we played them (4 wins and a draw in 7), and Brighton have been a little bit good all season.
Sure the Walsall and Swindon games were poor, but they were no worse than Exeter, Carlisle or Tranmere. This season Parkinson managed to average 1.54 points per game, Powell, with Eccleston and BWP has averaged 1.3 points per game. I know it's early days for Powell, but out of interest last season MK Dons averaged 1.3 points over the season and finished 12th. Also it needs to be mentioned that Powell's ten games have come against teams that were in an average position of 13th when we played them. We won four games and were, shall we say, a little fortunate, then we lost five and drew one out of six.
What this tells me is that we have not improved. We have actually gone backwards. We have released the two strikers that we had that could be used as target men and brought in two that clearly cannot. We have now committed to playing a different style of game from long ball (something we have done for over a year - including in most of Powell's games). We just do not have the players for the pretty passing on the floor - not if we want to see any forward passes.
I know it's early to be jumping to conclusions (and believe me I really want to be proved wrong) but it looks like Chris Powell is out of his depth. His substitutions on Saturday were too ineffective - mainly because they were way too late, and the way the team is being sent out to play is just not suited to the type of players we have. I know he's new, but surely he has seen these players in training and watched a few videos of our games.
It seems like a decade ago now that Michael Slater answered the question about the criteria of the new manager that 'he needed to win the first three games', followed by laughter and cheers from the fans in the North Stand Lounge.
We will never know what would have happened if Dowie had been kept on in 2006, we will never know what would have happened if Pardew had been kept on in 2008 and we will never know what would have happened if Parkinson had been kept on in 2011, but one thing for sure is that the club has failed to get as high in the league pyramid as it was at the time of any of those sackings since.
How long does Powell have to be given to turn things around? I don't know. The truth is that, unlike an experienced manager with a long term track record, there is no evidence that Powell will turn it around. I know you can never tell and some managers are good at some places, and rubbish at others, but if Chris Powell is never going to make it as a football manager then the longer we leave him in his post the worse off we are likely to be.
I don't want to be accused of panicking, and I'm not calling for his removal, even though others are, and more will the longer we continue to look this poor, but at some point things have got to improve or he will have to go, I guess.
The worst thing is that we are most likely too far away from 6th place now to make the playoffs a realistic target, but if the performances continue as they are we might be pulled into a relegation battle. I know that is very unlikely, and I'm not suggesting it is going to happen. However, the board are going to have to do something to lift the fans enthusiasm to renew their season tickets. If we continue to slide (even a few wins along the way are likely to see us fall down the league) then the renewals are likely to be dependent on summer signings. Despite suggestions to the contrary I suspect that summer signings will be dependent (maybe even financed by) season ticket sales.
Thus we are likely to need to bring in expensive loan signings this spring even when they are likely to make no appreciable difference to our season just to help sell season tickets. I know we have a new board, but for each of the last four years the season tickets have been marketed and sold with the 'suggestion' that what you were going to get was significantly better than what actually happened.
In 2007 the season tickets were sold with the potential of avoiding relegation from the Premier League, and a free ticket if we were relegated and then promoted at the first attempt. We finished 11th in the Championship in 2008.
In 2008 the season tickets were sold with a free ticket if we are promoted, and the promise that the club would do everything in their power to achieve that. Then over the summer we sold Bougherra for £2.5m, Marcus Bent and Amady Faye for about £1m each, and McCarthy and Iwelumo for about £500k each. That raised c. £5.5m and we only brought in Nicky Bailey for £400k. Apparently we were ready to sell ZZ for a further £2.5m but he didn't want to go to WBA. I would say that this was hardly doing everything they could to win promotion - we were actually relegated the follwing spring.
In 2009 the season tickets were sold with the backdrop of the 'Takeover' that club insiders promised was going to happen 'within a week' every week for two months. This was also at a time when we were promised that negotiations were ongoing to see if we could keep ZZ, Hudson and a few others (that I can't be bothered to look up) all of whom were long gone by the time the season started. Needless to say the takeover didn't happen either. That summer there were suggestions that if we had new owners there would probably be a new manager who would want to bring in his own players, so there was no point in Parkinson signing any. He didn't and we had a very unbalanced side and finished 4th and missed out on the playoff final.
Last summer there were few promises, except that the club would look to manage budgets and would expect to be well positioned to challenge for the playoffs. However, before the summer, we sold season tickets in March (many of which were for 5 seasons), we sold Shelvey in May and went on to sell Bailey late in the summer - long after the deadline for the swap week had passed (the true deadline to renew your seat). In all honesty I think the club had (until Parkinson was sacked) achieved just about all it 'suggested' when selling season tickets in the summer. However, the season tickets were originally marketed in March as being a good deal for the Championship if we went up. There was also the cleverly worded 'suggestion' that if you didn't renew by 31st March there was no guarantee that you could keep your seat. There was some debate about this at the time, but it was clear to me that the club were not going to sell fans seats out from under them in April, but still I would suggest that the club positioned the tickets as being for something that was very different from what we got.
So, what happens at the end of this month if we fail to perform better in the next six games than the last six, and there are no player movements to add credibility that the board are going to back the manager?
This all suggests that the club will almost certainly have to bring in more loan players between now and the end of the season, irrespective as to the cost, or they might find they will sell very few season tickets before June (or even later). I guess it doesn't help that the season ticket application packs haven't arrived yet.
I don't have much to say about tonights game. Fom what I could establish on the commentary we played like we did against Exeter and Carlisle, and got what we deserved. I don't think there is much nore to say really.
There is some good news, however. Today I went to my six year old son's Parents' Evening, and it would appear that he is doing very well at school - something that I haven't always been able to say, and he was described by his teacher (who I liked a lot before she said it, and even more afterwards) as a very nice boy. His reading has improved significantly and it would appear that he has a bit of a flair for Maths, and his only real weakness is that he doesn't like writing, especially joined up writing, and needs to remember capital letters and adjectives. Clearly there is a little bit of a conflict of interest as I would likely have been a very unsatisfied customer had she said something too critical, but it's nice all the same. It's also nice when your football club is slipping down the toilet if something else in your life can compensate by going in the other direction.
The other piece of good news is that my Dad is back for Saturday so I will not be driving up to game on my own again. Having said that I had a very pleasant chat with Dave and his friends before, and during, the game last Saturday - something I will hope to do again when my Dad is away.
Up the Addicks!