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Smith under pressure? Ask again in 12 months


Ahead of the return of a certain former manager on Monday night, Forum regular Melon Donkey is sensing an undercurrent of ill-feeling towards Dean Smith, but he’s not having any of it.

Writer: Melon Donkey

There has been a comment in the match thread that should we lose to Steve Bruce’s Newcastle, then it would not go down well if anyone comments that we shouldn’t have got rid of Bruce.

I agree. But not because it would be perceived as a jibe but because surely it’s irrelevant? Had we not replaced Bruce then we wouldn’t be playing this game. Had we kept Bruce we would not have got promoted the way things were panning out.

Right or wrongly, I perceive from some an undercurrent of just waiting to stick the boot properly into Dean Smith. It’s bubbling away, but no one has yet stuck their head above the parapet. Maybe that will happen soon. I think it will.

I feel sorry for Smith. He’s a victim of his own success: do the unexpected and get promoted and then quickly get hammered for it.

Had we not gone up and were in the mix for promotion, there would not be an issue and there would not be questions asked like now, but because he (probably) over-achieved in a matter of months last season, he is under pressure so quickly. Only in football!

For me, I’m not asking questions of Smith until probably this time next year. If we go down, we’ll need someone who has experience and a track record of promotion so that’s… err… Smith!

This time next year, we will either be waiting to push on in the Premier League or looking to bounce back up at the first time of asking. If we are not pushing on. If we are not in the promotion mix then I will be asking questions. Then will be the time to judge Smith, not now.

The “want it here, want it now” no patience brigade have infected the modern game. A stat I heard on 5 Live earlier was something like only 50-odd clubs out of the 92 have had their manager longer than 12 months. That’s incredible.

I have not sensed a connection between supporters and manager and players like we have now for years. We have one of our own in charge, one of our own as captain, players like Mings and SJM who feel like one of us. We need to foster this and give it time. We are set to move forward, even if there might be a step back (relegation) to make that move.

Want Smith replaced anytime soon? I would be very careful what you wish for.

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