Rotherham United sack Alan Stubbs

As of Wednesday Afternoon, Alan Stubbs was sacked as Rotherham United manager after just 13 league games in charge.

The decision was taken to part company with the Liverpudlian after a run of seven straight defeats, leaving his side cut adrift at the bottom of the league.

It is never nice to see a manager lose his job, but it does seem to be the right time for Stubbs to part ways with the club.

It was an arduous summer for the Millers. After weeks of negotiations to extend Neil Warnock’s contract came to no avail, the club turned to Stubbs to take over and lead them into a new direction.

The ex-Hibernian boss wasted no time in outlaying his footballing philosophy to the fans and media, he wanted to introduce a system of playing out of the back and playing football to excite the fans.

Unbeknown to Stubbs though, this way of playing just did not work with this group of players.

He continued to naively force his methods of playing out of the back onto his defence, which only hampered their performance and made them extraordinarily fragile whenever on the back foot.

Rotherham’s start to the season has been overshadowed by an embarrassing defensive record which has seen them concede 32 goals in only 13 league games.

What is most frustrating is that they have often been threatening in front of goal, lead by their talisman, Danny Ward, who has already surpassed last seasons goal tally with six league goals so far this term.

He’s been supported by on-loan Chelsea starlet, Izzy Brown and new signing Jon Taylor, both of whom have been two shining lights of what has been an all round horrific start to the campaign.

The Championship’s bottom side are currently relying on them to score at least two goals a game to just get a point, which is in no way acceptable and is not good enough for a team looking to compete at this extremely competitive and high quality level of football.

Despite all of this, a factor which has been as impactful as the results in determining Stubbs’ downfall, is the way that he has totally distanced himself from the fans.

Rotherham have lost all seven away games this season, conceding at least two each time and not once did Stubbs take time to applaud the support of the fans who continued travelling long distances, spending large amounts of money to see their team each week.

This meant that over time, he became totally isolated and in the end was not in any way sympathised by the clubs faithful. Even a little recognition now and again would have gone a long way.

The question now is, who should replace Stubbs as manager?

The early favourite is ex-Millwall and Wolves boss, Kenny Jackett, who is thought to be already in talks with the clubs board.

Looking at the manager’s out of work and the options that Rotherham could realistically go for, Jackett seems to be the best available and he could be a good appointment for the club. He has an abundance of experience at this level as well as League 1, with a track record of getting his sides out of League 1 and into the second tier.

At this point, it will take an unbelievable turnaround to keep the club in the Championship, with a resurgence of the level of last season required to give them a chance of survival.

It is probable that the club will have to rebuild next season whether that be in the Championship or League 1, with players inevitably set to leave and more coming in to replace them. Jackett was given a similar task with Wolves when they were relegated to League 1. This ended in promotion and consolidation in the Championship the year after.

If Rotherham are going to stay up this season, they drastically need to improve their defensive record. In this circumstance, Jackett would be a suitable choice.

The former full-back has always ensured that his teams are firstly solid defensively, which has proved to be one of his best assets as a manager.

Whatever does happen between now and the end of the season, it is vitally important that the new manager reconnects with the clubs supporters to recreate that same sense of unity as there was under both Neil Warnock and Steve Evans.

One way to do this to re-instill the exact same level of fight and desire that’s been on show under Warnock and Evans, but has been amiss under Stubbs.

The typical Rotherham United passion and work rate has been a main cause for their overachieving level of success in recent times, which has allowed a relatively small team in comparison to the huge clubs now playing in this league to be able to compete and achieve great success.

If this is on show from now until the end of the season, Rotherham could always pull off one more miracle and remain in the second tier for another year.



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