In the managerial game of Russian roulette over the last couple of weeks, league Two has lost managers at Rotherham, Macclesfield, Burton and my beloved Hereford United; one question comes to mind… why have none of these clubs snapped up Lee Clark?
Now, I`m not his agent (thought I would clear that up) but the ex-Newcastle no.10, in a sport which is constantly referred to as a “figures game” has some impressive numbers.
The 39 year old, when starting at Huddersfield, only lost two games in the 2008-2009 season when he took over on the 12th December 2008; leading them to 9th in the league.
In the 2009/10 season, they got into the play-off places, only to be defeated by Millwall in the semi-finals; in that season Clark was recognised three months in a row for manager of the month.
The following season was Clark`s pinnacle, helping Huddersfield finish 3rd in the league and into the play-offs again; after a club-record of 25 games unbeaten. They beat Bournemouth on penalties in the semis, but lost to Peterborough in the final at Old Trafford.
This season, just to carry on the rich vein of form, they were undefeated in 18 games – taking their total to a 43 game undefeated streak, the second longest in English Football history; 6 games behind the “invincibles” of Arsenal.
When he was sacked, Huddersfield was in 4th place with 55 points out of a possible 90. Clark had only lost 3 of their last 55 League games; He also had a win rate of just over 49% from the 177 games he was in charge.
Not to mention Lee Clark was the man that bought the free scoring Jordan Rhodes (currently at 34 goals so far this season) to the club.
Ok, so there were rumours of unrest in the dressing room due to his temper, but I`m pretty sure it isn`t just the Alex Ferguson`s of this world that get like that (I`m sure Swindon Town`s Paolo Di Canio, would agree)
The Huddersfield management said they were becoming increasingly tired of seeing Clark being linked to numerous jobs in the press, feeling that it was affecting his focus on his job at Huddersfield. Good managers are always going to be linked with empty jobs though, aren`t they? I believe this just shows how good a job he did at Huddersfield and the “official” stance from the management of Clark losing footing in the race for promotion; seems less likely as the reason for his departure.
Even with these rumours for his departure, Lee Clark`s numbers still stand out for themselves. Surely a chairman/owner that wants to take their team places and out of League 2 would put big money on and back the gamble to have Lee Clark at the helm?
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