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Messages From Michael tells why Phil Parkinson should not be sacked

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Back in 1979 the author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro brought out a book called Messages From Michael which was based on the learnings of a group of people around the San Francisco Bay area which delves deeply into how the mind works.

It is an attempt to discover more about spirituality and personality and all a bit out there with ouija boards and the eponymous Michael not being a person but what is variously described as an entity or essence.

Now those are two paragraphs guaranteed to get eyes rolling around Bolton, however the book could suggest a reason why football supporters want to get rid of managers so quickly and club chairmen so readily adhere to their wishes.

As you read this on Saturday morning/afternoon/evening – or whatever time of day people buy The Bolton News or read the website in these days of timeless media consumption – the Bolton Wanderers manager Phil Parkinson could still be in a job or sacked. Who knows?

He appeared to come under pressure earlier this week when the club's chairman Ken Anderson said results had to improve quickly and he would do anything in his power to ensure that happened.

I read that as one of two outcomes if results did not improve: 1. There would be a multi-million pound investment in game-changing, match-winning players. Or 2. The manager would be changed.

If there is a third alternative to ensuring results improve please tell me, but I can only think of those two; and, of them, it is more reasonable to assume the latter would be most likely based on Wanderers' not appearing overly flush in the cashflow department in recent times.

Whether Parkinson is still what football-speak describes as 'at the helm' today may largely depend upon how they fared in their league game at Aston Villa last night which took place after this column was written.

It would be best for Bolton Wanderers if he was, but what is best for a football club is all too often not what happens.

It is all about how we perceive our football club, and we do so not in the sensible, reasoned way we see the rest of the world, but through our hearts which demand all our hopes are realised fast.

In no other industry do companies fire off their main man with such regularity as in the beautiful game, and Messages From Michael could offer an insight into the reason.

It suggests people have overriding character flaws in their personalities which dictate how they think and behave.

These flaws kick in more when people are stressed or emotional, and what makes fans more stressed and emotional than their beloved football team?

There are seven of these flaws and at least four of them could be said to dictate why people want a football manager sacked at the first sign of a downward turn in fortunes.

Three of them are arrogance, greed and stubbornness, which will all contribute to turning people against the manager because they make them always want more, believe they should have it and deter them from changing their minds.

But the biggie is impatience, a compelling need to realise one's goals fast and an intolerance to the frustration of not seeing them achieved.

If Parkinson was the CEO of a regular company out of football his record would be regarded extremely favourably.

He has consistently achieved challenging goals (pardon the unintended pun) within a limited budget.

That will not prevent people from demanding he is sacked if the other team puts the ball into his team's goal more often than his does theirs over the next week or two.

That's the way football works and why football managers typically only last a couple of years or so in a job.

Football chairmen are also too often caught up in the emotion to make rational decisions.

People would do well to realise Wanderers have a good man in charge who knows the industry and the intricacies of his particular club.

He has a track record of impressive success under the most trying of challenges and circumstances at Bolton, and the lucky dip of pick-a-manager-any-manager which inevitably follows a sacking rarely throws up anything other than the next man the fans want out in a year or two.



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Messages From Michael tells why Phil Parkinson should not be sacked Giphy

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