Before the news about Sir Alex Ferguson, I’d prepared an article about Millwall and Kenny Jackett. Kenny resigned after a good spell in charge of the club, about six years, and in my eyes did a great job. I’ll give my full thoughts on the news about Sir Alex if and when an announcement is made about his future, but I wanted to make sure that these thoughts were aired!
Millwall are a fantastic club as I’ve said many many times and the real strength of their achievement under Kenny was getting out of League One and into a fairly strong position in the Championship. Some might look at that last statement and raise an eyebrow because on the last day Millwall still had a chance of going down but they should take a look at the league table; last season 41 points would have kept you up, but this season even 54 points wasn’t enough to stop Peterborough going down.
The Lions finished on 56 points, and Leicester got into the play-off’s with 68! Take Middlesbrough, where scoring wasn’t a problem, but a leaky defence (particularly on the road) cost them a shot of promotion. It’s said so much that it’s become a cliche but it really is such a difficult league to get out of – a scan through the list of names shows clubs that attempted to spend big to stay in the Premier League or those that thought they were safe in the top flight and then spent beyond their means. Just staying in the league is an achievement for which Kenny must take a lot of credit.
I mentioned on Twitter that the opportunity to return to Millwall as manager might be something that appealed to me. Look at some of the managers who have had opportunities over the last year or so; the disastrous spell of Stale Sokbakken who brought neither identity nor success to Wolverhampton Wanderers. I had one or two remarks asking if I was being serious – as I’ve said at the top of the piece, I love Millwall Football Club, I have ideas and philosophies that I feel would bring success, and I would be willing to talk to John Berylson about them. Am I serious? You have to have aspirations, that’s how I came to play for the club in the first place!
It was quite some final weekend in the Championship, wasn’t it? Just when you thought nothing could top what happened in League One the week before, you have the Hull, Watford and Barnsley games. Starting with Barnsley – they did a fantastic job and for a while it looked like they might even relegate their opponents Huddersfield, what an incredible sight it was to watch that last minute where both sides knew they would be safe for a draw and both sets of players urged the goalkeeper to keep possession!
At the top of the table, wow – Hull went up after thinking they’d blown it. Only in football can you have a scenario unfold like that. I’ve said before on my website that I completely agree with everything that Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway said earlier in the season about Watford and the way they have gone about their business. For that reason I feel perhaps it was karma that they stayed down and in such cruel circumstances, too, but that’s the game – you have to feel for the kid, Jack Bonham, who was unexpectedly called upon and made a couple of howlers that cost Watford deeply. The playoffs will be entertaining with some decent ties lined up – nothing against Watford, who will next season be forced to play on more of a level playing field, but I hope it will be one of the other clubs who get promotion. Leicester have done brilliantly to get in the position they are and what a story it would be for Brighton and Gus Poyet.
I’ll be back later in the week with my thoughts on Sir Alex, and the FA Cup Final kicking off at 5.15pm – take care. Gordon.