Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle has seen fit to dispense with the services of manager Simon “Larry” Grayson, with the Terriers dropping like a stone in the Championship table. Grayson was in charge for just eleven months, overseeing forty nine matches in that time. Despite delivering the promotion that Hoyle so desperately wanted, Grayson’s team only won seventeen matches, a win percentage of just 34%.
Grayson’s dismissal doesn’t come as a surprise considering the terrible run of form and performances of late. The team have not won in twelve league matches, although they did win at Charlton in the FA Cup third round. They now sit in eighteenth place in the Championship, with a seven point cushion between themselves and the bottom three. Now, if you’d said to me at the start of the season that with eighteen games to go we would be in this position, I would have gladly taken it. As a newly promoted side, I, and the vast majority of Town fans, was under no illusions about how tough the division would be. However, considering the start to the season, and the horrific run we are in, the sacking was somewhat inevitable I’m afraid.
The big rumour doing the rounds amongst supporters is obviously regarding Grayson’s successor. The main name in said rumours is that of one Nigel Adkins. He of course was harshly sacked by Southampton recently, and is the man most Terriers’ supporters, including myself, want in the home dugout at the John Smiths Stadium. Whether Adkins will want to jump straight back in is another matter, not to mention what the conditions of his severance say.
When Hoyle sacked Lee Clark last February, he appointed Grayson within five days, leading most people to assume that he dispensed with Clark because Grayson was available. The same is now being applied to our current situation. Is Adkins interested, and is that then the reason that the trigger was pulled this week?
Grayson’s last match in charge was last Saturday’s 4-0 humbling at Watford, yet he was only sacked five days later. This would indicate that the chairman has someone lined up ready to come in, just like he did last February. Otherwise why wait nearly a week to make the decision? Surely he would have done it after the match or on Sunday/Monday morning rather than wait until two days before the next match?
When Clark was sacked, Grayson was my second choice to take over, with Sean O’Driscoll the first choice. So when O’Driscoll was canned by Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day, I was kind of hoping Hoyle would have acted then and got the former Doncaster manager on board. Now, Adkins is my clear favourite, with Owen Coyle in second place. Funnily enough, that is how the bookies currently have it too. Maybe they are just the two best managers who are unemployed currently! Paolo Di Canio is high up in the odds too, but I am hoping that doesn’t come to fruition!
Whoever takes the job, it’s a really good one. A decent club with a brilliant stadium, and a chairman who is a lifelong fan, and isn’t afraid to back his manager in the transfer market. Yes, his two managerial dismissals while at the helm could be questioned, there is no doubt he will give a manager a chance to build at the club. He gave Clark more than three years in the job, so his reputation shouldn’t be tarnished by only giving Grayson eleven months.
Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you hope they will. Both Adkins and Coyle are hungry young gaffers, and I’m sure both would do very well with the club. If either one get the job, I would be a very happy Terrier!
Written by James Bartaby, We Are Going Up’s Huddersfield Town blogger
James tweets at @jamesb5374