Date: 12th October 2009 at 1:50pm
Written by:

We all know that the press usually print rubbish even at the best of times but following the dismissals of John Barnes and Jason McAteer on Friday morning by Tranmere, it seems that anyone and everyone wants to have their say on the matter through the media.

Having read a lot of what has been written in the newspapers and online, I have to say that most of it is absolute rubbish and I suspect the authors haven`t seen us play this season or are good friends with Barnes and/or McAteer.

The likes of Paul Ince and Stan Collymore are defending Barnes and McAteer as they`re good friends and/or ex-team mates of the pair. Ince will have seen us play a few games as his MK Dons side have played us and some games beforehand to scout. We did well against MK and it`s one of our better performances but since then things have got a lot worse and I`m not sure Ince realizes how bad we were under Barnes.

Ince claims that chairmen want success on tight budgets but it`s impossible. I would say that it`s possible to achieve great things on a small budget if you have the right man in charge. In some cases it`s difficult, I agree, but other managers have proved him wrong recently.

Owen Coyle at Burnley had one of the smaller budgets in the Championship yet still managed to get the Clarets into the play-offs and win promotion to the Premier League.

Simon Grayson at Blackpool did a great job in getting the Seasiders into the Championship and keeping them there on less than a shoestring budget before going off to Leeds.

You could even go as far as saying that Ronnie Moore was successful for Tranmere with a small budget. Although Tranmere did not get promoted, they exceeded expectations and finished 7th despite other clubs with bigger budgets, Huddersfield come to mind, having spent money in order to mount a promotion challenge which never materialized.

Ince himself should know that football is a results business having tried his arm at Blackburn last season before getting the sack with Rovers in danger of being relegated.

Being at cash-backed MK isn`t too much of a struggle for Ince either as chairman Winkleman is willing to back Ince after his previous success with the Dons. Fair enough, he had to work on a small budget at Macclesfield and succeeded there but when a manager knows he has a small budget to work with and then uses it as an excuse [Barnes], it smacks of unprofessionalism.

Barnes has stated that the reason he hadn`t got a job in England before being appointed as manager of Tranmere was because of his skin colour; far from it. He jumped in with two feet at Celtic and failed to deliver which tarnished his managerial reputation at a very early stage. Since then, Barnes has struggled to get a managerial post anywhere.

Ince has also claimed to be the victim of prejudice in the past when going for a managerial post. The colour of your skin has no relevance to whether you get the job or not, if you are not the best man for the job then you will not get the job.

With two disastrous spells in club football, it is uncertain whether Barnes will continue in management or whether a club will take him on considering the dire track record he has.

Collymore has claimed that Barnes and McAteer deserved more respect from the Tranmere players after hearing that they called the pair “Dumb and dumber”. The last time I checked, respect was a two-way system. You earn the respect of others and they earn your respect.

Barnes` relationship with players was rocky to say the least. Reports of arguments between himself and Ian Goodison were spread around after a 1-0 loss at home to MK Dons.

In a meeting with players, it is said that Barnes asked them what style of play they wanted to implement during matches and then ignored the suggestions of the players as they did not agree with his “footballing philosophy”. Are the players going to respect a man who ignores them? Of course not.

Blaming players for defeats didn`t help either. After a 2-1 loss at Exeter, Barnes claimed that it was the fault of 17 year old goalkeeper Joe Collister that the team lost despite saying two weeks earlier that he would play 16 and 17 year olds if it meant he got more heart and desire.

It seemed as though Barnes was blaming everybody but himself and McAteer. This mentality has clearly shone through in the media with everybody but Barnes and McAteer taking the blame for Tranmere`s perilous position in League One.

Stan claims that some of the Tranmere players have no right to call the duo “Dumb and Dumber” as they are playing “poor football at the foot of the third tier”. I don`t think Collymore realizes the reason we are playing poor football at the foot of the third tier is down to Barnes` management skills, or lack of.

For him to claim that Barnes deserves more respect and then slate Kevin Keegan for taking £2m compensation from Newcastle United is laughable and proves what a small-minded person Collymore is.