Neil Warnock has done it again. He’s achieved a record eighth promotion, but this one, he states, is his best one yet.
Having first guided the Scarborough ‘Seadogs’ from the Conference to the Fourth Division in 1987, the Football League veteran has brought varying success to clubs up and down the country. However, despite his success in the rough of tumble of the lower tiers, a question has always hung over the Yorkshireman; is he capable of managing amongst the nation’s elite?
Warnock has already stated he wants to bring in “five or six” players as he takes Cardiff City back to the big time, but Vincent Tan should be bringing in five or six backroom staff to help Warnock, and to help ensure the Bluebirds in a league which advocates survival of the richest.
Football players are disposable. One minute you’re an essential element of a team vying for promotion to the Premier League, the next minute, you’re surplus to requirements, not worthy of the Premier League standards. Managers, on the other hand, are a different animal.
Guide a club to the illustrious Premier League and you’re a hero, and of course you’re given a chance to succeed in the division. Though sometimes, clubs are a little too loyal, and managers are afforded much longer than they should get. Stoke City have fallen to the Championship this season because they stuck with Mark Hughes for too long, as an example.
On that note, it’s worth a mention that Neil Warnock’s record in Britain’s top division is questionable – QPR and Crystal Palace fans would agree – and his vintage football style is something seldom seen in the league.
The influx of foreign managers with a focus on possession and playing from the back has pushed the long-ball game back into the Championship – and it hasn’t sat too well in the top flight of late.
Football is a lucrative business, especially if you remain in the top flight. Tan is a businessman who may be a bit sceptical of gambling with terminating Warnock’s contract having only just won the fans back (with the help of Warnock).
Now out of the red and into the blue, Cardiff want to stay in the top flight indefinitely but with Warnock at the helm, things will be tough.
Vincent Tan can’t afford to sack Warnock now, not financially speaking but for fan popularity. No Cardiff fan wants a return to the divisions within the club then ensued with the introduction of the red home jersey.
Warnock’s safe, for now, but Cardiff on the other hand could be in for another one season wonder.
Warnock will surely be given time, if not the whole season. If the lower league master doesn’t adapt his style this time, the capital of Wales will once again find itself back in the Championship.