Mr Robins.. Heartbreaker

Mark Robbins

Mark Robbins

Huddersfield Town manager Mark Robins has told BBC Sport that he was “the most embarrassed I have been as a manager” after his first league game in charge of his new club.

The game ended in a 6-1 defeat away to Nottingham Forest, which followed closely on the heels of his first game in charge of the club, a 4-1 home defeat in the FA Cup by Premier League Wigan.

If he is so embarrassed by the performance the question has to be asked “why did he bother to leave Coventry, a club that he’d got playing well and had pushed up the league towards the play-off places, in the first place?”  A slightly badly-worded question, but an interesting one nonetheless.

Two points and one place above the relegation zone in the Championship and with almost the worst goal difference in the league at -18 Huddersfield doesn’t immediately jump out as the most appetising prospect.  Yet he still decided to leave a Coventry City team that under his brief tutelage had begun to make good and positive strides.

Coventry City, previous FA Cup winners and continuous stalwarts of first division football for 34 years until their relegation from the Premier League in 2001, have spent the last ten years getting themselves into increasing amounts of financial trouble and extended poor runs of form.  A slumbering giant on the edge of catatonia until Mark Robins.

Robins came to Coventry fresh from a 16-month period away from football management and began to turn things around at the Ricoh Arena straight away.  The former Manchester United striker, who had previously managed Rotherham and Barnsley, on the 19th September last year took over a Coventry side that were 23rd in League One and hadn’t won a league game all season.  When he took over, the Coventry City board had indicated their opinion of him and their seriousness by offering Robins a three year contract.  This show of faith should have provided him with the time and job security needed to turn the club around and the board were understandably disappointed when he walked away from this once proud club. During his time in charge he took the team to a high of 7th place in the league and to the area final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Quite conceivably he could have been taking a team that he had formed, galvanised and driven on in the opposite direction to Huddersfield Town at the end of this season, had Huddersfield’s poor and Coventry’s good form continued and lead to their respective relegation and promotion.

So why did he leave?  Is it really better to struggle at the bottom of the league above rather than fight at the top of the league below?  Is his cv really inflated so much more by his managing a club in the Championship as opposed to League One?  Is the grass in Yorkshire really that much greener?

Well maybe the answer is “yes” to all of those last three questions but even if it is; poor form Mr Robins.  We’ve all been out with someone who treated us well, made us feel great and just as we started to fall for them they left.  It hurts, and if my lovelorn teenage days have taught me anything it is, you shouldn’t do that to another person if you can help it and you definitely shouldn’t do it to the 31,504 that came to see his last game in charge.

Article by Peter Stickney’s Football Blog, The Cross Field Ball.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.