Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: We've adopted the USA's Black Monday

By Jonathan Bradley

Despite grappling for cut-price TVs the day after Thanksgiving and spending money we don't have on 'Cyber Monday', over in this part of the world we still seem somewhat reticent to adopt sporting customs from America.

I mean, if we followed the lead from across the pond on sports teams as 'franchises', or naming conventions for trophies like the 'World Series', then we'd probably have rugby clubs moving from London to Coventry halfway through a season and teams who finished fourth in their domestic competitions taking part in the 'Champions League'.

Forgive the sarcasm, but one idea that we do seem to have taken from the USA is that of 'Black Monday'.

The beginning of this week marked the traditional annual cull of American football coaches when, on the first day after the final game of the regular NFL season, those in charge of underperforming squads were politely shown the door.

On the same day in the Premier League, Alan Irvine was sacked at West Brom and Alan Pardew belatedly left his loveless marriage with Newcastle to take the reins at Crystal Palace after Neil Warnock was given his marching orders on Saturday.

While it is alarming that Irvine's dismissal means that the last three men in the Hawthorns dugout have taken charge of just 99 matches, the most striking statistic to come from this week is that, aside from Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, Sam Allardyce is the top flight's longest serving manager having been in charge at West Ham for only three and a half years.

No matter what side of the Atlantic you find yourself on, head coach is certainly no job for life.

Belfast Telegraph

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