Willo Talk on football loyalty

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AS a football fan, along with the rest of the soccer world, I was left stunned when the managerial news broke last week.

One of the most familiar faces in Scottish football, he made his journey south into the English league and despite having his critics at the start of his reign he quickly made his mark on the team and gradually started to turn things around.

It’ll certainly be a tough job for whoever takes over from him, but that’s enough about John Hughes, what did you make of the Alex Ferguson retirement?

To spend more than 26 years in the same job takes some doing.

I know Roy Kelly on our sports desk has worked here since 1963, and our head of business/features/dancing/eating out and occasional news reporter Chris Cordner was initially brought in to to help out with the Mail’s coverage of the First World War and has been here ever since.

But other than that, Fergie has turned out to be one of a kind and it’s unlikely anybody will ever go close to matching his achievements.

Just think what you have done in the last 26 years. Schools, universities, jobs, marriages, births, deaths, you’ll have experienced the lot.

And in all that time, Fergie has held down the same job.

That brings me back to Pools, who have had no fewer than 18 men - not including caretakers - in the hotseat at The Vic in that same period.

They don’t have name plaques on the manager’s office at The Vic, they just use chalk.

It usually takes a couple of seasons for a manager to get things right, but in Hughes’ case he got winter and spring before getting the tin tack

Surely it would make sense for the Pools hierarchy to give someone a reasonable chance at making a success of things?

All football clubs ask for loyalty at this stage of the summer when they expect fans to dip into the bank and pull out season ticket money.

So why don’t the club show a bit of loyalty to the people who they choose to be their manager instead of pulling the trigger every time they realise that - not for the first time - they have made the wrong decision?

I’d like to think the new manager gets a fair crack of the whip, and is given the club’s full support in helping to rebuild the team.

Maybe not 26 years, granted, but at least give him time for the paint to dry on his car parking space.