This weekend seemed to be something of a settler in regards to the battle for the Premier League title and Premier League survival.
With Everton beating Manchester City and Manchester United overcoming Reading you would be hard pushed to find a single person who would now back City to retain their Premiership crown.
Meanwhile at the bottom of the league, for me personally, there has also been two watershed moments. QPR’s defeat at Aston Villa surely leaves Harry Redknapp with too much to do and facing relegation to the Championship next season but I do not think they will finish bottom; as that position is now reserved for Reading FC after the decision to sack Brian McDermott in March.
While Eamonn Dolan managed to lead out a spirited fight at Old Trafford there was never really any doubting the result and I can see a similar fate befalling Reading as that of Wolverhampton Wanderers last season.
The decision to sack Mick McCarthy last season came a month earlier then Reading’s dismissal of McDermott. Steve Morgan and Jez Moxey showed no affection the day before Valentine’s Day by asking Mick to walk away from the club.
What happened after was predictable.
Leaving them little time to find a suitable replacement Wolves plummeted down the table under Terry Connor eventually finishing bottom of the league 12 points from QPR and safety.
As was pointed out to the behest of Alan Shearer on Match of the Day this weekend in the nine occasions managers have taken over in March; all nine teams have gone down.
In 2009 that was Alan Shearer at Newcastle United with the most recent example being Phil Brown at Hull City in 2010.
For Reading the omens do not appear to be good.
It seemed a very bizarre decision considering McDermott’s record of getting the best out of his side in the final three months of the season. Such late runs of form saw them win the Championship last term and make the play-off final the season previous.
Now with just nine games left no manager, not even Sir Alex Mourinho Clough, could keep Reading in the Premier League.
Next season expect a fancy appointment as well; with my money being on somebody like former Zenit and Rangers boss Dick Advocaat when a Nigel Adkins would be far more appropriate.
Wolves tried this with Stale Solbaken and look where they currently sit in the Championship; second from bottom staring the third tier of English football in the face.
Changing managers in March?
Never a good idea.
Do you think Reading or Wolves can survive the drop this season?
image: © Ben Sutherland