OPINION: Stability is key as tough season beckons Rocks

Jamie Howell is a hard act to follow. Isn't he?

Thursday, 13th July 2017, 5:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:22 pm
The Rocks have a pre-season huddle at Worthing / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Cue Sami El-Abd.

The newly appointed - and now departed - manager has exceeded all expectation. He’s become a legendry manager in the space of a week - and has now quit as boss whilst the goings good.

He’s not silly.

The predictions of the season ahead by supporters have been anything from relegation to mid-table. Some believe even higher. But you always get ‘some’.

Sami’s first game as the new boss was a pre-season friendly at arch rivals Worthing. An emphatic 4-0 drubbing of your rivals on their own turf – pre-season or not – is a morale boosting result that would have Bognor’s management smiling and Worthing slightly alarmed at how disappointing they were. It always stirs the keyboard warriors.

And then came the shock of Monday. Sami’s quit. But stays at captain.

Despite Sami being a great leader and a great bloke (so I’m told), I can’t have been the only one to think his appointment was to keep him away from the clutches of Worthing or Jamie’s new club.

His decision to stand down, as reported in the Observer, is probably understandable – although a tad confusing considering the reasons must have been part of the initial thought process.

Sami is a great leader and is probably Bognor’s best boss ever having a 100% record of one game, one win – that 4-0 hammering of your neighbours!

Eastbourne will probably offer quadruple his wages with a management offer. Cough.

It’s been a confusing summer at the Lane.

Rumours were rife that Jamie was going. The club knew this was going to happen before the play-off semi-finals. So why has it taken so long to find a suitable manager?

Sami was appointed on the day Bognor returned to pre-season training. Surely no time for any potential new manager to plan for pre-season with his own ideas. And now he’s gone. But remains as a player. Thankfully.

The Rocks now find themselves back where they were in May. It feels a bit like I’m on an aeroplane to Ibiza without a pilot. But with two first captains (Gary Charman and Darin Killpartrick) keeping the plane going whilst a retired pilot (Jack Pearce) walks up from economy, straw beach hat on his head, wearing his Ibiza beach shorts as he strolls down the aisle towards the cockpit to lend his experience on getting the plane stable.

The football club’s Wikipedia page states we have three managers.

There’s never a dull moment down the Lane. Certainly not in the past few months.Take the on-off-on again nature of the Pompey friendly, which happily has had the right outcome.

We don’t see the ins and outs at the club, so we can only trust what goes on and why. The management team hardly lacks experience as it stands – just a leader. And you wonder how the players may respond to that.

It’s a big season ahead and it’s important to get off to a good start. Just surviving in the division is a plus for me this season. A bit of stability at this level. Good football and attracting a few of those fans who only turn up for the play-offs or Exeter and Torquay.

Let’s get stability on and off the pitch before Jamie brings his Eastbourne Borough to the Lane at the end of August.

Game on. Nearly. Sort of.

Dean Adams is a reporter for Sky Sports and The Sun newspaper. You can follow him @deanoadams on twitter or to the pie canteen at some home games.