Thursday, 23 May 2013

Is there a 'Curbishley complex'?

The removal of Tony Pulis from Stoke City was inevitably going to lead to comparisons between his departure and that of Alan Curbishley from Charlton. Stoke winger Matthew Etherington said, 'You have to be careful what you wish for in football sometimes. You look at Charlton under Alan Curbishley and you look where they are now [hardly in the Conference South]. Hopefully it won't go that way for us.'

This article by a Charlton fan rehearses the events surrounding the departure of Curbs in some depth Curbishley Complex

A number of reports have referred to the fact that Stoke City was seen as having become 'stale' and similar comments have been made about the end of the Curbishley era, although the extent to which fans had 'turned against him' is always exaggerated. The big mistake at Charlton was in the subsequent appointments. As for Stoke, I wouldn't compare Pulis's rather rudimentary approach with that of Curbishley and it is no surprise that Stoke have decided that the time has come for a more sophisticated strategy.


Andrew said...

Of course Curbishley was not ‘got rid of’ by the board or by Charlton fans, he chose to go of his own volition. Having said this I do agree with the point these commentators are trying to make. If you have the kind of funds that Stoke and Charlton have then you are not going to be able to play free flowing attractive football and stay in the Premier League. That is not to say that managers such as Tony Pulis (or Sam Alladyce) are incapable given right the players of putting together a team that plays attractive passing football. They do the best they can with the players and funds at their disposal. Unfortunately for them it also means that they are unlikely to get much beyond mid-table and the football their teams play is not going to be easy on the eye.

They are in a lose/lose situation; play attractive passing football and stay in the Championship or play less attractive football, get in the Premier League and then get ostracised (and sacked in the case of Pulis).

Jack said...

The toll of doing that season on season takes it toll.
I got the impression Curbs wasn't far from being burnt out towards the end.
Money is the issue and there's only so long you can keep a team up on too small a budget. It gets harder and harder to replace your best players that have been bought by the richer clubs, unless you have an exceptional youth scheme and top scouts.

Anonymous said...

There was a difference between Curbs and Pullis. The Stoke board have backed him (Pullis) and spent c. £80 which makes Stoke one of the biggest recent spenders. If Curbs had that type of support what could he have produced in terms of a team?

Anonymous said...

yes he could have got a lot for £80!

Anonymous said...

Stoke spent relatively the same amount of money as every other mid table club...the £80 million figure that is always quoted is a net figure (basically the difference between spend and sales). The major thing Pulis did wrong was to buy players with little or no resale value which makes his net spend look huge.

Blackheath Addicted said...

I feel that another factor in Curbs' departure was the unsettling effect (on him) of being shortlisted for the England job. That process must have brought it home to him that he wouldn't have a chance of the post unless he'd managed (or like McLaren at least been involved with) a 'big club'.

If there is a 'Charlton template', it's how not to manage such a change (or maybe just don't appoint Dowie).

Jack said...

Blackheath addicted - spot on.

By the way both excellent blogs here and yours, cheers.

Anonymous said...

I think a comparison to the Bolton situation makes more sense. When Allardyce left Sammy Lee was left to try and play his own brand of attractive football although the players Allardyce had put together weren't a team capable of playing that type of football. I think that's Stoke main concern, if they bring in a new manager who is going to get them playing attractively then they will need to invest in the team. The only plus point is I think they will get longer to build a team with flair than Bolton were afforded. I can't really see any of the promoted teams being very competetive next year which will give Stoke an additional season to get it right.

Also i dont like the comparison between Curbishley and Pulis. Both did a very very good job but Curbs did play attractive football. Look at players like Claus Jensen, Danny Murphy, Darren Ambrose and Alexei Smertin, they're all players who can get the ball down and play.