Jon McCarthy has been sacked as manager of Chester FC.
It comes as the Blues have only claimed one win out of eight National League fixtures this season, including a draw to bottom of the league Torquay United and a loss to relegation threatened Solihull Moors.
As a whole, I am thrilled with the decision but baffled as to how the club found themselves in this position in the first place. McCarthy was appointed manager before the start of the 2016/17 campaign, after briefly serving as interim boss after the sacking of Steve Burr.
The first half of his first season with the Blues was fantastic, we found ourselves in 7th just before Christmas and were challenging for a playoff place, against all odds. Although I was sceptical about his appointment, he was proving the doubters wrong.
However in December 2016, McCarthy was offered a new contract and our form spiralled downwards from there. The club has failed to win any of its fourteen 2017 home games and only survived the drop by two points, despite challenging for a playoff place just four months prior.
The title says it all, really. Jon McCarthy is a wonderful person and a great coach but as a manager for this club, he was poor. It is a shame to see his reign end like this, he needed to leave but the manner in which it unfolded will undoubtedly leave Chester’s fans relieved rather than remorseful.
I was optimistic from the start of the season, our first half display in the opening fixture against Fylde was positive. From then onwards, however, there hasn’t been one game where we’ve been the better side.
It comes mainly down to our first half performances. At home to Sutton, we played one of the worst first halves since reformation. Away at Aldershot, we didn’t have a shot. Away at Solihull, we defended poorly.
Last night, I travelled to Solihull for our rearranged away fixture against the Moors. I went into the game knowing that not even a win should keep Jon in a job, but instead we lost 2-0 and I have never seen a more toxic atmosphere since the club’s reformation in 2010.
Some of our most loyal fans gathered at the tunnel at full-time to boo McCarthy off, myself included. A desperate attempt to ask for change, it often felt like no one was listening. McCarthy can and has used many excuses in his favour; the constant injuries, the limited budget, the amount of fixtures we’ve had in such a short space of time. He believed that with a fully-fit squad, we’d challenge for promotion but I certainly don’t see how anyone can believe that. No excuses, if you’re a football manager then you have to learn to deal with problems that will arise.
Just 9 months ago, I thought Chester had the manager that would lead us back into the football league. Now I know that we had that manager in most respects, just not in a results sense. Unfortunately for McCarthy, football is a points-driven game and it doesn’t matter how nice, loyal and reassuring you are, if you don’t get the results then you simply cannot stay in a job.
I hope Jon McCarthy has a bright career because as a character, he deserves it. However this club needs change and desperately cries out for experience, hopefully our wishes can be granted soon.
Do you agree with these thoughts Chester fans? Let us know in the comments below!