The Tranmere saga: Physio becomes manager and heals club

It sounds like a tall tale or something from the historical annals in the forming years of the noble sport of football. But it has happened recently in our opponents to be in the FA Cup on Sunday.

It starts with Tranmere sacking their manager Moore, who nearly took them to the play-offs last season. He had already started to find new players, after many had left because of financial problems in the club. He did find midfielder Mark Allott before he left the club.

The Tranmere Chairman appointed the former Liverpool star defender John Barnes as their new manager in June. This of course made the headlines of national papers. To his help he had his friend from Liverpool and former Tranmere player Jason McAteer. One of the first things they did was selling away Mark Allott, who only had a seven week summer stay at the club.

Then they tried to introduce a fancy passing game in the League One team, but it didn’t work out. Barnes had only one experience from club football managing before this – at Celtic ten years ago – where he was dismissed after half a season and several disasters.

After eleven matches of the season, Tranmere were found struggling at the bottom of the table with only two wins and the fans were fed up with the Barnes way of managing the team.

On October 9th the Chairman told Barnes and McAteer – after receiving a petition from and talking to a delegation of supporters – that their services were wanted no more by the club. Chairman Peter Johnson surprisingly then announced that the physio Les Parry would take the managing role in the club.

Perry – who had been at the club for over twenty years – were seen by the press as a temporary solution and there were the usual speculations about who would come and manage the team after Barnes. But a number of games later the colourful faithful old physio seemed to have healed the team. With four wins, three draws and one defeat in the last eight league and cup games Tranmere are on the verge of moving up from the bottom of the table.

And a couple of weeks ago Chairman Johnson announced that Les Parry will stay as manager for the season. A very popular decision by the supporters. And Parry – always wearing shorts, no matter what temperature it is – is delighted over his new role at the club and says to the Liverpool Daily Post:

In four months’ time I will hopefully be negotiating a new contract for myself and Shaun and Wayne and that will be because we have kept the team up. And perhaps we will be arranging to get in a physio on a long-term basis. In four months’ time I hope we will have identified players we want to keep for next season and players we want to bring in. I realise these are long-term goals and it’s a massive hill to climb. It’s not going to be a question of winning a couple of games to get out of the bottom four. It is going to be a long haul.

To the BBC Parry says that he is not the least scared of getting sacked as he always could return to his old job as the teams physio:

When I’m old a decrepit in a couple years time, sitting in my little bath chair or walking around on my zimmer, I’ll be able to look up at the board in the Tranmere suite and see my name up there.

The players in Tranmere has been interviewed by the local papers and all of them are pleased with the return to the simple way of play that Parry has reintroduced

I have always believed in keeping it simple. So we keep things straight forward and simple, so everyone understands. The players have responded positively to what we’ve asked them to do. If they hadn’t we wouldn’t still be here.

What happened to John Barnes, then?
He went bankrupt shortly after being sacked and he is now applying for the manager job in the Rwuandian national team. It’s true! I am not joking! In football everything can happen



~ by paddytheflea on December 31, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: