After Phil Brown’s sacking on Monday, rumor has been rife on who would be the man to replace him as Hull City manager, hopefully saving them from a place in the Championship next season. Alan Curbishley’s name was the first to be linked, followed by Gary Megson and Mark Hughes. All have recent experience in the Premier League with Curbishley and Megson having been involved in winning relegation battles in more than recent times.
So you can imagine the surprise, and the huge disappointment of Hull fans, when it seems that Iain Dowie is to be given the manager job until the end of the season.
Dowie began his managerial career as boss of Oldham Athletic where he guided them to the Division 2 play-offs in 2002, but financial trouble hit them and Dowie lost much of his first team squad. He had to go most of the next season without being paid but eventually left, stating his need to support his family as the reason.
Towards the end of 2003 Dowie was back in management at Crystal Palace, a side in 21st place in the old Division 1 (now the Championship). Whatever he was doing, though, must have been the right thing, as he incredibly guided them to a play-off finish after winning 17 of his 23 games in charge. After beating Sunderland in the semi-finals they faced his former playing club, West Ham, in the final for a place in the Premiership. A goal from Neil Shipperley sealed the most unlikely of promotion in 2004.
Maybe it was just too soon for the Palace as they struggled throughout their only season in the top division, finally being relegated on the last day of the season. Back in the second tier of English football, Dowie again guided them to a play-off spot but after defeat to Watford, he left the club by mutual consent.
It took him only eight days to return to football when he was appointed as Charlton manager, where he was given more money than any previous manager to spend on players, but was unable to prevent the team suffering a disastrous start to the Premiership campaign. He was sacked after only 12 matches of the Premier League season after winning only two games.
Short spells seem to be the way that Dowie goes in recent times as he went on to manage Coventry City and QPR but lasted less than a year in each position, only getting another 15 games under his managerial belt before being relieved of his position at QPR. Dowie’s last job in football was assisting Alan Shearer for the last eight games of Newcastle’s season last year. Again, this led to relegation as the Toon were relegated on the final day of the season at Aston Villa.
So relegation at Palace, manager of Charlton for 12 games in the season they went down, and also on the staff books when Newcastle went down. Will he add Hull City to his ever impressive list of relegation sides? Time will tell.
If they do go down, though, history suggests he is a much better manager in the Championship, so we may see Hull back in the Premier League in the near future if Iain can work his magic in the lower leagues again. He has eight games in order to save the Tigers. The good news for Hull is that they are all potentially winnable, with home games against Fulham, Burnley, Aston Villa, Sunderland, and Liverpool and trips to Portsmouth, Stoke, Birmingham and Wigan.
The games are there to win for Dowie but if history repeats itself once more, Hull could well be taking one of the three relegation spots. Good luck Mr Dowie!