Happy New Year, you’re sacked.
It was probably a lot more courteously done than that but the eventual outcome of Danny Wilson’s welcome to 2017 from Chesterfield FC was the same.
Wilson, a man of vast experience and probably the only man - you’ll tell me if I’m wrong – to ever manage at Wednesday, United, Chesterfield and twice at Barnsley.
Huge experience, some glorious success, some failures and one of the few coaches to have sent his teams out for more than 1,000 games.
That puts him up there, know-how wise, with Atkinson, Bassett, Warnock, Ferguson, Clough and Busby, decent company for any football man.
But it didn’t save him, it never does. When the rot is perceived to have set in – one win from six games and the club in the relegation zone – there’s an inevitability about the outcome.
Experience means nowt when you’re next to bottom of the league. Decent bloke, tough times, but he’ll be back if he wants to be. Let’s hope Chesterfield are too.
n It is with almost grudging respect that the football nation marks Wayne Rooney’s becoming Manchester United’s all-time equal top goalscorer. His 249 puts him level with Bobby Charlton a few months after he broke Charlton’s England record of 49. And still he gets stick.
Pundits on Sky Sports – experienced journalists – are on describing Rooney’s style as ‘industrial’. Industrial?
Because he can outmuscle and scrap with the best of them? What about the beauty of his balance, his passing and his eye for goal? The power of his shooting, his energy and desire?
Rooney has been a rare gift. There have been off-field lows and some average performances but this is one of English football’s best ever talents, up there with Gazza, Greaves and Charlton himself.
But there’s a popular perception that he let down the country in big tournaments. The truth is he did - but so did the other ten on the field with him.
Unrealistic expectations were placed on his shoulders, the nation got mad because couldn’t win the World Cup on his own.
Now he’s coming to the end of his career and his five Premier League titles, three Champions League finals and 119 England caps mean very little in terms of whether he gets a game or not.
His time is limited now. The end is in sight.
As with Danny Wilson, once the virtual vultures start perching on your metaphorical fence you know what reality has in store.