He came, he lost, he quit. Paul Jewell has resigned as manager of Derby County, leaving them just 5 points above the drop zone in the Coca Cola Championship. But did he jump too soon?
Jewell took over at County last season and failed to win a single Premier League game. Derby were relegated with the worst ever record for a top flight side but Jewell vowed to bring the rams back up at the first attempt. We all know that such a promise was a ridiculous offering. The Colaship is an extremely hard league to survive, let alone get out of, as Norwich, Palace, Southampton, Watford and Derby have all found out.
Jewell was backed heavily by County's American owners in the summer and he spent a fair bit of money on players such as Nathan Ellington, Kris Commons, Martin Albrechtsen, Paul Green, and Rob Hulse.
But his new men have failed spectacularly this term and the home defeat to Ip..Ip..Ip..Them last Sunday was the final straw. Derby have won just 7 games this season and have lost 11. Derby have won just 2 of their last 10.
For me he has quit too early and left County in the lurch. He spent the money, he made the promises and with a 5 point buffer from the bottom and 12 to the play-offs, quitting was definitely premature. His actions could send Derby into free-fall. Not to mention that Jewell had led them to the semi-final of the Carling cup against Manchester United and now leaves them manager-less to face the Premiership giants in next weeks first leg. If Derby had been closer to the drop or in the relegation zone then the move would be understandable, but they weren't in that mire just yet and he has shown he hasn't the stomach for a fight. Which is strange given the heroics he performed at Bradford City. He gained a reputation as a fighter during his first managerial role with the Bantams and has been living off that reputation ever since.
"He came to see me after the game and said that he felt it just wasn't working out and didn't want to club to suffer as a result." - Derby Chairman Adam Pearson.
Leaving Derby in the lurch after just one year will certainly have put doubt in the minds of any future suitors for Jewell's services and I should imagine that any Championship or Premier League club will steer well clear. I hope he likes his wife, as I can see him spending plenty of time at home. Oh dear, apparently he doesn't.
Derby head to Forest Green in the third round of the FA Cup next Saturday before hosting Manchester United in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final on Wednesday the 7th of January.