There really is nowhere to hide for poor, helpless Scunthorpe. Vultures the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, predators are lying in the overgrowth, waiting to pounce on Scunny’s crown jewels. With giants Glasgow Celtic from the north of the isle snapping up star striker Gary Hooper for a £2.4 million fee, the Iron now face the prospect of losing highly-rated physio/manager Nigel Adkins to Southampton of the sunny south coast. The Saints linger in the relegation zone a division below, but in terms of career moves, it could be a case of one step back, two steps forward for the affable Adkins.
The dignity and class shown by the 45 year-old during this scenario is in stark contrast to the similar situations we see on a regular basis in the game. Clearly a man of great principal, he carried with the job in hand during yesterday’s disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Bristol City. He is showing the upmost respect to both his current and prospective employers. Reports suggest that personal terms have been agreed between Adkins and Southampton, but the two clubs are still negotiating a compensation package to suit both parties. Assistant Andy Crosby is also expected to make the move to St. Marys.
At the opposite end of the scale we see Gerard Houllier’s conduct in taking over at Aston Villa. The Frenchman is leading both the French Football Federation and Villa a merry dance. Yet to secure his release from his role in the FFF, he is unable to give Villa a date when he can officially take over at Villa Park. Adkins has not allowed himself get involved in such farce, and stated he waits the situation to be resolved before Scunny’s trip to Sheffield United on Tuesday. All parties know where they stand, and Adkins will play the waiting game as he hopes both sides will come to an agreement. Probably my next piece will be on the Adkins legacy at Glandford Park, but for now at least, he remains Scunthorpe United’s manager.
On the field, Saturday’s loss had a feeling of inevitability about it, ending a run of three straight wins. Nothing seemed to go the Iron’s way. They even had the misfortune of being up against an in-form David James, who didn’t make any of the howlers that have blighted his career. Michael O’Connor’s deflected free kick was as close as they came, the midfielder’s effort looping inches over the bar with James stranded. City’s goals came from Albert Adomah after 16 minutes, with substitute David Clarkson sealing the win in the fifth minute of injury-time.
Defeat leaves the Iron 15th in the Championship table, with two tricky looking away games at Bramall Lane and Swansea City to come. By the time of Scunny’s next home game, against Manchester United’s League Cup side, an awful lot may have changed at Glanford Park.