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Echosport comment: Cherries boss Groves an honourable man, but it wasn't enough
ACCORDING to research, nice guys don’t always make it to the top. Paul Groves would be an ideal case study.
Having been on managerial death row almost from the day he was appointed, Groves was finally, and mercifully, yesterday put out of his misery.
During the dying embers of his brief and turbulent reign, the 46-year-old had been public enemy number one among the majority of Cherries supporters.
Given the post permanently following an unspectacular eight-match spell as caretaker last season, he was always up against it and his appointment stank of the cheap option.
Publicly, Groves would cut an uninspiring figure, his undemonstrative nature in the technical area and monotone press conferences doing nothing for his PR and even less to improve his standing among fans.
Privately, he was an honourable and decent man. A deep thinker and meticulous planner, he clearly had the respect of most of his players on the training pitch and would always steadfastly back them to the hilt.
A measured and phlegmatic individual, Groves’s aptitude as a coach had been recognised by Premier League managers Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth and Avram Grant at West Ham. He tried to preach patient, possession football.
For whatever reason, however, he appeared unable to transmit this genius to his Cherries players once they had crossed the white line.
The group failed to deliver and the process would not be given an opportunity to run its course.
One wag likened Groves’s approach to that of a science experiment.
The natives first began to get audibly restless with Groves when they called for his head during the dour 1-1 draw with Hartlepool. Watching paint dry and pulling teeth would have been preferred past-times.
However, Cherries then plumbed a depressing new low when they were embarrassed and humiliated by Swindon before Groves probably reached the point of no return after protests calling for his head had followed Saturday’s defeat by Walsall.
Like his record of three wins in 18 league games, the fare had become unpalatable, his position untenable.
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