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Lovell must be read the last rites

Is it time for Steve Lovell to be shown the door? One anonymous fan believes so…

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When results begin to go against a manager, football can become a messy business. It becomes even messier when the manager overseeing the downward spiral is a lifelong fan of the team that has done almost every job on offer at the club. In Steve Lovell’s case, there will be no easy way to say goodbye.

It’s at times like these that sentiment always plays a part with fans still holding onto the romantic idea that a supporter may still become the club’s most successful manager. There does come a time though where it’s healthier to face facts and it’s ultimately vital one detaches themselves from a place where they are making decisions based on emotions.

Under Steve Lovell, the Gills’ record currently reads three wins in 13 league games this season. Based on the form table over the last ten games, Gillingham are bottom of League One and, in 19th place overall after 13 games, the threat of relegation looms as large as ever.

With only a quarter of the season gone, there is room to argue that there is plenty of time to turn it around and whilst that is true in theory, the reality is that this form has carried on from last season. In the last seven fixtures of the 2017/2018 season, Gillingham went winless which seems to reveal in hindsight, that there was a problem at the back end of last season that wasn’t ever going to go away over the course of the summer.

The most recent defeat to Southend at Priestfield was an eye-opening one, with Lovell looking completely bemused as he spoke to the club cameras afterwards. He genuinely looked lost for answers and seemed worryingly restless as he shifted about nervously. It’s hard to come away from watching that and think Lovell is indeed the right man for the job still.

It’s not just a portion of the fans that are predicting relegation but also the bookies, moplay.co.uk have the Gills as little as 27/20 to be relegated. With that in mind, has the time come to reach out to the likes of Simon Grayson or Paul Heckingbottom?

Grayson is a proven League One promotion specialist that is currently out of work but that won’t be for long. The former Leeds boss will be snapped up as soon as clubs begin sacking their managers in League One, so now may be the time to tempt the out-of-work Yorkshireman to Priestfield. The same could be said for Paul Heckingbottom, out of a job since leaving Elland Road after being sacked but another good manager currently looking for work. These managers have a history of taking teams up so it’s unlikely the club would stand still with them in charge. Time really is of the essence.

It’s never going to be easy when it comes to dismissing a fan who is currently the manager but now is the time to do it before any irreparable damage is done. The last rites need to be read no matter how painful it may be.