Burley leaves Saints for Scotland

Last updated : 24 January 2008 By Tony Scholes
To move from club to country must mean you are doing a successful job at your club but that's not how it is seen by two high profile fans at St. Mary's. Nick Illingsworth, editor of web site Uglier inside said: "For George to get the Scotland job is the best end to this situation for everyone concerned.

"He is not disliked as a person by the fans, and there hasn't been the open hostility you had when Rupert Lowe was here. But, at the same time, you would struggle to find anyone who thinks George is doing a good job here. People know he has been working in difficult circumstances, but still people don't think he has been doing a good job.

"Talking about Saints, you get views which can be crystallised into two camps - the Saints fans and George Burley. No Saints fan I know believes Jason Euell should be in the team, yet he plays every week. We have got talented players, but they are not being led well. We can beat the top teams, like West Bromwich Albion, yet were massacred by Preston and Sheffield Wednesday."

Some Southampton fans were chanting 'Burley for Scotland' at the last home game against Scunthorpe, and Illingsworth added: "The people who sang them weren't exactly shouted down, but I suppose the songs weren't really taken up by many, either."

Saints Independent Supporters Association chairman Mick O'Callaghan added: "I wanted George to come here but he's been a bit of a disappointment with all his tinkering since he arrived. I think around 75 per cent of the supporters would be happy for him to get the Scotland job."

Burley arrived at Southampton at Christmas 2005 following the much heralded departure of Harry Redknapp who went back down the road to Portsmouth after seeing through Southampton's relegation from the Premiership.

Burley has certainly changed the squad with new signings and some big sales including such as Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale. They reached last season's play offs but are currently in the bottom half of the Championship table.

Little Billy Davies, out of work since losing his job at Derby is keen on the job whilst two former Southampton managers are expected to be considered. One, Dave Jones is at Cardiff but the favourite to replace Burley is Glenn Hoddle. Now that one will go down well with the fans.

Southampton are the eighth Championship club to change manager since the beginning of the season. For now John Gorman and Jason Dodd will take over on a caretaker basis.