Watching football in our area recently hasn’t given too much pleasure to the home supporters, but normally in any season you have good times and bad.

Sometimes you deserve to lose, other times you are unlucky.

But managers these days have to be successful and lucky it seems more than ever.

Looking just up the road at Reading. Their manager, Jaap Stam, has now got his back against the wall and apparently is getting booed off.

His name reminded me of when Graham Taylor and I in our England days went over more than once to Holland where it was completely different at club level to what it was here.

There were hoards of youngsters connected to each club and their training was all to do with the ball – small sided games, one and two touch football, and their style of play was instilled at a very early age.

The results at international level were people like Stam and the other two Dutch ex-managers here, Frank De Boer and Ronald Koeman, who were world class.

I mention these three as I would never have dreamt they would have struggled at managerial level, but the times have certainly changed.

When we look back for instance at Saints, I took over from a legend, Ted Bates, who had been 18 years in the chair and could have carried on, but had decided himself as some of the others did in those days that 55 was retirement age.

He took over when the club were in the third division and was given five years to get promoted, and then another six years to go up to the top level.

I took over and got relegated in my first season - the first team to go down third bottom but never mind, we still went down.

The chairman said to me ‘sort it out,’ and turned and walked away.

I like to think his and the board’s loyalty were repaid with three visits to Wembley, including winning the FA Cup, second top in the league, a taste of European football, and a production line started of youngsters who came through and eventually brought in millions to the club.

When I left it was my decision and like Ted I could have stayed on, but 30 years between two is something which will obviously never be repeated.

When you look at the situation with our present coach, he obviously needs a win or two, but I would hope that him and others like him are given a bit more time as it is not always as easy as it looks to arrive, particularly from another country, and take over a dressing room which has many more players than in our day.

My Cup squad, for instance, I think probably had 14 senior players, whereas every Premier League club now puts in a list with 25 names on at the beginning of each season.

It takes time for new coaches to get to know the individuals and especially now when there are so many different nationalities.

In our day it was unique when people like Ivan Golac and Ivan Katalinic came to us, with Bobby Robson signing two Dutchmen, and Tottenham with Ardiles and Villa. It was headline news.

Now it is a case of trying to spot a British player in some games.

This does not make the manager, or coach as they are now, have an easier job. It all takes time.

With the fixture list we have there is not much time between games, particularly at this time of the year when we have had Mr Guardiola, who is flying high, complaining about his team having to play two games in three days.

I thought this was a bit rich remembering the supporter at this time of the year has a little holiday and it has always been part of this season to look forward to games that wouldn’t normally be there.

The managers might be used to a mid-season break abroad but when they take the job on they should have a good look at the fixture list and realise the differences here, especially given they have such big squads.

On the one hand I have lots of sympathy for the men in charge, on the other, from a director’s point of view, I suppose the contracts nowadays are such that when the coaches are shown the door after a short time at least their bank manager might be happy.

I just get the impression that some of them give a shrug of the shoulders, go back home for a while and then pop up somewhere else around Europe.

Never mind, Happy New Year to all of them, and also our supporters, who coaches should remember keep the clubs afloat and need to be entertained.