The knives are out for Doug Christiansen.
Sheffield Steelers’ fans have begun to turn on the American coach who assembled one of the most expensive teams in the Elite League. Coaches are judged on results. And they have been distinctly average.
They are also judged on performance style: which because of such inconsistent form, has been difficult to accurately judge. And while Christiansen asks for time to “re-shape a culture” at the club- he and assistant Marc Lefebvre are tip-toeing around a metaphorical minefield.
The fans’ website isn’t always an environment for mature debate. Some say it’s not representative of the wider fan base. But there’s no question that most keyboard activists want heads to roll. Whether they will change their view if Steelers beat Nottingham Panthers today (home; 5pm) and repeat the feat away on Saturday, is as uncertain as to whether the team can actually pull two consecutive wins.
Here are a few fan observations: “The coach carries the can for results. Its been long enough now for it to be clear DC does not have what it takes. Hammered by a club (Cardiff Devils) that aims for mid table mediocrity. Time to move on” (Mark.)
“We are the laughing stock. Spend big, lose big. At the start of the season, I thought we’d be almost unbeatable by the way they were talking. The on ice product is boring. I’d take losing if it was exciting hockey but it’s not. (Nick13)
“I don’t see any signs of the players turning it around. He’s not man for job on what I watch every week. His assistant needs showing the door as well. They are flittering away the club’s budget on players not doing the job.” Steeler079
“This squad of players is capable of so much more. A new voice may get it out of them.” (Steelermark)
But Crooked Spire appeals for calm: “I hate to think we are only going to give a new coach half a season and not allow him time to mould a team. Two wins (v Panthers) could boost moral among the crowd...and bring excitement for 2014. If the players can feel a back to back winning run against the reigning champs it might just what they need to begin giving their all for the jersey.”