LAST week’s column was all about numbers, really to do with different nationalities and how many there are in the game.

If you wanted to look at numbers again this week, unfortunately speaking as an ex-manager, I couldn’t believe seven managers parted company with their clubs in seven days.

Three of them in the Premier League, four lower down. I’m always sorry about a manager losing their job. I think, generally, it is easier for a club to get rid of one man than half the team if they haven’t been playing. But it’s down to the staff to get the best out of their players.

Looking at another story about a manager who hasn’t been sacked, but appears to be hanging on, is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United. I have always spoken favourably about him, I think he’s an extremely nice gentleman, but possibly lacks that steely bit which commands a bit more respect from the players.

It’s not as if Manchester United are looking over their shoulder at relegation, but I’m sure that we will all agree they always have to be looking up at the top two or three places. I think there is still plenty of time for him to improve, and the club appear to be standing by him.

What did disappoint me was people like Rio Ferdinand, who admittedly was a top class player, and is now making a living writing a column in the national newspapers. I was surprised to see him basically say that Solskjaer should be sacked.

My immediate reaction was, ‘what do you know about management?’ – you might have been a good player, but you’ve never been a manager. I think that the club, particularly with Sir Alex Ferguson having been there and still being there on the board, will stand by Ole much longer than someone like Rio would have done.

I was pleased to see Eddie Howe back in the game at Newcastle, though. Apart from the fact that Bournemouth were nearly just up the road from us, I got a little bit closer to him many years ago when the League Managers’ Association got a few oldies around the country to join up with some younger managers in their areas.

I was very pleased to meet Eddie that way, we had many cups of coffee together. I think, going back to the old days when I was a young manager, it helps to sit and have a chat with those who have been through it all. I have followed his career with interest and to see him at a club like Newcastle is full marks to him, and I’m sure he will get them out of the relegation area they are in at the moment.

The other one, of course, is Steven Gerrard, who has gone to Aston Villa. I’ve always said that one of the problems that the good players have is that when they are given manager jobs it’s often at the higher level.

In my opinion, it’s better to start off at the lower levels and cut your teeth there. Gerrard has turned up this week at Villa, and while Glasgow Rangers are nowhere near a lower level, it will help him enormously to have managed this giant club, to come into the Premier League.

Talking of Villa, the last game we had at St Mary’s was against them. To be fair, on the night of what was a really entertaining game I think they were unlucky to lose, and I don’t think many would have complained if they had got away with a draw.

They didn’t, of course, they lost 1-0 and it cost Dean Smith his job. Unfortunately, that wasn’t their first loss – it was their fifth in a row, and that is what closed the door on him.

One that was a bit strange I suppose was to see the Norwich manager, Mr Farke, off. His club had just won their first game of the season, I imagine he was celebrating in the dressing room with his players and then went, as we all had to do, to the press room. Dealt with the press all happy and smiling, to be told as he came out that the board would like him to go to the boardroom where he was told he was being sacked.

Strange. But that’s the way it is, and it will be interesting to see where he finishes up and who finishes up with his job.