Opinion: What now for Partick Thistle?

Alan Archibald

Alan Archibald was sacked after a poor run of form. Credit to Lauren Archer.

On Saturday, Partick Thistle sacked their manager, Alan Archibald. Archibald was the second longest-serving manager in Scotland, after being appointed by the club in 2013.

Archibald began his managerial career after the departure of Jackie McNamara in January 2013, although this was purely an interim basis. In March, Archibald and former player Scott Paterson were given the job on a permanent basis, signing a one-year rolling contract. In his first season, Archibald guided Thistle to the Scottish Premiership, after winning the First Division – now known as the Championship. In the same season, Archibald took the team to the Scottish Challenge Cup Final, narrowly losing to Queen of the South on penalties.

Archibald’s Thistle had a rocky start to their time in the Premiership. The club went seven months without a win at home but their record away from home proved they were more than able to stand toe-to-toe with other Premiership teams. The 2015/16 season saw the team go on a run of success, picking up seven points out of nine, resulting in Archibald being awarded the Premiership Manager of the Month award for November.

Speaking in 2016, Archibald hailed his side for consistent improvement over the years of his managerial reign.

Partick Thistle host Dundee United this weekend at Fir Hill. Credit to Lauren Archer.

He said: “I’ve always had a good group of players here underneath us and with a bit of success, winning the Championship. We’ve stayed in the league and that’s judged the success here because of our smaller budget. We’ve always progressed and gradually we’ve gotten better and better.”

Archibald kept Partick in the top flight for five consecutive seasons, finishing in the top six of the 2016/17 season for the first time since the post split fixtures were introduced in 2000/01.

Thistle suffered in the 2017/18 season, finishing in 11th place, meaning the team went into a relegation/promotion play-off with Championship runner-ups Livingston. Partick Thistle lost the two games, resulting in the club being relegated. At the time, the Thistle board were happy with Archibald and decided to stick with him. After a poor start to the 2018/19 Championship season, Archibald was dismissed by the club.

“I’ve always had a good group of players here underneath us and with a bit of success.”

So what now for Partick Thistle? Well it’s been all quiet on the Western front of Glasgow as there has been next to nothing with regards to candidates to take the managerial role.

The team face Dundee United on Saturday, who appointed Robbie Neilson as their head coach on Monday. Neilson himself was linked with the Thistle job, reportedly staying not too far from Fir Hill.

However, The Jags missed out on the former Hearts manager leaving them in a race to appoint a successor ahead of their Championship fixture this weekend.

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