I've got to say, the temptation to start this article with an expletive riddled rant about how infuriating this whole situation is was burning. I nearly did it, I really did, and it's a reaction that I can definitely understand. No matter what your thoughts on Martin Allen (I personally thought he was doing a reasonable, if unspectacular, job - but i'll get to that tomorrow), the idea of Keith Curle as a replacement is so bizarre that it's a genuine struggle to get your head around it.
As a manager, Curle's stock isn't particularly high. He's had spells with Mansfield Town, Chester City and Torquay United, all of which led to him being shown the exit door. Perhaps his most successful spell was with the Stags, where he did at least manager to lead them to a play-off final defeat in his first full season in charge. However, the big question should be as to how on earth he failed to get a side including Liam Lawrence, Bobby Hassell, Lee Williamson, Craig Disley and Alex John-Baptiste out of the bottom division. That is an absolutely fantastic core to the side, most of whom were unsurprisingly out of the door after the failure to earn promotion. As was Curle not long into the new season, with Stags failing to impress and unfounded allegations of bullying towards a youth team player.
Next up was a spell at Chester, where Curle's side started brightly before he was sacked after a losing run that puts even the efforts of Paul Ince into the shade. His spell at Torquay United, meanwhile, is barely worth mentioning it was that brief and unsuccessful. The thing is, managers can learn, we know that. A long time has passed since Curle left Torquay and it is conceivable that he may have become a better manager since then. However, he has done nothing to earn the chance of management at a level he only briefly attained with Mansfield Town (leading them to relegation).
He could, after leaving Torquay, have dropped into non-league football and proven himself as a manager. He chose not to, and went into coaching, eventually joining Neil Warnock at QPR. Again, this is a situation where Curle may have learned plenty - but it is not enough to earn him the right to manage a side in League One. If Keith Curle wanted to prove himself as a manager, he should've dropped to a level below those he has failed at before and looked to prove himself. It has been his choice not to do that, but there is no way his experiences in football as a manager and a coach should have earned him the opportunity to manage Notts County. Should we wake up to his appointment, as seems likely, there is simply no way it can be justified.