Former Rangers midfielder and Liverpool first team coach Alex Miller has been sacked as coach of Chiba-based JEF United following a miserable spell in charge of the J. League strugglers.
Miller was drafted in following the sacking of Croatian tactician Josip Kuze midway through last season, but after overseeing United's dramatic final-day escape from relegation, the Glaswegian paid a heavy price for his failure to strengthen United's squad in 2009.
A 2-1 home defeat to Shimizu S-Pulse was the final straw for club officials, but it was Miller's constant penchant for chopping and changing his starting eleven that arguably sealed his fate.
The taciturn Scot routinely baffled United supporters with his squad selections - consistently dropping the team's sole attacking outlets Masaki Fukai and Seiichiro Maki and fielding conservative starting elevens against equally-matched opponents.
A nominal 5-4-1 formation sent out against Sanfrecce Hiroshima a fortnight ago saw United hammered 4-1 by the promoted side, while Miller appeared reluctant to field the club's Brazilian contingent - with mid-season signing Neto Baiano only making his debut in what was Miller's final match in charge.
Both Chiba-based clubs have sacked coaches in recent weeks, after Kashiwa Reysol recently showed the beleaguered Shinichiro Takahashi the door in favour of veteran Brazilian coach Nelsinho.
Kashiwa lie second-from-bottom with just under half the season remaining, while JEF United will hope that replacement Atsuhiko Ejiri can steer his side to safety, with United currently sixteenth in the standings.
Oita Trinita are a massive nine points behind Kashiwa at the bottom of the table, with the Kyushu outfit having recently replaced coach Pericles Chamusca with former Sanfrecce Hiroshima assistant Ranko Popovic.
Copyright © Michael Tuckerman & Soccerphile.com
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