The EPL Sack Race Doesn’t End Today



The English Premier League (EPL) has finished for the summer.

You would think that that would would mean the EPL’s managers could now head to Brazil for a holiday at the World Cup and start their preparations for next seasons campaign.

But this summer seems to be different from most. Chairman and club boards up and down the country are assessing their sides fortunes and now they have to determine whether or not their manager still has a future beyond May.

Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood has already been let go as has West Brom’s Pepe Mel.

Alan Pardew, Paul Lambert, Sam Allardyce and Gus Poyet have all been rumoured as possible casualties. Even Tony Pulis and Mauricio Pochettino, who have enjoyed great seasons are not seen as managers that will definitely stay on at Crystal Palace and Southampton. Also lets not forget that Arsene Wenger hasn’t signed a new deal at Arsenal either.

That could mean that just under half of next seasons teams could start with new bosses.

According to the LMA (League Managers Association) the average time given to new managers these days is thirteen months and that number keeps getting shorter. Is that really enough time to assess a boss and for him to implement long term changes that will progress a football club.

The managerial merry-go-round has even spawned a new craze with online football betting, that sees punters putting on cash guessing on who goes next and who’ll take-over.

For those of us that follow the game on the continent its not new. Italy in particular, is a country that gets through a whole raft of unwanted managers. Some of these managers return in the same season only to be sacked again.

In the UK its getting more and more like that. Often the media piles on pressure, the fans expect too much  and the owners worry more about short-term bank balances rather than long-term footballing philosophies. Three or four bad results mean a manager could become the next victim of the dreaded chop.

Now don’t get me wrong some of the list above may of over stayed their welcome. A few possibly didn’t deserves the roles they were given in the first place. But too many honest, hard working and talented coaches are losing out on jobs just in search of a quick fix.

Everton had a fantastic season. Obviously their new gaffer, Roberto Martinez, deserves huge credit for the job he has done at Goodison. But David Moyes was there for over ten years. It was Moyes and his steady tenure at the club that has helped Martinez come in and build on good foundations. Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright is a fantastic figurehead. He makes the managers job a lot easier by giving his bosses a stable environment and by believing in them.

It also worked when Mark Hughes took over from Tony Pulis. Hughes was better off coming into a club that had good values and was stable both on and off the park.

Chairmen and owners seem to believe that the only way to avoid relegation is by ruthlessly getting rid of the current manager and getting in the new flavour of the month but that wasn’t the case this season with Norwich, Cardiff or Fulham. They all chop and changed and probably preformed no better for the change.

I cannot understand why so many fine businessmen come into football and lose the plot. Most great businesses are built on trust, stability and reliability. By constantly going from one manager to another, that creates none of these things.

Some clubs manage the turnover of head coaches well. Chelsea and Real Madrid are prime examples. That said, they just throw endless pots of money at the problem. Yet it seems even Roman Abramovich has learned his lesson and seems set on giving Jose Mourinho time to make an even bigger legacy for the pair at Chelsea!

I think more teams need to start backing their managers more and giving them time. Sixth or seventh place in the league isn’t really the worst position to build on. The continuity could help harness success again for certain yo-yo clubs. Fans need reality checks too, they need to learn that they can’t get it all their own way all of the time.

If a manager has brought the club into disrepute and has lost the backing of his players, then fine sack him but if he has done a decent job and could do better then give him that time and he might just surprise you.

One Response to “The EPL Sack Race Doesn’t End Today”

  1. As a lower league fan with the fourth longest serving manager in the league (to be honest, Russell Slade’s 4 years is worryingly low for that accolade) it this is an issue that may have a huge impact on football. With the desperate measure being proposed to find a World Cup winning England team, how much easier would it be if Wenger, Ferguson and Moyes (at Everton) were a regular occurrence, and all clubs were producing Wilsheres, Gibbs’, Welbecks, Barkleys and Rodwells? If just half of Premier League clubs allowed managers time to build a club properly then there would surely be no need to consider changing a league structure developed over a century!

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