Managers are generally the first people to get the blame for a clubs failings, yet do not always receive praise when a club is doing well. There has been very little press about Mancini’s Manchester City side, being unbeaten under him and only conceding one goal in the process with, what was before, a very leaky defence, however the praise seems to be directed at Carlos Tevez returning to form but just how much of this is down to the new tactics being employed by the young Italian?
Currently the average time for a manager in the Premier League to keep his job is less than 1.7 years, this shows either many chairman are simply deluded about how far they believe their club can go or that there simply aren’t enough good managers out there. Many teams have shown what stability can do for a team; Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton all have had long standing managers and with them has come success. But even after all the success of Moyes, Wenger and Ferguson, football is still a fickle game. After the F.A cup shock Leeds inflicted on Manchester United, the first call on MUTV was a fan stating ‘Ferguson has to go’, after many trophy less seasons Wenger has come under criticism for simply ’not spending enough money’, but this strategy has seen him, arguably, revolutionise the game of football, not just in England, but across the World. Arsenal set the bar for how ‘the beautiful game’ should be played. Moyes, with Everton beginning to languish at the start of this season due to an injury crisis, was heading towards being called an ‘under pressure manager’, surely after what these men have done for their clubs they shouldn’t have to worry about their jobs safety?
When times are bad for a team the manager is the one to get the sack, but what happens if the simple fact is no matter who is in charge the players on the pitch aren’t good enough. Mickey Adams this season had this realisation and placed all his players onto the transfer list, what a refreshing change it would be if a chairman also had this view point rather than blaming the manager for the clubs failings. However, as stated earlier, it is the playing staff that receive the plaudits when the club succeeds. Very rarely do you read a headline stating ‘Ferguson’s tactics win Manchester United the game’ yet it is very common for a headline to read ‘Rooney’s hat-trick powers Man Utd to another three points.’
At Peterborough this season we have seen Darren Ferguson leave the club, albeit under circumstances that very few people know the truth behind. Yet, even the manager that guided the club to successive promotions has received some criticism at certain points, perhaps justified at times. His transfer policy and tactics have certainly received the most scrutiny by the fans; some people’s opinions may be purely based on bitterness surrounding the situation in which Ferguson left the club. But with McLean leaving, and lying to the club, he still doesn’t seem to face anywhere near the amount of condemnation over his ability that ‘Fergie’ did. The praise over the last two promotions seems to have been given to anyone but Ferguson, since his departure in-fact.
In many cases just as much blame can be placed on the chairman as the manager, even a man described as ‘the best chairman in England’, Steve Gibson, seems to have pulled the trigger far too early on Southgate’s reign as Middlesbrough’s manager. Southgate left Middlesbrough, one point off the top and 4th in the Championship, now Strachan sees them faltering down in mid-table. Admittedly, there are times when blame must be put on the manager, Jaunde Ramos at Tottenham seemed to be taking a very talented squad to a position they did not want to be in, and Mark Robins turn around at Barnsley suggests, the previous manager, Simon Davey, was taking a squad capable of far better into a relegation battle. But it seems that there is more evidence that sticking with a manger will ultimately be beneficial in the long-run.
It is evident that, in modern day football, there is an obvious fickleness amongst the fans and chairman alike, generally aimed at the manager rather than any certain individual on the pitch. But evidence suggests that stability is perhaps the most crucial part of any football team. As it stands though it seems ‘the managerial merry-go-round’ is spinning faster than ever.