When David Moyes was appointed the new manager of Manchester United in the summer, something happened that hasn’t happened in a long time at the top level of the game. A manager was appointed from a lower level club to a higher one. Although Moyes has been at the top level of the English game for a while now it is still well to point out that it is not an easy thing to do to be in a club for along time without success.
In May of this year the longest serving managers in the Premier League and most clubs in England was Alex Ferguson with 26 years, Arsene Wenger with 17 years and David Moyes with 11 odd years. The closest after that was Tony Pulis at Stoke, who has left the club in the summer. All these figures prove not one but two things. The first is that obviously they are good managers but secondly and more importantly if you stick with the manager the results do speak for themselves.
The biggest problem within the game right now is the demand for instant success. Both board members and fans alike are guilty of looking for too much from a club when it just isn’t possible. Bot fans and club boards are guilty of double standards when they say they want to see more managers being brought on and given time and when they get a single bad result they call for his sacking without any real thought. To many clubs base a few results as a disaster and instantly make a change. Some clubs are guilty of being silly by replacing mangers several times a year, Blackburn come to mind, so what can this achieve at a club.
Players who are only getting used to a manager have often come out and said if the instant change that a new manager brings from day one. They often say that what they were doing one day would be the wrong thing to do literally the next. Other problems of axing mangers on a regular basis is the squad the previous manager has brought in believing he has a team to go on and achieve things only to find himself out the door. Just take a look at Sunderland, who, during the summer brought in thirteen new players and then let their manager go after just a few games.
Although there are exceptions to the rule as you couldn’t have expected anyone less than what you got with Paolo Di Canio. But it hasn’t helped the new man Gus Poyet when is coming in and working with a team not assembled by himself. The Sunderland board are solely to blame for the mess that they are in. They thought short term and did get themselves out of the relegation dog fight last season but now find themselves in a new one and they don’t look likely to survive.
The game is a results driven business no doubt but it does take time for anyone to really settle and build a team. What Everton, Man Utd and Arsenal have done is not panic when things go wrong or a poor season is had by their standards. They just look forward and tried to improve. Everton are the exception to the rule as they haven’t had the financial power of the other two in order to compete at the top level but what Moyes has done in his time in charge was bring Everton from a club staring relegation in the face year in year out and into the top four at one stage before the might of Man City and Chelsea came along
Even now when Moyes got the job at one of the best clubs in the world he was give a six year contract. Ferguson is responsible for this as even he knows that now he is gone, Man Utd probably won’t have as much success as they did when he was there. But going out and hiring a Mourinho or a Capello or an Anchelotti who are good managers no doubt, but not really for the long term. Just look at Chelsea and Man City who go out and get top managers but have no long term goal in mind. Does anyone really see Mourinho at Chelsea for ten or fifteen years?
Moyes has gone from Preston to Everton and now the dizzy heights of Old Trafford. He won’t be an instant success as his start this season has shown, but they will stick with him no matter what as they know, as does a lot of people who watch and know the game would know that he will get there. But Moyes must realise that top four is a minimum. Failing to qualify for the Champions League has already cost one big club, Liverpool, who are still slowly trying to recover from it. Even Man United can’t afford to miss out on European football as it will lower their stock in the transfer market while their noisy neighbours will continue to get stronger.
But all this points to that should be obvious in that sticking with the man you believe can bring your club forward will prove successful in the long term. At the moment a new FA commission is being set up to improve the level of quality youth players coming through in clubs so as to improve the national team. Why can’t the commission do the same in order to improve the quality of managers being brought in and used by clubs. The long term success could even see more managers being brought up from lower level clubs to the elite in Europe.