I love football, we all love football and I’m certainly not one of the people that are firmly against the development of the modern game but there are certain things that make me understand the frustrations of those that are. One of my main concerns with 21st century football is the general impatience clubs have with mangers. Of course, the likes of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson are notable hugely successful exceptions but in general, lasting 3 years is an achievement. Currently, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the second longest serving manager in the Premier League behind Wenger, his second spell at Bournemouth is in its fourth year. Dismissals are becoming part of the routine and managerial causalities become more and more inevitable as the season goes on. Being patient and giving a manager time to improve is simply not the done thing nowadays for most clubs.
The recent sacking of by Chelsea of Jose Mourinho proves that winning trophies does not guarantee ones safety. Less than 6 months after guiding Chelsea to a league and cup double the he was relieved of his duties. His off-field antics likely played as much a part as the results in Roman Abramovich’s decision, however this is not the first time Chelsea have sacked a manager following a very successful season and the lack of patience is destabilizing, not just for Chelsea, but also for the Premier League. Chelsea may be one of clubs most guilty of impatience with their manager but they not the only one either. Garry Monk was sacked after a poor run of form with Swansea, despite having an excellent first full season. The trigger happiness of some chairman make it impossible for managers to turn it around and the careers of hugely promising talents such as Monk are being ruined by harsh dismissals.
When David Moyes took over at Manchester United, he was greeted with a plethora of support from fans hoping he could carry on in the same vein as Sir Alex Ferguson. Before the season was even over, Moyes was sacked and Giggs was appointed as temporary manager. The fact that many fans fully supported this decision exemplifies the current footballing climate. Even at a club where its most successful reign came under came under a manager who had been at the club for almost 30 years, the thirst for a new manager was still evident in some quarters after such a short period of time. To expect Moyes to reach the heights of Ferguson straight away would have been overly optimistic. The summer Moyes took over, just one player was signed in Marouane Fellaine while the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester city strengthened considerably. Whether this is down to Moyes or not, its significance in United’s failures has to be acknowledged.
When you give a manager a five year contract, to me, that’s seems like a commitment and a show of confidence. Sacking them after just one season is hypocritical and makes the initial appointment seem indecisive and whoever made the decision is brought into question. In 21st century football, decisions are made out of fear as much as ambition. The threat of relegation or a lack of trophies often ends in dismissal rather than a quest to identify other possible sources of problems. Sacking a manager is almost like an acceptance that things can’t be improved in other ways and it is becoming a lazy epidemic. A bad run of results and the finger is generally pointed straight at the manager and the other influencing factors are often not even considered.
I maintain my love for football and in many ways its modernization is an improvement but the lifespan of managers is constantly reducing to a dangerous level of insanity and this has to stop before it takes away what we love most about the game. Whether reducing the level of chaos would mean implementing rules as to how or when clubs can sack managers or simply a more considered approach from said clubs I don’t know but it most certainly cannot continue. More patience is needed on both the part of the fans as well as the board. The football world must remember that dismissal is not the only way to improve matters.