From Hero to Zero, The Manager Cauldron

By | April 7, 2015

With the evolution of the English Premier league, expectations are at an all time high. Wealthy investors expect nothing but the best from their team and quite often fabricate erratic and instantneous decisions. The euphoria and prospects of garnering silverware can often cloud judgment and project a directors desires into a far from plausible stratosphere. The monumental stakes have also never been higher with next years’ mouth-watering £5.4bn TV deal up for grabs. An estimated £99million will be won by the last place team and £150million for the winners. However, it isn’t just the players who come and go, more often than not, it’s managers too. Managers often get blamed for the teams’ failings but the players take the honours of winning. The managers take the major brunt of their teams results and it seems they can never win. An owners’ fixation in elevating their reputation in this elite Billionaire Club means they have no qualms in paying for the extermination of a contract. To them it’s merely status and the team is just their toy to dissipate excess cash.


In total, the premier league amasses an average of 9 managerial changes a season. The 2014/15 season has already accumulated 9 changes and there is still a fifth of the season remaining. Thus far, there have been 4 firings, 3 resignations and 2 mutual consents. Perhaps even more startling are the figures for England as a whole and their other leagues. There has been whopping 49 managerial changes in all divisions. Remarkably, at the beginning of this season Mark Robins was sacked from Huddersfield Town after the very first game. It is also a common occurrence that after a team is promoted to the Premier League, expectations sky rocket and the managers frequently can’t live up to the conjecture and are dismissed.


Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 15.35.37

The instability and mistreatment of mangers is a huge deterrent to other prospective & elite managers. Top managers don’t want to tarnishes their immaculate records and many desire time so they can teach and implement their philosophies to gel the team into one. Often, a manager’s arms are tied behind their back as they inherit a previously failing team. Furthermore, without a transfer window or sufficient transfer funds it’s a monumental task.

Mentally, a new manager provides some respite for the players as they can start afresh. We often see interim managers garner some big wins at first and then old trends prevail once again. Equally, the mental aspect and disapproval of a manager can likewise ruin a team, as was the case with David Moyes.

Managers should be given a time period that effectively allows them too settle in and build their empire to how they want it. Teams can reap huge rewards by acclaiming stability as we have seen in the Sir Alex Furguson era and the current Arsene Wenger realm.

But how can rules be implemented to protect managers and prolong their careers when financial burdens are not a deterrent? It’s merely wins in the short term that many overseas owners desire.


5 thoughts on “From Hero to Zero, The Manager Cauldron

  1. Pingback: Pellegrini Out?: Evaluating Manchester City’s Manager Options | Soccer Politics / The Politics of Football

  2. Ben Taylor

    As a fan of Manchester City, I find this a very interesting and relevant post. Stability and continuity from a long-term manager are traits that should be applauded and can create dynasties, as you point out with Wenger and Arsenal or Ferguson and ManU. However, when you get wins from a sack culture, as you see with Chelsea currently, it is hard to argue with the results. Ultimately, I’m not sure anything should be done to guarantee longer manager tenures, as while it is often unfair, soccer in Europe is ultimately a meritocracy. If teams are ill-adivsed in their sackings, they will be punished by relegations and/or by not making European play. Well-run management should hold onto the managers to build continuity, but ultimately teams are judged by their records, and teams’ management should do whatever they think is best to build a winning team – whether that is sacking or keeping a manager.

  3. Carlos Reyes Stoneham

    Interesting post James! This made me think a lot about how managers are frequently blamed for losses. In particular I find it funny how quickly fans turn on managers, as you hear calls for “sackings” all the time from groups of fans. Using Arsenal as an example, it seems that there are groups of fans that go through cycles of demanding Arsene Wenger’s resignation, even though, in my opinion, he’s a great manager. Personally I get attached to players and managers on my teams, and I feel that fans and owners alike put too much blame on single factors.

  4. Pingback: From Hero to Zero, The Manager Cauldron | Scissors Kick

  5. Shiv Gidumal

    Interesting post. It’s always fascinating to consider the effect of managers or coaches, people who don’t physically contribute on the field. In a sport as tactical as soccer, it makes sense that people would scrutinize the effectiveness of their highly paid managers. In other sports, the turnover of coaches and GMs are high as well, but I agree that in soccer it has gotten out of hand.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *