Cardiff City Football Sport

Club football has no hope on the managerial merry-go-round

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In the most competitive league in world football, the Premier League has turned into a managerial merry-go-round. Mangers face an almighty battle with substantial pressure from the club’s hierarchy, fans and the media.

With just ten games played in the Premier League, three managers have already lost their jobs. Frank de Boer, the first to go, staggeringly lost his job within the space of 4 games at Crystal Palace, whilst Craig Shakespeare lost his job after 8 games and Ronald Koeman likewise at Goodison Park after 9 games. The problem lay not just with the managers, but also with the impatience of senior figures at clubs to remove managers after a couple of poor results.

Admittedly, there becomes a point where a manager must be replaced. There is far too much money in the football industry to allow a team to fail miserably. With estimations that promotion to the Premier League is worth £170million, it is partially understandable to see why clubs become impatience with failure.

Despite this, it must be stressed that football clubs cannot continue to axe managers within ten games. The rate at which managers are expected to get results is ludicrous. Ronald Koeman, for example, lost his job after just nine games in charge.

True, results and performances were bad for Koeman’s side. But, when one looks at the fact that he lost Romelu Lukaku, their main man last year, it is understandable that they did not instantly return to last season’s heights. £140million of summer spending may indicate that results should have been better. But, with several young players in the side, instant success was never going to be achievable.

It is perhaps most concerning that football fans fully backed his departure. Yes, results were poor. And, yes, the side was underperforming. But, surely he had earned some respect from last season’s impressive 7th place finish to warrant more time to turn things around.

More notably, Frank de Boer’s sacking after just 4 games at Crystal Palace raises further cause for concern. Having never managed in the Premier League before, the Crystal Palace hierarchy must have anticipated a slow start from the Dutchman. On top of that, he was aiming to completely change the way in which the team played.

Nevertheless, Steve Parish, Palace chairman, got rid of de Boer just 4 games in. The lack of patience is at, perhaps, the most concerning rate it has ever been. Chairmen no longer give managers the time they need in order to find the right players and integrate them into an effective formation. The circus that is club football will continue on the managerial merry-go-round until club’s take a step towards patience and consideration.

Moreover, a reflection between managerial treatment at club football and international football creates further reason to be anxious. On the international stage, managers are given time to embed their ideas on players and secure results – a notion that is all too scarce at club level.

We need not look any further than the Welsh national team. Fans may forget that Coleman was the first Welsh manager to lose his first five games in charge. And, in essence, this is down to the time and patience he received from Wales’ hierarchy that allowed him to turn things around – of course, he certainly did that.

Therefore, Club football must take note from the international scene. The continuous cycle of managers being hired and fired in the space of ten games is damaging the reputation of football.

In a job that seemingly requires instant success; owners, fans and the media alike, must stop the encouragement of such a foolish managerial merry-go-round in order to allow the game to return to some degree of normality.