At the time of writing, 25% of the clubs in the 2013-2014 Premier League have already changed their managers.
It concerns me that more and more clubs are starting to employ a Henry VIII approach to club management – as soon as something goes wrong, or fails to go right for a certain amount of time, the manager is headed for the axe.
This season in particular seems to be on track for beating the record number of managerial changes before January with – at the time of writing – the teams in 20th, 19th, 18th, 16th and, er, 7th place in the table all having changed their managers. Already.
We’ve also had talk of Malky Mackay being pushed out at Cardiff, some worrying glances at Moyes’s managerial record at Manchester United, and there are only around three West Ham fans left who aren’t screaming for Sam Allardyce’s head on a claret and blue platter -I am one of those three, by the way.
There are certainly both pros and cons to this type of disposable management.
Palace are an example of a team who have certainly benefitted from the (barely) mid-season change. They won but one game under Holloway and since his departure have taken a surprising ten points in six games. They even proved having no manager was preferable to one who didn’t suit the team, collecting four of those points as a (technically) manager-less side.
But it doesn’t work for everyone, and often leaves teams floundering in the jetsam of the disruption.
Fulham seem unsettled after the departure of Martin Jol, and while they do now have another three points under their belts since his departure, unconvincing losses against Everton and fellow manager-sackers Tottenham Hotspur mean they are still searching for stability and consistency—and still in the drop zone.
It’s also hard to tell how long is too long (or, equally how soon is too soon) for someone to get it right.
Football is operating under a strong demand for instant results without giving consideration to the skill and art of building a team, and we are losing the idea of working towards something with long-term thinking.
Sunderland parted ways with Paulo DiCanio after just thirteen games in charge, which seems harsh keeping in mind that this is five games after he miraculously saved them from relegation.
Andre Villa-Boas was sacked from Spurs after a series of humiliating results—but they are four points from a place in Europe, and two points above Manchester United.
Yes, he spent a fantastic amount of money this summer only to get thrashed by City, but has he really had a chance to work with and develop the players he purchased? And will he who inherits Spurs next be able to do anything differently?
The speed in which something is achieved is now the most important aspect of the achievement, and I am not sure this is good news for football.
Chopping and changing managers does not seem to have too much of an impact on Chelsea, but Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson both are strong cases for the tremendous affect that stability has on results.
What do you think – if something isn’t working, is it better to nip it in the bud right away, or is it better to give a manager the chance for one more transfer window in the hopes that he can sign a player to save the season?
Let us know your thoughts below, or tweet us @LaFootyettes.