How much does it take for a club to sack a manager? With each passing week, it seems like less and less. And with each new notch on the ‘Manager X Out’ belt, the timing begins to look sillier and sillier.
Today’s focus will again be on the Premier League. We’ve seen four different managers sacked from England’s top flight this season, two of which, well, maybe didn’t deserve it; two of which whose sackings haven’t made a bit of differencea��in a positive way, at least.
I mean, when it’s Chelsea FCa��run by Roman Abramovicha��being the most patient in terms of letting their manager (JosA� Mourinho) go, it makes you stop and think for a second. Thing is, there are two very good reasons for that perceived patience:
- Are you really going to sack Mourinho a month or two into the season?
- They had just won the title; with their quality, there was always a chance for a turnaround.
But there was even only so much underwhelming play Abramovicha��with a world class manager and club at his disposala��could take, and Mourinho was gone after 16 matches, nine of which were losses. His departure, particularly the timing of it, made more sense than, say, Tim Sherwood (Aston Villa) or Garry Monk (Swansea City). Here’s a couple reasons why:
- It’s never been like him to stick around one place too longa��a little over three consecutive seasons being the longest tenure he’s had at one club.
- Chelsea had the talent; perhaps it just wasn’t working under Mourinho. Change was needed, and there was still a chance they’d be competitive.
Since Mourinho’s departure, caretaker Guus Hiddink has led the Blues on a seven-match unbeaten streak, though it only includes two league wins as opposed to four drawsa��three of which coming against Watford, West Brom, and Evertona��with an FA Cup victory over Scunthorpe United as well.
That can’t really be said about the likes of Villa (just one league win since their opener) and Swansea City (just one win in seven since Monk’s sacking), can it?
Liverpool letting Brendan Rodgers go back in early October wasn’t all that surprising, but it could be argued they that waited too long. Perhaps they were waiting until they knew JA?rgen Klopp would take the job, but bringing Rodgers back after an ultimately disappointing 2014-15 campaign just seemed destined to fail.
The timing made even less sense considering the fact that again, they spent loads of moneya��A?32.5 million on Christian Benteke, A?29 million on Roberto Firmino, and A?12.5 million on Nathaniel Clynea��ahead of the 2015-16 campaign.
It’s undoubtedly been a different club since the departure of Luis SuA?rez, and all the money in the worlda��of which they’ve spent hundreds of millions sincea��hasn’t been able to make up for his presence or production on the pitch.
Since the draw at Everton back on October 4 which prompted Rodgers’ dismissal, the Reds have played 14 league matchesa��drawing four, winning five, and losing fivea��three of which came against Newcastle United, Watford, and Crystal Palace. Consistency, as is often the case, appears to be the issue.
Villa’s Tim Sherwood, despite saving the club from relegation last year and leading them to the FA Cup Final, was gone after just eight months following a string of poor performances to open the new campaign. Let’s not forget they sold their two best players before the season, have finished 15th or worse four years in a row, and have a pretty cheap owner, but that’s all covered by one of our own here.
Swansea had just one league win all year before Monk was sacked, but have just one sincea��plus a Cup loss to League Two side Oxford United. Was Monk the issue? Unlikely; selling your best players year after yeara��even when you finish eighth, as they did in 2014-15a��eventually comes back to bite.
The model for a club like Swansea should be Stoke City, who in the last three years (this one included) have recognized they are a consistent mid-table side. But instead of being content with that, they gradually build and add more talent rather than try to make a buck and turnover the roster year in and year out. I’m not suggesting Stoke will challenge for Europe anytime soon, or even consistently in the future, but they’re not content with just being a surprise mid-table club.
Swansea City shouldn’t be either.
It’s amazing how quickly things can change, isn’t it? Last season, Monk was being hailed as a potential Manger of the Year candidate; now he’s out of a job. The media loved Rodgers until they didn’t; Sherwood was in a woeful position from the start; and Mourinho, well, it’s not difficult to see how underwhelming Chelsea’s players have been all season.
When it comes to sacking a manager, the logic is simple: you cannot fire an entire team. Someone else has to be at fault, take responsibility, etc… and the manager is the easier (and more sensible) way out. That said, there will be multiple cases per year when a manager deservesa��but does not receivea��more time.
Unfortunately, clubs are trending towards being more trigger-happy, and I fear it’s only going to get worse.