Another Premier League game week has gone by, and another manager sacking has occurred. This time it is West Ham United, who sack Slaven Bilic after their latest defeat to Liverpool. It is now heavily rumored that David Moyes will come in. This follows Frank De Boer being sacked by Crystal Palace, with Roy Hodgson taking over. At Everton, Ronald Koeman is out, and Sam Allardyce seems favored to take the job. It seems that as teams give up on their manager, they bring in another from the long line of heavily recycled managers to take over. With that in mind, we should look at the harshness of managerial sackings, and the future opportunities.
Premier League Culture No Longer Gives Managers Chance to Recover From Failure
I recently read a piece that Gary Neville did not feel he would be given another chance in management following his poor spell at Valencia. It made me think about the fact that a lot of young managers now are not given a chance to recover at a different club following a poor time elsewhere. When he was given the job at Valencia, the club were a crisis club and more esteemed managers like Claudio Ranieri and Cesare Prandelli have failed at the Mastella stadium. It is only recently that they have been able to get back on course with good summer recruitment thanks to Marcelino.
Neville was not given money or time to turn things around and now finds he with no one interested in taking a chance on him. This is one of very few Englishmen who has managed in La Liga and been an assistant in three major championships with the national team. It is commonly said that “you learn more from failure than success”, however, the English football culture is that you will not get a chance to prove them wrong.
Alan Shearer, a man with vast club and international experience, is another one who was given only eight games with a very poor Newcastle side. They had been in a crisis that year with owner Mike Ashley selling the team’s best players and giving the reigns to footballing dinosaur Joe Kinnear. Shearer has now been written off by the football fraternity and now like Neville too seems to have settled in the media. Chris Sutton, Teddy Sheringham, and Barry Ferguson are prime examples of winners with great experience, who now seem to be in the managerial wilderness due to one job gone wrong.
In Italy and Spain, managers may be sacked often; however, they do get the opportunity to rectify themselves. Back in 2010, Antonio Conte was sacked from Atalanta following a very underwhelming spell. If Siena had not given him a chance to bounce back from that disappointment, Chelsea may have never won the league in 2017. In 1997, Osasuna gave a chance on unproven untested Rafael Benitez, he duly struggled and was dismissed after 8 games which were very similar. However, the difference Extremadura gave him a chance and Liverpool fans now talk about five Champions Leagues instead of due to the Spaniard.
This theme in the UK of not giving managers another opportunity following one difficult spell will put off a lot of young talented potential managers. It may mean they decide to go for more comfortable and less high-pressure jobs in football. It also means that as a country, we may develop fewer English coaches. This may continue the trait of relying on foreign managers to come in. Whenever an England manager’s job becomes available media talk about that there is a dearth of home-grown talent available. Why aren’t we producing more British coaches? It may be that this is due to the culture. We need to take a risk and give people more than one opportunity to showcase their talent. They can also show what they have learned from their previous experiences.
Main Photo: West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic during Premier League match between Crystal Palace and West Ham United at Selhurst Park Stadium, London, England on 29 Oct 2017. (Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)