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Why EPL Clubs Prematurely Sack Their Managers

There is always hype surrounding a managerial appointment. However, there is also hype surrounding managerial sackings, for all the wrong reasons. Clubs walk a fine line between allowing a manager time to settle in, and making immediate changes. There is a big issue, especially in the Premier League, with clubs prematurely sacking their managers in the hope of a short term fix.

Recent research showed that the average football manager in England lasts a little over two years in a job position. This is mirrored in professional US sport with head coaches averaging less than 2.5 years in their job. This could just be clubs looking to freshen themselves up in order to remove any complacency within the playing group, or it could be that results are not up to standard, so therefore the manager must be moved on.

steve mclaren sacked

The main reason why managers get sacked is because the team is underperforming. If a team is in the relegation zone fighting to stay in the league, then the club sees it as an act of CPR, trying to breathe life into the club for one final stint at survival. Of nine studies scrutinized from six countries, five of those nine – from England and Spain – stated that replacing a manager does improve a club’s on-field performance. The results from England suggested that a club’s short-term performance increases when a new manager is appointed which could explain the reasons behind relegation-threatened teams changing their manager towards the end of the season.

brendan rodgers sacked

Mangers are appointed for their short-term fixes. League Managers Association chief Richard Bevan said: “What clubs need to do is look at Leicester,” he added. “When Nigel Pearson took over, I think they were 12th in the Championship and they gave him the confidence and resources, they didn’t isolate him, and he got them into the Premier League.” This outlines the way that clubs are now no longer interested in signing a manager to lead them for the next 2 season. They are beginning to realize that a manager can be hired for an immediate fix over a season and a half, and then sacked and another manager hired, with the cycle repeating itself. It makes for very difficult circumstances for managers, as they are constantly being hired and fired. This is ever present in the Premier League.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Managers David Moyes of Manchester United and Tim Sherwood of Tottenham Hotspur watch from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Take Arsene Wenger. He is the perfect example of how holding off on sacking a manager is better off in the long term. For the 20 years he has been managing Arsenal, he has never finished outside the top 4, qualifying for Champions League football every single year, although never winning the league. Also, he is the most successful manager in terms of FA Cup titles won, equaling George Ramsay’s record of 6. Whilst Arsenal could have sacked Wenger in order to pursue the league title, he has offered them incredible consistency and a clear vision.

arsene wenger sacked

Finally, the EPL is witnessing the death of the English manager. Not one club that finished in the top 10 of the Premier League this season was managed by an Englishman. Alan Pardew of Crystal Palace, Eddie Howe of Bournemouth, and Sam Allardyce of Sunderland are the only English managers in the Premier League. English bosses are rarely considered when the big jobs come up. Twenty years ago, in 1995-96, there were 17 Englishmen, in addition to two Scots and Joe Kinnear of Ireland. it is a concern also that 18 of 20 managers in Serie A are Italian; 14 of 20 managers in La Liga are Spanish; 11 of 18 Bundesliga managers are German; 18 of 20 Ligue 1 managers are French. This is for one reason only. That clubs have already gone through all viable English candidates for the jobs as a result of frequent managerial sackings, that they are forced to look overseas.

Overall, the English Premier League sacks managers far too frequently. It is understandable that a club sack a manager if results are not going their way, yet at the moment, it is going overboard. Managerial sackings are far too frequent.

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