Over at F365, Pete Gill has written that today’s culture of instant gratification means that managers are under increating pressure (something I agree with) and that boards are more likely to pull the trigger sooner rather than later (also something I agree with). Where I disagree with Gill is when he contends that boards virtually have to operate this way, given the big money nature of the game today.
Boards can operate however they want; they simply choose to bow to fan and/or media pressure quicker than before. I humbly submit that if you choose a manager you think is right, stand by him. The board went to the trouble of picking him, so why not give him a shot? Is it realistic to expect titles every year? That depends who you are; for Manchester United or Chelski or Real Madrid or Bayern, that’s the minimum expectation. But should that be the case? I submit that it shouldn’t because, by definition, there can only be one champion per year. It’s all well and good to expect to compete until the end but it’s not well and good when a manager pays the price unfairly.
The examples for stability are Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger, as pointed out by Gill. At the other end are serial manager changers like Real Madrid and, lately, Chelski. On the surface, it appears that patience brings benefits; look at Fergie’s reign lately and Wenger’s undefeated year, both of which came after some early stumbles. Would Man Utd or the Arse be where they are without their managers? I doubt it.
But, as Gill points out, the era of the long-term manager is likely over, which is too bad. Short-term specialists, like the Special One, are the future. I, for one, think there should be more patience unless a manager is clearly unqualified. That means that Mark Hughes shouldn’t be fired from Man City (as he likely will in the summer). I think stability is good for a club and for the players. But that’s just me.