Feel Extra Sorry for EPL Managers This Season
It’s absolutely ridiculous that this much pressure is being placed on Premier League managers already so soon into the season. If this much talk about managers getting the sack so early in the season was in place during the past five to 10 years, then EPL managers such as Alex Ferguson and David Moyes would have gotten the heave-ho a long time ago.
Both Fergie and Moyes have gone through very rough patches with their respective teams teetering close to the relegation drop.
What’s important for soccer fans is to have patience but to also see that progress is being made. For Martin Jol, his side looked impressive during preseason (similar to last summer) but have whimpered to defeats against Sunderland and Everton.
A win by Spurs on Saturday against Derby at White Hart Lane (10am, Saturday, Setanta Sports) will deflect the media and fan pressure away from them and on to the next likely suspect.
Who’s the next lamb for the slaughter? West Ham’s Alan Curbishley, Bolton’s Sammy Lee, Middlesbrough’s Gareth Southgate or Birmingham’s Steve Bruce?
This season, more than any other, Premier League managers are under immense pressure to succeed due to the enormous amounts of money the clubs will receive at the end of the season from the TV networks.
As a result, more teams, managers, players and chairmen suffer from the fear. The fear of defeat. The fear of relegation. The fear of anger from fans. The fear of the nagging from the 24/7 media.
Part of the problem is that chairmen, board members, players and managers allow the pressure to get to them. The perfect example is Newcastle United. Their fans know that whenever they gather en masse at St. James’s Park and lead protests to throw the current United chairman out of office, that the chairman will back down and sack the manager. Chairmen and board members need to listen to the voice of their fans, but the executives sometimes need to have a backbone and stand up rather than make kneejerk reactions.
Can any of you blame Paul Jewell for his decision to resign from Wigan after the end of last season? He saw the writing was on the wall and that Wigan would be unable to replicate its success of its first season in the league. He bowed out at exactly the right moment. Whether he’s mad enough to become a Premier League manager again is doubtful. Maybe he’ll decide to go to the continent and manage a side like Chris Coleman did in Spain. If so, it’s probably the smartest move he could make right now.