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Patience Pays Off At Anfield But Will Other Contenders Follow Suit?

liverpool crest Patience Pays Off At Anfield But Will Other Contenders Follow Suit?

Here’s an interesting little fact for you: the two longest serving managers in Premier League history also happen to be in charge of the two most successful teams in Premier League history. So why is it then that fans and chairmen are so quick to jump on the back of a struggling manager and demand change?

This weekend saw a Liverpool side, missing its captain and shorn of form and confidence, defeat rivals and champions Manchester United 2-0, to relieve the pressure on Red’s boss Rafael Benitez. But should Benitez have even been under such pressure to begin with? After all, Liverpool are a far tougher prospect now than they were when he took over five years ago.

Last season they finished in their best position since 2002, with their highest points tally since the Premier League began and yet four defeats in a row (two League, two European) were enough to put their manager’s neck very much on the line.

Fortunately for Benitez (and Liverpool fans, if he goes on to turn their season around), the pressure on the Spaniard has now been alleviated and in one fell swoop, Liverpool’s title odds fell from 18.0 to 12.0.

The simple fact is, had the club’s American owners panicked and had a new manager take over at Anfield, Liverpool’s prospects of success would have been seriously hampered in the short term, with no guarantee of silverware any further down the line.

It takes time to stamp a mark on a football club and very rarely does a change in manager lead to instant success. Another fact for you – only one man in Premier League history has won the title in his first season in charge and that was the self proclaimed ‘Special One’, who also enjoyed the advantage of a sizeable transfer budget.

So why is it then that so many clubs see chopping and changing as the way forward? It certainly didn’t help Newcastle United, whose fans saw four different men try and fail to keep the Magpies in the Premier League last season. It also hasn’t helped Tottenham, who took a backwards step after sacking their manager of three years, Martin Jol in 2007. Indeed, were it not for Harry Redknapp, they too may have been playing Championship football this season.

So next time you call for your manager’s head, sit back, take stock and ask yourself if hiring a new man really is the best way to make progress or if a little patience is all that is needed.

Here’s an interesting little fact for you: the two longest serving managers in Premier League history also happen to be in charge of the two most successful teams in Premier League history. So why is it then that fans and chairmen are so quick to jump on the back of a struggling manager and demand change?

This weekend saw a Liverpool side, missing its captain and shorn of form and confidence, defeat rivals and champions Manchester United 2-0, to relieve the pressure on Reds’ boss Rafael Benitez. But should Benitez have even been under such pressure to begin with? After all, Liverpool are a far tougher prospect now than they were when he took over five years ago.

Last season they finished in their best position since 2002, with their highest points tally since the Premier League began and yet four defeats in a row (two League, two European) were enough to put their manager’s neck very much on the line.

Fortunately for Benitez (and Liverpool fans, if he goes on to turn their season around), the pressure on the Spaniard has now been alleviated and in one fell swoop, Liverpool’s Premier League title betting odds fell from 18.0 to 12.0.

The simple fact is, had the club’s American owners panicked and had a new manager taken over at Anfield, Liverpool’s prospects of success would have been seriously hampered in the short term, with no guarantee of silverware any further down the line.

It takes time to stamp a mark on a football club and very rarely does a change in manager lead to instant success. Another fact for you: only one man in Premier League history has won the title in his first season in charge and that was the self proclaimed ‘Special One’, who also enjoyed the advantage of a sizeable transfer budget.

So why is it then that so many clubs see chopping and changing as the way forward? It certainly didn’t help Newcastle United, whose fans saw four different men try and fail to keep the Magpies in the Premier League last season. It also hasn’t helped Tottenham, who took a backwards step after sacking their manager of three years, Martin Jol in 2007. Indeed, were it not for Harry Redknapp, they too may have been playing Championship football this season.

So next time you call for your manager’s head, sit back, take stock and ask yourself if hiring a new man really is the best way to make progress or if a little patience is all that is needed.


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