Should Managers Face the Chop Before Their Newly Promoted Sides Get a Chance in the Premier League?
In recent years, the Premier League has witnessed some of the harshest managerial sackings in soccer. The majority of dismissals in recent years have been at the expense of a manager who has just gained promotion with his side to the Premier League. Managers have been sacked (some unfairly) for their work in the top flight, whilst others have been replaced for reasons that are still unknown today. It begs the question whether managers who steer their team from the Championship up to the Premier League should be sacked immediately in order to prevent the disruption halfway through the following season when the team is struggling.
With Cardiff City’s promotion to the Premier League now confirmed, it is clear that Malky Mackay has done a fantastic job at the club. Although, it would make sense to replace him for a more experiened manager, someone who is ready for the Premier League with experience and previous occurrence of keeping teams in the top flight. Recently, Nigel Adkins was sacked midway through their first season back in the Premier League. Adkins was within the favorites to be sacked as soon as the 2012-13 season kicked off, as any inexperience top-flight manager would be. In a similar situation at the same sort of time, Brian McDermott was sacked from Reading despite leading them to promotion the previous season. It would prevent disruption within the squad and constant media exaggeration if the unproven manager would be sacked before his attempt to retain Premier League status the following campaign. In the summer, the soccer club could replace the manager and allow time for the squad to be regrouped and prepared for their season in the ‘big time’.
We witnessed Queens Park Rangers sack Neil Warnock in 2012 due to their ‘dangerous league position due to recent form’ according to the club’s owner, Tony Fernandes. The dismissal came just halfway through the season in January, meaning Warnock had little time to adapt to the Premier League. During 2011, Warnock’s QPR side topped the Championship table for the majority of the season, the team breezed to promotion and Warnock fully deserved a chance in the top flight.
However, it could be suggested that Warnock was out of his depth as a manager in the Premier League and should have been sacked as QPR were promoted. Some would say Tony Fernandes should have said thank you very much to Warnock and then replaced him with a more experienced manager, ready for the Premier League.
Roberto Di Matteo was another unfortunate manager to lead a club into the Premier League and face the sack midway through his first season in the top flight. Matteo was replaced by England manager Roy Hodgson at West Brom in 2011, despite leading the club to glory, but Matteo has gone on to bigger and better things – likewise West Brom, who are now considered a top half side in the Premier League.
As much as the suggestion of replacing the manager for a more experienced one would be welcomed in soccer, we must also remember that some managers are able to keep their newly promoted sides in the Premier League. Sam Allardyce has done a fantastic job at West Ham United since being promoted with the Hammers, but Allardyce has previous Premier League experience.