Being a football manager in today’s world almost seems like more of a temporary job despite the permanent title.
It’s rare for a manager to see out their full contract due to the demands of coaching in the sport today.
There are so many contributing factors when it comes to management such as form, how the players feel, how they perform and what the fans think. It’s not as easy as it may seem to be when the standards set by clubs are so high.
After the recent sacking of former Aston Villa manager, Steve Bruce, Preston North End manager, Alex Neil, explained that it is no longer surprising to see a manager lose their job.
He said: “I think it’s just the modern day, not just football.
“A lot of people have got short memories. 11 games ago Steve Bruce took them to the Play-Off final. If they beat us in that game on Tuesday (Aston Villa 3-3 Preston), they would have gone to seventh. I think they would have gone on to 17 points. Top of the league is on 22. He’s five points away!
“I just think it’s a crazy time that we live in because they didn’t start well last year either and then they went on an incredible run getting into the Play-Offs. They were one goal away from getting into the Premier League and then 11 games later Steve is gone.”
With the international break upon us, a football fans nightmare, it can be seen as a manager’s dream. It gives them a chance to have some of the pressure relieved with an extra week to recover and work away from the intense media spotlight.
That’s the sport we have come to love nowadays, a brief drop in form and a manager will be out of a job as at the end of the day, every football club is a business. It’s all about getting fans to come and watch their respective clubs play and entertain on a Saturday afternoon.
Bolton Wanderers boss, Phil Parkinson, also had his say on Bruce’s sacking.
He explained: “Last year he got them to the Play-Off final, this year they had turmoil in the summer and the takeover happened and I think the week before the window closed he had no time to reshape the squad.
“(They) lost some key players so I think everybody out there in the football world would have said it might be a tricky start for Aston Villa this season but supporters, they’re impatient, and unfortunately they’ve got on the back of the manager and the board have reacted.”
A lot goes on behind the scenes of a football club, there are quite often disagreements between the board and the manager, which ultimately has an effect both on and off the pitch and quite often leads to a managerial sacking.
With the board having the power, although it might seem a quick short term solution, in the long term, the stability of a club can be damaged and once a reputation starts to develop, it is hard to shake off. This ‘trigger-happy’ reputation has extended to football in general.
Managers sacrifice a lot to be where they are today, often having to leave their families to enjoy what they love to do.
Blackburn Rovers manager, Tony Mowbray, spoke of the struggles of being in charge of a football side and the sacrifices he has had to make.
He explained: “I’ve never really been out of football. I find myself 54-year-old now and I’ve never known anything other than football.
“I live away from my family; I don’t see my children all week.
“On a Saturday, if somebody does something stupid and you lose a goal, and you go home with your stomach churned, you go home where you’re hoping to see your family again, have breakfast on a Sunday morning, yet you’re not interested cause the football is ripping your guts out really.”
On paper, fans argue they could do a better job, but in reality do they fully understand what managers have to control, sacrifice and work on behind the scenes to be in the position they are today?