Another coaching casualty really makes you wonder

Phil Cole/Getty Images

Phil Cole/Getty Images

Sam Allardyce is the eighth Barclays Premier League Manager to be sacked this season after Newcastle United showed him the door, which really makes you wonder, is coaching all about results these days?  It sure seems that way.  The fans wanted him out, they complained that the players had no “bottle” and there was not enough shots hitting the back of the net considering they have Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins and Alan Smith (who Allardyce was using in midfield) as attacking options up front.

Call them a Manager, Coach, Gaffer or whatever you like, at the top it means “the boss”.  Every season in the biggest leagues around the world there are coaching changes for various reasons.  In most cases one would expect that if you don’t reach the targets set and agreed in your contract that you will be fired.

However, in some leagues, like the Spanish Primera Liga, winning the title doesn’t guarantee you’ll keep your job.  Spanish giant Real Madrid sacked Fabio Capello after he guided them to the title last season.  They did the same the last time they won it with Vicente del Bosque in 2003.  In some countries playing good football must match getting results.  The Club, owners and fans want it all and so they should.

The question is who makes the decision to appoint a Manager?  Is it an administrator, a board containing ex-players and Club officials, or is it the owners?  It should be a board made up of ex-players and Club officials who know the history and culture of the Club.  Often it’s an administrator or worse an owner playing games.

A well-credentialed resume shouldn’t be the only box to check when making the decision.  There should be a process to it and intense interviewing to avoid the costly mistake of appointing the wrong person.  Some coaching appointments have been doomed for failure from the start.  Allardyce’s appointment was one of them.  Steve MacLaren’s appointment as England Manager is another with his shortcomings well documented.

When looking at a successful coaching career you don’t need to look any further than Sir Alex Ferguson.  He has spent over twenty-one years at Manchester United with his fair share of ups and downs but unlike most others he has had the backing of the board.  Sure, he’s won nine Premier League titles, five FA Cup’s, two League Cup’s, the UEFA Champions League and a list of others, but he was appointed in 1986 and won his first league title in 1993.  The point is – he was given time.

Any successful team needs time to form a bond, known as team chemistry or cohesion.  How can any coach build a successful team in one season or less?  They can’t.  Even the best teams in the world lose matches and underachieve, just look at Arsenal over the past few seasons, they haven’t won anything substantial but they’ve kept faith in Arsene Wenger and it’s paying off this season in bucket loads.  Arsenal are well on track to winning the league, with a young side they are doing extremely well and more importantly playing attractive football.

Who’d be a coach?  It’s an easy job.  All you have to do is win every game, play beautiful football and hope the owners don’t get sick of the sight of you.  Good luck!


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