Fear should not determine a club’s choice of manager
Pep Guardiola, José Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte and Jürgen Klopp – the managers of English Premier League football clubs who occupy the top five places in the table. All are world renowned for their differing but successful coaching styles and have excelled in their profession. Each is contrasting in terms of personality, image and footballing philosophy but there is a common denominator, which is they were exposed to top-tier management while in their 30s.
They achieved it differently but compared with managers in England they were coaching top-level clubs relatively young and able to apply their ideas and engage with players closely, partly owing to their youth.
Think about those guys in relation to the appointment of David Moyes (54) at West Ham United and Everton’s reported interest in Sam Allardyce (63). Both managers are the logical step in terms of an experienced, safe pair of hands who would be expected to guide these teams to safety from the financial perils of relegation.
For years, we have asked where top English coaches with new ideas are coming from, and then – without looking for the right person – clubs have instead opted to continue the seemingly endless obsession with the managerial merry-go-round. Thus we see the same faces linked to every available job regardless of what they did at their previous clubs.
The reason for this is twofold and bound to the natural emotion in everyone who governs the ability to make decisions regardless of our circumstances: fear. Fear of losing the vast sums of money now at stake in the Premier League that would be
lost through relegation. Fear of ridicule and pressure from the media.
Football is too great a sport to be paralysed by fear. The longer it strangles our game and promotes safetyfirst appointments, the longer we will end up with clubs rejecting the opportunity to develop better futures in favour of focusing on survival.
Liam Rosenior plays for Brighton & Hove Albion and is a columnist for the Guardian