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Is being a sacking club the way forward in modern day football?

Tuesday 16th October 2018

Being a 'sacking club' has built up quite the stigma around Europe with clubs like Chelsea and Real Madrid routinely being criticised for not giving their managers sufficient time to turn a bad situation around. Looking back at the records of the two aforementioned clubs though, I think they just might be on to something.

Since the beginning of the Abramovich era, Chelsea has moved through an astounding 11 managers in just 15 years, with the longest stint of any one manager not being more than four years. In that time, though, they have also amassed 15 major trophies including five Premier League titles and a Champions League triumph. Tellingly Chelsea's Champions League winning manager, Roberto Di Matteo, was gifted a two-year contract after his team's heroics in Munich but was sacked just 4 months into the following season, highlighting the ruthlessness in which Abramovich runs his club. 

Real Madrid, on the other hand, has understandably been far more successful while implementing the same 'cut your losses' strategy. One just has to look as far as Carlo Ancelotti to see a prime example. The Italian was sacked just a year after delivering the much coveted La Decima for Madrid, with many feeling the Italian was hard done by the club.

If we look at a non-sacking club such as Manchester United though, we can clearly see the difference in the narrative.

Manchester United never have been a sacking club. It's easy to say that they didn't have to be given Sir Alex Fergusons success but many forget that during the Scots' early days the club did endure quite a barren run. Although the club sticking by his side was a decision that proved to be a success, it's a strategy that doesn't seem to be working now.

After the resignation of Sir Alex in 2013, the club was keen to appoint a long-term successor and that came in the form of former Everton boss David Moyes. It's fair to say his reign ended in disaster with United finishing the season in 7th and having no choice but to sack the Scot, pressured by the fans.

The club then moved into the rather tedious reign of Louis Van Gaal with the fans having to endure a hard 3 years with only an FA Cup to show for it. Given his style of play and results contrasting with the Manchester United DNA any other top club, say Real Madrid, would've had him out the door much sooner. It's time for teams like United to learn from those such as Chelsea and Real Madrid and cut their losses when a manager doesn't work out.

One may choose to bring up the issue of clubs not being able to deal with managerial transition well. Each manager does, understandably, try to implement their own style of play. That is why, for any modern day football club, appointing a Director of Football could not be a better decision. A Director of Football is able to maintain a strategy across several managers while also assisting in the appointment of new managers and the acquisition of any signings, keeping the football clubs philosophy in mind. So while there may be chopping and changing on the managerial front, the clubs core values remain the same.

The international break is well underway and this provides clubs with a chance to change their manager and wipe the slate clean. If their current coach still hasn't figured things out eight games into the season its unlikely they will anytime soon.

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Bradley Owen

Bradley is fun loving guy. He is throughly obsessed with everything football, he wishes he could be a ghost on the field everytime they played whispering in their ear and helping the ball along. His aim in life is to be hard working ,successful and happy.


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