Chairmen need more patience with managers

3:00pm Wednesday 18th December 2013

Andre Villas-Boas and Steve Clarke are the latest big-name managerial casualties of the season.

A year ago, they were being hailed as two of the brightest Premiership managers, but unfortunately both failed to reach their second anniversary in charge of their clubs.

AVB was in charge at Tottenham for only 18 months and Clarke lasted a month longer at West Brom.

It seems that chairmen are becoming the most impatient people in football, expecting and demanding instant success.

I think the days of ten-year reigns for managers are long gone and getting to five years in charge of one club is an achievement in the modern game. That makes Chris Wilder’s spell of five years at Oxford United – a landmark he reaches this Saturday – all the more commendable.

Time is no longer on the side of managers and three defeats in a row now appears to be a terrible run which could mean the end.

What were the expectations of chairmen Daniel Levy and Jeremy Peace?

AVB spent £108m on transfers this season, so maybe his chairman was expecting to be sitting on top of the league or at least challenging.

Everyone knows that spending lots of money doesn’t necessarily guarantee success and only Chelsea, and more recently Manchester City, have been the exceptions to that.

I can understand Levy’s frustration, even though I don’t agree with the change at the top.

He has given the manager freedom in the transfer market and allowed him to spend. That in itself causes impatience. I think I would be the same, but I would not lose focus and reality.

AVB missed out on Champions League football by a point last season and it appeared Tottenham had a bright young new manager to lead them to glory for many years to come.

If you take into consideration Spurs’ recent form, they suffered just three defeats in his last 15 games, which isn’t too bad if you ask me, even if the last of them was a 5-0 drubbing at home from Liverpool.

Clarke, on the other hand, spent only £13m, which in Premier League terms is peanuts. So what was his chairman expecting?

West Brom have got used to bouncing between the Premiership and Championship, so surely the chairman’s immediate priority was Premiership stability.

Clarke had led the club to their highest Premier League finish of eighth last season, so a recent poor run of six games without a win should not have been enough to get him dismissed.

I find it ridiculous, but should I really be shocked? You wonder what comes next for Villas-Boas and Clarke. AVB’s reputation may have suffered more after his experiences at Chelsea and Tottenham.

Clarke, on the other hand, will come out of this OK, as he will get some sympathy from most people when they look at what he achieved in his short time at West Brom.

The demands of modern day football and the rewards of the Premier League means there are always going to be casualties.

So far this season, 18 other managers have lost their jobs around the football leagues – and all before Christmas!

I don’t think the impatience of some chairmen is good for football and I will leave them with a great quote I found . . . “Patience is also a form of action.”

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