By Tony Attwood
It’s been a little while since I looked at the table we drew up near the season’s start, showing how much money clubs had spent (less the money received) both over five years and over last summer.
It became clear very early on that the suggestions made in Untold that buying players doesn’t actually relate to position in the league table, either on a summer transfer basis or across five years was right. There is precious little link between the money spent and the resultant position in the league.
|Pos||Team||5 yr cost||Net Summer 2015|
|6||West Ham United||£93m||£27m|
|10||West Bromwich Albion||£51m||£27m|
Interestingly we are above the four teams who spent more than us over the past five years, in the current league table.
Of course some doubts have been thrown into the mix, because of the big question marks now sitting alongside Tottenham’s dealings with Real Madrid and certain Spanish banks that are currently forbidden by Spanish and European law from being involved in football transfer transactions, and we await the outcome of these enquiries. But the figures are fairly reliable for all the other clubs in the league I think.
But leaving that club out of the mix we can still see that the level of transfer activity doesn’t have that much to do with position in the league.
Of course one obvious reason for this is that bringing players through from the youth team can affect the costings considerably. If Arsenal had had to buy Iwobi, Coquelin and Bellerin, then the costs would have been much higher. If Arsenal had not found Elneny by themselves and thus been able to buy him without competition from Man C, Man U, Chelsea and others all desperate to get their hands on new players, the price would have been much, much higher.
Chelsea, for example, with its failure to bring through anyone from the youth teams since J Terry, show why they have to have the oil billions.
We may therefore turn our attention to the other issue that always excites people who love a life of change and uncertainty: the manager.
During 2015/16 various Premier League managers have moved on, starting on 4th October when Dick Advocaat and Brendan Rodgers wandered away, Advocaat because he had had enough, walking away without any question of compensation. Liverpool! however not for the first time had to pay out the cash to get rid of the man.
Tim Sherwood went on 25 October followed by Garry Monk and Jose Mourinho. Chelsea have pulled themselves together a bit, but are still not back to where they were last season. Villa remain where Sherwood left them.
So does changing the manager help? If we go back to 2012/2013 and see who is doing better following the sacking
- Roberto Di Matteo – Chelsea (sacked) – better eventually, but had two more sackings since and still can’t find the right man.
- Mark Hughes – Queens Park Rangers (sacked) – still meandering.
- Nigel Adkins – Southampton (sacked) – yes, an improvement
- Brian McDermott – Reading (sacked) – 17th in the Championship
- Martin O’Neil – Sunderland (Sacked) – struggling again
- Roberto Mancini – Manchester City (sacked) – won the league cup this season, but well off the pace in the league
- Sir Alex Ferguson – Manchester United (retired) – on their second manager, and many want him out too.
- David Moyes – Everton (left to join Man Utd) – a disaster at Man U, out of work after overseas ventures, making a prat of himself on TV
- Rafa Benitez – Chelsea (interim contract not renewed) – went to Real Mad, sacked, now at Newcastle.
Out of those nine, I’d say one club is better off today, having sacked a manager.
- Paolo Di Canio – Sunderland (sacked) – still ready for relegation
- Ian Holloway – Crystal Palace (sacked) – an improvement for a while, now 16th
- Martin Jol – Fulham (sacked) – 21st in championship
- Steve Clarke – West Brom (sacked) – 11th in league
- Andre Villas-Boas – Tottenham (sacked) – yes an improvement
- Malky Mackay – Cardiff City (sacked) – 7th in Championship, not threatening to get back to PL
- Michael Laudrup – Swansea City (sacked) – 15th in the PL
- Rene Meulensteen – Fulham (sacked) – 21st in championship
- Chris Hughton – Norwich City (sacked) – 17th in PL and thanking the gods for the existence of Villa etc
- David Moyes – Manchester United (sacked) – still trying to get back in top four
- Pepe Mel – West Bromwich Albion (mutual consent) 11th
- Tim Sherwood – Tottenham (sacked) – yes an improvement
- Mauricio Pochettino – Southampton (resigned) – he was doing well, as did the next guy
Interestingly when we look at the 2014/15 sackings in the PL it is the same clubs doing the sacking over and over and over again.
- Neil Warnock – Crystal Palace (sacked)
- Alan Irvine – WBA (sacked)
- Alan Pardew – Newcastle (sacked)
- Arry Redknapp – QPR (resigned due to ill health!!!!!)
- Paul Lambert – Aston Villa (sacked)
- Gus Poyet – Sunderland (sacked)
- Sam Allerdyce – WHU end of contract
So the truth remains, neither buying lots of players nor sacking managers gives a club success, but most clubs continue to believe the opposite.
Anyway to finish off, I noted that there was some criticism of our list of who we might have as our next manager when Mr W retires, which certainly won’t be this summer. So here are some more names to play with and some we had before.
Now it is a funny ol’ list but I took it from a bookies site – and it is in the order of odds, with the bottom few being on 100/1. But the list doesn’t end there – it goes on with the chance to put money on the likes of Tony Adams and David O’Leary at around 150 to 1.
- Joachim Low
- Ronald Koeman
- Dennis Bergkamp
- Quique Flores
- Patrick Vieira
- Thierry Henry
- Manuel Pellegrini
- Diego Simeone
- Dragan Stojkovic
- Thomas Tuchel
- Brendan Rodgers
- Jose Mourinho
- Michael Laudrup
- Roberto Martinez
- Jorge Sampaoli
- Slaven Bilic
- Frank de Boer
- Garry Monk
- Phillip Cocu
- Steve Bould
- Roberto Mancini
- Vincenzo Montella
- Laurent Blanc
- Mauricio Pochettino
- Boro Primorac
- Guus Hiddink
- Didier Deschamps
- Andre Villas-Boas
- Marco van Basten
- Frank Rijkaard
- Marcello Lippi
- Dick Advocaat
- Mikel Arteta
- Jurgen Klopp
- Pep Guardiola
- Gary Neville
- Carlo Ancelotti
- Jurgen Klinsmann
- Paul Clement
- Jean Tigana
- Remi Garde
- Ralf Rangnick
- Sven Goran Eriksson
- Alex Ferguson
- Fabio Capello
- Luis Felipe Scolari
- Alan Pardew
- Steve McClaren
- Rafa Benitez
- Roy Hodgson
Having got to fifty I am breaking in because some of the names around here are so wonderful. Would we for example have Pardew? Or Gary Neville? And what about the Alex Ferguson at 44? Or in the remaining nine…Hoddle, Graham, Redknapp, Moyes and oh my look at the very last player on the list.
- Glenn Hoddle
- Martin O’Neill
- George Graham
- Louis Van Gaal
- Harry Redknapp
- Ruud Gullit
- Martin Jol
- David Moyes
- Sam Allardyce
Yet people are offering odds on Allardyce to be the next Arsenal manager. And you know that guy who was going off to support Leicester because we didn’t win a specific game… well if we did put the extremely large Sam in charge, I would go back to Poole Town and Torquay United. I would still support Arsenal, but not the board that installed The Very Large one.
So I have just proved to myself that yes, there is somewhere out there, a limit beyond which I could not go in giving my support.
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