Please note we’ve change our approach to how we handle comments – details are at the end.
Managerial farewells by Tony Attwood
Pep Guardiola accuses dressing room mole of ‘damaging’ Bayern Munich
At least that had the merit of being a different type of complaint about a club from a leaving manager – but by and large most managers tend to say nothing nasty about their ex-employers, first because by saying nothing they hope to get a better settlement and second, the departure settlements tend to have a “no comment” clause within them, so we never learn the lurid details.
Sacking a manager before the end of his contract is invariably a breach of contract and something which could be settled in public in an Employment Tribunal in England. This is what Dr Eva Carneiro is doing – although in her case the argument is one of constructive dismissal rather than actual dismissal.
So when clubs sack managers they tend to lose out – paying out far more in legal costs and ex-manager payments than the salary that would have been paid to keep the manager to the end of his contract. Indeed pay outs to ex-managers can be incredibly expensive, and because of this are often hidden away in the company accounts of the clubs involved under “other expenditure” or “personnel”.
We all know that Tottenham have been the World Champions in Management Removal for around 20 years, and have had multiple attempts at putting a man in place who could give Tottenham even a look in at the top four. Arry could do it, but was then sacked. The present incumbent will probably be given longer but now has to cope with the finances of stadium rent and stadium building.
This season 52 managers have departed a club from within the four top divisions of football in England. Here’s the breakdown from TheSackRace.com
|Sacking club’s league||No of managers going|
Dick Advocaat was the first out on 4 October with Sunderland in 19th. Today they are 17th – only two places up but we must admit two very important places up.
Dick himself had actually come in, in March 2015 to save the club from relegation.
We next came to Brendan Rodgers of who was sacked on 4 October. Liverpool!!! were 10th in the League. Today they are 8th. True they are in the Europa, but of course we can’t say whether this might have happened under Rodgers. Rodgers main failing was a failure to beat Everton.
Liverpool’s finishes of 7, 6, 8, 7, 2, 6 suggests that they are now in their fairly normal position.
Tim Sherwood went away from the Villa on 25 October with Villa bottom. They’ve had a second sacking since then and are still bottom.
Garry Monk of Swansea was sacked on 9 December after one win in 12 league and cup games – which was quite a turn around as the end of last season saw him lauded by all the press as the perfect example of the new manager that everyone (including Arsenal) ought to be looking at. He had also taken Swansea to their best ever finish in the league.
Swansea were 15th when he left. They are now 11th. So an improvement – but not quite so dramatic as perhaps was imagined.
Jose Mourinho went on 17 December with Chelsea 16th. They are now 9th. Although that too is quite an improvement, it is unusual for the champions to fall from being champions to being ninth.
Steve McClaren at Newcastle was sacked, 11th March with the club 19th. They are now 18th. And on 29 March Remi Garde left Villa with the club bottom. They are still bottom.
Meanwhile in the Championship the situation is crazier still. Last season 20 managers left their clubs. This season is still insane – but we’ve only had 15 (although more may now go). And here there is a perfect example of just how crazed the thinking in all this can be.
Derby County were fifth when Paul Clement was sacked on 8 February after eight months in charge. The argument put forward was that the club had won nothing since 1975, when they were still able to call on the team and tactics that Brian Clough had introduced before his acrimonious departure. They noted that they had only been in the top league for 11 seasons in 30, and should be playing “the Derby way” (whatever that is).
Three months on, having spent lots of money on getting rid of the manager, they have finished fifth (exactly where they were before), 11 points off promotion compared to five points when Clement went.
Of course some clubs do go up when bringing in a new man: Leeds, Bristol City, Rotherham and Brentford all did it. But Brentford only went up because the manager who had taken them to the play offs was sacked, and the new man took them to the bottom of the league. He was sacked and went to Rangers in Glasgow, and they won the league and he was manager of the year.
So, does this mean that sacking the manager is always wrong? No of course not. Sometimes it makes sense – but only in a minority of cases. Most of the time there needs to be far better recruitment in the first place, and then far better management overall.
But most of all there needs to be a far better analysis of the situation.
A note about comments.
Untold Arsenal is a web site set up by people who support the manager, the players and the club, for people with a similar outlook. Over the 8 years we’ve been in operation we’ve had thousands of comments posted which are from people who don’t share our views, and as long as these comments were not abusive we’ve generally published them and answered them. However despite our patience in answering such points with evidence we have some people sending in posts reiterating the same old issues while utterly ignoring the evidence based answers we have presented. Reading the same stuff over and over again, without any attempt to carry the debate forwards based on evidence is making the commentary part of the site tedious, so we won’t be publishing any more of these.