Coaching in the Premier League is unstable and unsustainable; and why England won’t ever win the world cup again


By Tony Attwood


One of the original pieces of research that Untold has broken over the years was that which revealed the key to international success in football.   The story has since become commonplace, and has oft been repeated in newspapers and on TV, but I’m still proud that it was this site which undertook and published the analysis.

What we did was quite simple – we took a range countries and compared their success in the world cup with a range of features such as population, number of registered clubs, number of registered players and number of qualified coaches.  Success, I should explain, was not just measured in terms of winning the world cup.  No, what we were interested in was how a country like the Netherlands could actually do comparatively well in the World Cup given how small its population is and how few of its top playerse play in their home country.

The result of this analysis showed quite clearly that it wasn’t the number of home grown players you have in the local league (something that is endlessly trumpted by the FA as a big problem for England) but rather the number of highly qualified coaches measured against the number of players.

When we think of it now it all seems utterly obvious – but when we ran the story it wasn’t at all obvious.

Now Arsene Wenger has added his concerns about the situation in England, but from a different angle.  For he has expressed worries for the future of coaches in the English league after David Moyes was sacked.

Moyes was the 10th Premier League manager to get the chop just nine months after he was chosen to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson.  And almost certainly he won’t be the last this season.  If fan reaction is anything to go by West Ham will have a new manager next season.  If history and the obvious attitude of the man in charge are anything to go by, Tottenham will have a new man running the team for next season.   In fact we are close to over half of the Premier League managers that start a season not being there at the start of the next season.

And if recent reactions on blogs and Twitter are anything to go by this will not only be because the board wants to kick a manager out.  The denigration of managers will continue to have an ever growing impact.  West Ham away fans now regularly chant and sing against Sam the Slug (and when you lose your away support you really have lost support), while Moyes now finds his name is used in the English language as a verb.  To Moyes it up means to make a total mess of everthing.  “He Moysed it” means he totally screwed up.

The excuse for the constant churn rate is always the same.  Billions of pounds are invested in football, so the pressures on managers to succeed at once is enormous.  Although there is another factor present – which is that the financial gap between the Premier League and the Championship is so vast, that relegation can’t be considered.   And as Liverpool has shown, once you sink from the top levels, it can take 20 odd years to climb back to what you once took as normal.

At Arsenal however things are always different.  Arsenal is one of only three teams that have had the sort of longevity in the Champions League that we are used to, and which every other English team would crave, while Mr Wenger is the longest serving manager in English football – in case you have forgotten he has been with us since 1996.

But he is now expressing the worry that other coaches will never be given the time to develop a club has he has.

He recently said at a press conference, “If you want quality people in any job, you need to give them time to develop and to become good, or people with the quality will not come into our job anymore.

“The average expectancy of an English professional club at the moment is 11 months, and that is quite unstable. Every guy who is married, has a family, will have a big hesitancy before he goes into that game.

“That means the quality of the coaching and the quality of the managing is under threat, because it will not attract quality people anymore.

“I’m sad that Moyes wasn’t given time and I wish him well. I think it’s just part of what the modern game is now. There is no time available for people to do their job and that is a big threat for our game.”

Of Man U’s lack of style, culture and decency in its approach to the sacking he said, “It was surprising. In these kind of situations, you want the managers to be informed first, eye to eye, as we are used to. It didn’t look like it was like that.

“What I regret the most is that he has been sacked because he has big experience in the Premier League, he has shown quality and you would have loved him to get more time.”

In a sense it is another nail in the coffin of English football.  Not only are English coaches not be trained up and getting qualified, they are also unable to get and hold jobs.

As with all our articles, the original research into the problem of football in England is still on the site.  You can read the original report on the lack of English coaches in football and how it is the one factor that affects the English game via this link. Now with the need to sack half the Premier L:eague’s managers each season, the chances of getting anything sorted in this crazy league seems less likely than ever.

13 Replies to “Coaching in the Premier League is unstable and unsustainable; and why England won’t ever win the world cup again”

  1. The demise of Moyes at Man Utd is a typical example of the malaise spreading throughout the professional game.
    Football today is big business and failure over even one season cannot be accepted.
    Once upon a time a new manager would be allowed at least a year to manage unhindered but now, no longer.
    The backroom accountants require instant remedial action as soon as a club begins to slide. Player power will also be enlisted and the first casualty is invariably the poor old manager.
    Big business is a messy business.

  2. The club administrations are in a way responsible for this. Why can’t they take a strong stand and make sure that players know that they have selected the manager and they expect players to follow him…..

    This loosing the dressing room shit should stop somehow…..

  3. The way Moyes booted out was really disgraceful for a cultured club like Man Utd. However, I have a feeling that the people around him at Man Utd back stabbed him. I blame the ex golden generation boys. Clearly these deluded gang of Sir Alex F-Word took a que or two from their evil Master and planned their way to the summit. If the rumours are true about Louis Van Gaal, then this evil gathering is in for rude awakening. The Dutchman take no prisoners, mind that.

  4. Manure fanatics have to know that the cheating days are over simanyi furgus time, its all gone and in reality so far so good. Untold have been talking about this for a while i mean presenting refs with the best wine can you imagine!!
    Seven to six extra minutes so all that is gone three penalties given at oldtoilet after a year or so!!! Yes as far as i’m concerned Manure have bought the last nine trophies i don’t have proof but we can watch all their matches and it would show beyond reasonable doubts that the devils where sucking blood from other teams period.
    I was betting with some sewer rats about the Arsenal being in the Champions league next season but i’m afraid they could not put their balls where their mouths are.
    Where are they now??

  5. Hey, as you said big business talks. Looking back Moyes was probably meant to be a filler until they could get who they really want, and if he did well, so be it. That could have been the situation too.
    Unless UK get to grips with football in this century, UK coaches are going to be less and less, at least good ones, and the World cup? Well nuff said, you said it already.

  6. An old legend from the 1950s, Len Shackleton, devoted a chapter in his autobiography to “What directors know about football.” The chapter consisted of one blank page.
    If he were to write today, he might have changed the chapter to read “owners”. Admittedly there are a few like Dave Whelan at Wigan, who are exceptions to the rule but they are rare.
    Owners are rich, mainly self made,and used to getting their own way. Return on investment is the name of their game either as capital growth or as money taken out. Stan Kroenke probably belongs in the first group, the Glazers in the second. No surprise that as soon as Manure couldn’t make the CL Moyes was fired. The Glazers need that 40 odd million quid to boost their declining earnings. Even Abramovich fired Maureen Jo because he not only wanted silver (PLUS the European Cup) but also for Chelsea to play like Arsenal. Even when De Matteo delivered that cup he got chopped.
    Football as we knew it is doomed and blessed with an FA that is worse than useless in terms of advancing coaching numbers, the situation will, as you rightly say, just get worse.
    Thank God for Arsenal and AW.

  7. England won’t win it again as long as Lady Karma is there to punish the national team for all crimes of FA. And, let’s face it, it’s not just quantity but also quality of coaches in England that makes English team incompetitive with Germany, Spain or Holland. Where are English goalkeepers? Where are English midfielders that think during game (Pirlos, Artetas, Zelalems, Fabregases…they all happen to other countries).

  8. Manchester United won the EPL last season. The coaching staff were in place, for a repeat performance.

    The question is, why did Moyes not use the existing coaching staff at Carrington?

    It would seem that Moyes is not financially astute, as the debt at Everton FC was capped at £25 millions.

    It simple terms, the coaching staff were first-class, the new manager too impatient.

  9. @Notoverthehill – Moyes wanted to leave his own stamp at Manchester United and, boy, he did it in style!

  10. Tony
    Every time u think about the issue of coaches, managers,club,business management nd sport generally u just wonder what Wenger is thinking. Here is a Man who sole Aim is to make nd turn Arsenal into 1 if nt the biggest Brand in d world both on field nd outside the field by picking a model nobody never thought it would work.
    Par Moyes sacking its just a case of eye opener to all that things are nt hw we see them. Man utd was seem globally has a encouraging brand always used to whip Wenger bt just only 10months into a new Life the have sacked their Chosen one while an indept look would have shown same gamed played different outcome bt different attitude by the ref towards them leading to Liverpool(who are 7th if am right) last year now topping the league while Man utd(last year winner) nw occupying Liverpool position wit almost the same point gap.
    When ever England accept that their is something with their Football the better for them to build a new football Nation nd live up to their( so acclaimed) billing of been thr pioneer of Football.

  11. Good article Tony.

    It is totally irrational to expect a person to immediately be able to do a job, especially a many sided job with the constant pressure of a premier league manager. Nobody is allowed to have time to become good at the job. Arsene Wenger’s approach to this question ties in with his belief in educating and developing players as well.

    But men who believe only in money expect instant results.

  12. When manure empowered Roo to sell more shirts, he became more powerful that Moyes.
    You would also think that, upon hiring him, Fergie would have told him to keep the coaching staff, possibly adding two or three of his own choice during the transition period.

  13. Managing and coaching are two entirely different jobs.

    Most managers do not actually coach their squads.

    Arsene always coaches EVERY first team squad session.

    Maybe two for the price of one!!!!!!!

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