Sleepless nights are at the ready for managers throughout the Christmas period. Football-crazy time has come on strong this past week but is the panic more rife and prominent this season than in the past?
The Premier League is most certainly the tightest and most competitive I've ever seen. It seems to have become the norm to get rid of the manager when things go wrong, or in Blackburn's case when they want a change in style and ambition.
Has it become too easy to sack a manager and then replace them? Or is it ok because the contracts which flummox me are full of hefty amounts of compensation anyway?
I worry for Roy Hodgson. He's a good coach and has the correct attitude and morals in place that some other managers should aspire to. He did well at Fulham, is trying his best at Liverpool and has served his time around various leagues and clubs. He speaks 5 languages as well (not mentioning any names Mr Capello!)
However the speculation is creeping in, the fans are starting to turn against him and some are predicting he is now on borrowed time. In November I hosted a Q&A at a dinner which Roy was at and he said that the day he loses the respect from his peers, would be the day he needs to walk away.
This leads me to wonder whether the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are a dying breed. Imagine when Sir Alex does leave Manchester United, will his replacement stay as long? Or will he be sacked when he's not getting the results of previous seasons?
David Moyes is the only manager in the Premier League outside of Wenger and Fergie that is up there with one club for a period of time he's now in his eighth season at Everton. I have to give Dario Gradi a mention as well from the lower leagues - he's been at Crewe in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years.
Despite many managers literally living on their compensation, there are still some honourable men left in the game. In October this year Gordon Strachan knew things weren't working at Middlesborough and so decided to leave. He could have had a £2.5 million pay-out but the Scot instead tore up his contract and refused the compensation. There aren't many men who would have that integrity.
Surprisingly Sven Goran Eriksson refused a £2m pay-off from Notts County, although I do like the fact that Strachan actually ripped up his contract!
Now I think that there should be a change in how managers are contracted to a club and I reckon it should follow in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola. The Barcelona manager only signs rolling one-year deals.
If he isn't producing the results then the Spanish club can let him go. Guardiola thinks this is fair as he keeps working towards his high standards and getting paid for his work rather than getting paid through compensation when not actually at the club.
Some of Guardiola's quotes make interesting and admirable reading. He recently said: "I asked the board for a one-year contract but the years don't really matter. The day I feel I can't make the team work, I leave.
"The president talked about the stability of a long-term contract but results are the only guarantee for stability. A coach of Barca can't be here for life just because. I think that you have sign for short periods in which the coach has to earn things, with the players, with the fans.”
I couldn't agree more. The only reason why Fabio Capello is still the England manager is because the FA can't afford to let him go due to the ridiculous amount of compensation that was signed in his contract pre-World Cup.
As author Eric Raymond said: "You cannot motivate the best people with money. Money is just a way to keep score. The best people in any field are motivated by passion."
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