There are far too many managers up and down the country openly criticising their players for seeking a move away to a club in the league above or to a supposed ‘bigger’ club for either the financial or career development when they have hit a bit of form and interest in him has followed. I personally have no objection to players and managers leaving clubs to benefit their careers, my only problem is when managers show complete double standards by criticising players for seeking this then doing exactly the same when a ‘bigger’ club comes calling to that manager.
The managerial circus has left many feeling sorry for managers with the relentless chopping and changing, I agree this is not ideal for any club but do the managers, on the whole, really deserve sympathy? Not in my opinion. If these managers are not guaranteed the time they feel they will need to build a squad to challenge in their respective leagues then why are they taking this job? It only goes to damage the manager’s reputation and future job prospects.
There are managers bemoaning the need to keep their best players and for players to stay and buy into the ‘project’ or ‘direction’ of the club, then forget all ‘loyalty’ they had towards the club to jump ship without any real moral thinking towards their former club. There are many recent examples to choose from, some may be very unpopular suggestions on my part but i feel it needs pointing out.
As much as I enjoyed the season he had with us and rate him as a very good manager, Chris Houghton is a prime example of the point I’m trying to make, he had a superb season with the blues but as soon as a Premier League club came calling, there was only one outcome really.
Dean Saunders too, left Doncaster 2nd in League 1 in January 2013 to manage Wolverhampton in the Championship, he could have stayed to take rovers into the championship but choose to go at the first time of asking. Ian Holloway, a very popular manager both for his charisma and press conference antics and rants, a manager which has incredible comedy value and a genuine top manager, he also falls foul to his double standards over his players futures and his own, one notable example is his frustration over Charlie Adams demands to move to various clubs, in the end he got his switch to Liverpool, but for Ian Holloway to take the vacant Crystal Palace job, arguably a club with a better potential than Blackpool but it still contradicts everything he said about some of his players, and other clubs players during his tenure at the Seasiders.
The last example of double standard managers is manager, in my opinion is very fortunate not to have been found out yet for being consistently not good enough. Michael Appleton, in just over a year he has been able to jump club to club twice and is on his third managerial spell at Blackburn Rovers currently, I’ll try and leave my harsh opinions about his ability out of this article, some may understand why he left Pompey for Blackpool with Portsmouth’s obvious financial difficulties however his next managerial stunt is one that says it all to me about the guy’s true character, after only 12 games at Blackpool he was somehow offered the job at Blackburn, obviously he took this job on to show a complete and utter lack of any loyalty whatsoever.
Please let me stress this, I can’t argue against managers, player’s, coaching staff or kit man leaving a club to enhance their career, they are humans just like us, seeking the highest position possible in their industry. It is the managers who seem to have one view for how players should behave, especially their own players, but act just as their players do to interest from a supposed bigger club, that is my real bugbear.
Some managers clearly do not understand that loyalty works both ways, look at the fine examples of David Moyes, Nigel Clough and Kenny Jackett. If any managers can justify player loyalty it is certainly these three long serving managers, Kenny Jackett into his 6th year at Millwall, Clough 4 years currently and over 10 years at Burton Albion and Moyes now into his 10th season at Everton, these managers go to show by staying loyal to a club, even through the exceptionally successful and times of struggle that all managers will encounter during time at a club, by being loyal to the club, fans and players this loyalty has been reciprocated by the club, in not threatening their positions during problematic periods, by fans in not blaming the manager or panicking during their tenure and players by sticking around and wanting the play for the manager, obviously there are comings and goings with all clubs but players that these managers have the financial opportunity to keep on the books generally stay with these managers, like I said, loyalty works both ways.
To summarise, the only people that suffer from the managerial circus are the fans as most fans have to deal with a manager either coming into the club, being successful then leaving in instance, or managers pleading for time when things are going well whilst the fans truly know that the manager would have no loyalty to club if they was being successful at the club anyway and would be jumping ship, fans are the one that deserve sympathy in these situations, especially in the professional game where a lot of managers get a very healthy pay out when being sacked. The real sufferers of manager instability and double standards are the fans who have to face relentless fluctuations of form of their club, and serious instability, fans pay the consequences for a manager jumping ship when they've been successful and when a manager, well simply, flops.
Some say that’s just football, maybe it is but get real pundits, get real ‘experts’ feeling sorry for Mark Hughes, Nigel Adkins, whoever, get real, it’s the fans who have to sacrifice so much in terms of money, time and effort in order to follow their team through thick and thin.
Thanks for reading, would love to hear your views on this topic.