Manchester United not only thrashed Southampton nine-nil this week, but they showed they have the nasty ruthlessness required to be Premier League champions – maybe not this year, but soon.
Another season of European football is coming to a close and once again, the managerial turnstile is in full swing. The time has even come for the most stable and successful club of its generation to be included in the list.
So it begs the question, when is the right time for a club’s board to tap the head honcho on the shoulder and wave goodbye?
It was interesting to note that during his farewell speech at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson thanked the crowd and the board for sticking with him during the tough times, particularly in after United had finished the season in 11th position in the 88/89 season only for his job to be saved after the 1990 FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace.
Aren’t the board thanking their lucky stars they stuck with the mastermind that guided them to incredible success! But for them to go on to experience this, there has to be some decisive factors. No doubt money being a considerable one.
However, one must also take into consideration the link between how structured and effective a club’s youth system is in not only creating stability among the playing stock, but assisting the coaching staff in keeping their positions.
Manchester United and Barcelona are classic examples of this with both clubs bringing through their ranks a core group of young players who had been playing together for years into the first team squad.
This can then transfer into their national teams where players like Scholes, the Neville brothers, Beckham, Nicky Butt and Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta have formed the heart of both club and national teams over the years.
Over the past decade, Man United and Barca have combined managerial stability with maintaining several core players that have the club’s culture in their blood. When you start filling in the gaps with quality imports, then you tend to find a good recipe for attaining silverware.
The manner in which they the Old Trafford reins have been handed over to David Moyes must also be applauded.
While Man City, Everton and Chelsea all ponder who their next gaffer will be, no sooner than Ferguson’s retirement was announced, Moyes was named as his predecessor, nice and smoothly done!
Their “noisy neighbours” have recently said “see you later” to their boss, who last year, guided them to their first title in 44 years, to the runners up position this season and FA Cup finalists – not a bad effort one would have that thought!
However the tides have turned since the days when Sir Alex’s head was on the chopping block. The holy grails for big clubs are the UEFA Champions League trophy and the League titles.
Man City had failed dismally in the pursuit of the former trophy, and despite being drawn in “groups of death” for the past two seasons, the non-success in this tournament would have been a fairly large nail in Mancini’s coffin.
Sheik Mansour would have viewed the loss to Wigan in the FA Cup as the final straw and hammered the lid shut on Mancini.
There is no doubt that assembling a squad of all stars from all over the globe has its benefits, but are they all short term without looking at the big picture? Not to mention the stress on the manager in keeping all of those egos in check
Did I hear you say Balotelli?
Mancini and Platt are now gone and it appears Pellegrini is the next man to step into the breach, but will that move create more of the same?
Ridiculous money thrown at great players instead of building a great foundation from quality youth for the future?
Only time will tell for clubs like Chelsea and Man City!