The Tried & Trusted….

by Alex McCarthy

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Continuity usually stands for a steady, tried and trusted formula that works, something you wish to continue, to grow and progress in the same vein. It breeds stability, unity and structure, all important components to a foundation of any football club.

Unless you have millions upon millions to chuck into the market, you need a plan and solid infrastructure. Man City and Chelsea have closed the gaps on England’s present day stalwarts with their sizeable investments. Although granted the investments have to be sensible and the right players still have to come in, even a footballing novice can tell you buying Carlos Tevez, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech, Yaya Toure etc and players of that quality will improve your fortunes.

But look at the management turnover at those clubs since the wealthy owners came to the proverbial throne. Man City have seen four managers since their takeover in 2007, with Chelsea having 5 since 2003. The blue half of Manchester hasn’t exactly had instant success, with no silverware to speak of, or Champions League qualification – yet. Chelsea exerted a similar mould in their less than humble Roman Abramovich orchestrated beginnings. With the initial seasons proving hardly fruitful (bar the Premier League runners-up finish in 2004) the introduction of Jose Mourinho changed all that. I’m not personally convinced Roberto Mancini is City’s Mourinho.

Then look at the great assurance and character you find in Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson. They carry with them the identity of their clubs, they embody and symbolise their respective brands now as they have helped create the global powerhouses before us today. In Wenger’s near 15-year tenure, he’s taken Arsenal from a upper mid-table, cup success orientated side, to a new 60,000+ stadium, TWO domestic doubles, making the Champions League every season and ALWAYS making it past the group stages, a Champions league and UEFA Cup final, and possibly the only transfer policy in the top half of the league where the expenditure doesn’t sniff the income.

As remarkable as all those feet’s are, they pale in comparison to Sir Alex’s 24 extraordinary years. Fergie has won 35 major honours in his time at United, including 11 Premier League’s from the 18 available, one being apart of the incredible treble in 1999. People argue United spend money like City & Chelsea, and they have. However, Sir Alex built an empire which generated money, tasting the success and creating the stars/celebrity’s that spawned a global fan-base reaching all corners of the globe. This bred the money that put in the right hands, continued and developed the vision Fergie had, resulting in the world force before us today. No corners were cut there.

Now however in 2011, 9 managers have suffered the almighty sack, and roughly a quarter of the Premier League currently are by what we construe as ‘under pressure’. The whole of 2010, 48 managers lost their job in the football league, clearly depicting today’s climate as the lions den it is, and the sheer pressure that comes with the job. No longer do managers just pick teams, they build futures. With 9 gaffers gone already this season, the president is set.

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