To much pressure?

by James Daly

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

The pressures of being a Premiership manager aren’t a secret – the mood status of thousands of fans resting on your shoulders, juggling the egos of 30 prima donas, probing journalists, and managing the bank balances of multi-million pound businesses can be a testing existence.

But is it also bad for your health? Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce is the latest Premiership manager to require surgery to correct a dodgy ticker, raising more questions about the mental and physical state of football professionals.

Allardyce follows managers like Gerard Houllier, Graeme Souness and Joe Kinnear into the operating room. Kinnear underwent a triple heart bypass in February this year after only five months in the job at Newcastle. Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier had an emergency 11-hour heart bypass in 2001, probably brought on by the heart-stopping 5-4 Uefa Cup victory over Alaves that season.

Alex Ferguson was fitted with a pacemaker in 2004 and it’s a little know fact that is face was actually the same colour as his heart at the time. 1992 was a bad year for managers hearts as Barnet boss Barry Fry and Liverpool manager Graeme Souness both suffered heart attacks.

Allardyce we miss his side’s game with his former club, Bolton today, as well as the midweek fixture at Fulham and next Saturday’s visit of Stoke, but Rovers fans will forgive him his absence if he can make a full recovery.

An environment that thrives on success, at any cost, is always going to induce stress, especially where millions, nay billions, of pounds are involved. Through with an ever intrusive press and fans passionate enough to sometimes write threatening letters to players and managers, and it’s no surprise some professionals body’s can’t take it.

We’ve sadly seen the rigors of the game, ever increasing, taking the lives of a handful of footballers over the last few years. It almost begs the question if it is worth it. Bill Shankley may have famously said that football was more important than life but he was wrong.

Despite not being the most popular club, or manager, the world of football will be sending their best wishes to Allardyce this week, but judging by the other managers above who have suffered one point becomes glaringly obvious – for the sake of your health, do not manager Liverpool.

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  • dexylongshot

    Personally, i think it’s just old age, plenty of people male and female when getting into their 50s have to visit hospitals for 100s of reasons, plenty of them ticker related. Stress doesn’t help but nearly everyone I know over that 50 mark has been in hospital for similar symptons.

  • leon

    I’m with Dexy, its an age thing, managers hang on to the lime light too ling and dont let the young guys take charge in the higher up leagues, i mean i remember Quieroz being the assistant manager of Man Utd where fpreviously he had been the manager of South Africa and a whole host of other clubs. Now Fergie is still hanging on and i think its time he moves on, things are changing results are down, and players are becoming less and less of a hit. i mean when was the last time fergie signed a player that made everyones eyebrows raise and think, pure quality, can we honestly say there are any pure quality world class players, no , the last ones were ronaldo and despite what people say tevez was world quality and a team player, biggest mistake losing him for owen a washed up footballer.

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