Aitor Karanka was the latest victim last week of the cut-throat current environment in the Premier League after being sacked by Middlesbrough.
In February, Claudio Ranieri, in one of the most controversial decisions in recent footballing memory, was let go by Leicester City just months after delivering the Premier League title. The practice of dispensing of managers in the middle of the season is not limited to the supposedly smaller clubs either. Manchester United showed David Moyes the door in April 2014 and Chelsea fired current United boss Jose Mourinho in December 2015.
Gary Neville who himself has found how unforgiving modern football after surviving less than four months in charge of Valencia has often defended managers vehemently and remains one of the remaining voices claiming Arsene Wenger should stay at Arsenal. On his podcast with Sky Sports yesterday, the United legend went as far as to say mid-season sackings should be banned.
“I would support completely the idea that managers can’t be sacked during the season,”
“When you set off at the start of the season with a manager then he has to be your manager for the entire season. Football would support it, in terms of the professional side – I’m not sure whether the owners would.
“But it would mean the players would know you’re going to be the manager until the end of the season, they’d have to get on with it.”
Several teams, including Leicester, have had managerial changes this season with most finding success soon after. Hull seem to have found a gem of a manager in Marco Silva, the Foxes are now flying high, Paul Clement is working wonders at Swansea while even Palace are enjoying some decent form under Sam Allardyce and Neville suggests the upturn in fortunes for those who sack their managers gives confidence to other clubs to follow suit.
“Teams are making changes at the bottom of the league and I’m almost sitting there thinking ‘I wish this doesn’t work’ because when it does, it gives others the confidence to change their manager.
“There have been examples where it’s worked when managers are sacked and where it hasn’t. I’m not sure there is a distinction between either. It seems to be more the done thing where you do sack the manager at the earliest point as the players respond.”
The retired full-back took over at Valencia in early December before parting company with the Spanish club in March after failing to keep a single clean sheet in his time there.
Rory Murphy, Pundit Arena