Managerial Stability: An Overrated Concept


As a Chelsea fan I never understand why people make fun of “sacking culture”. Since the Roman era, managers have come and gone but the trophies have remained, in fact in that time we’ve been more successful than every other club in terms of trophies this era, so I never understood the criticism. I get where it comes from, the gold standard of English football when Roman took over was Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. The two had been at their clubs for a long period of time and were successful so this was seen as the way to do things to be successful. Roman came in and did it his way and people don’t react well to new ways of doing things.


Sir Alex Ferguson is the exception that proves the rule that managerial stability is overrated in terms of being successful. A 26-year tenure that led 13 titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 league cups and 2 Champions league trophies. I understand why this was perceived as the way to do things. Now let’s look the other tenure of the second longest serving manager in the Premier League, despite Arsene’s 3 titles and 7 FA Cup cups let’s not forget there was an 8-9 year period without a single trophy. I would not take 8 years without a single trophy for the sake of having stability.


Chelsea were the first to try the method of sacking and in that period I’ve witnessed managers like Avram Grant going to the Champions League final and Roberto DiMatteo winning the Champions League trophy. Chelsea proved to me that just having good players is enough. A manager is there  just to oversee the talent. Man City came after Chelsea and I’ve seen them have 3 different managers provided with the talent to be able to win a trophy. Some of you guys are reading this and thinking  I’m just chatting sh*t or I’m biased cause the system has worked for my club. We can look abroad and notice its rare for a big club to keep a manager at the helm for more than 4 years.

Before we get into the rest of this article, don’t forget to check out our countdown of the best managerial reigns in Chelsea history.


In Italy Juventus who have been the most successful club there over the past decade had Conte for 4 seasons from 2011 to 2014 winning the title every year, despite this he left. Then Allegri came in, who also who spent a similar time there and was even more successful. Followed by Sarri who had one season and was still able to win the title. Despite the changes in management the trophies did not dry up. Juventus often remained competitive at the top or winning the title. You know why? Cause like I said, having good players is more than half the job done.


In Spain, from 2005 to 2015, arguably the greatest 10-year spell I’ve witnessed from a club. Barcelona had 2 different ballon d’or winners in that time and other players in the top 3. It started with Frank Rijkaard who won 2 titles and a champion’s league. Followed by Pep Guardiola who was also able to win 3 titles and 2 champion’s leagues in a 4-year spell. After this Tito was able to take over and secure another title and then in came Luis Enrique who spent 3 years at Barca winning yet another treble. Barca were winning the league basically every year too. Proving yet again that regardless who the manager is, the success continued.


So we’ve covered England, Spain and Italy to prove why managerial stability is overrated, long term management isn’t a desire of mine. My desire is to succeed with whichever method works. I can go on and talk about Bayern Munich too, Paris saint Germain and Ajax. There is more evidence in recent times of managers coming and going at clubs that are successful than there is of a manager staying put at club for 5-10 years now. Diego Simeone is probably the only one who competes at the highest level who’s been at his club for 10 years.

Sir Alex Ferguson is not the norm, he’s the exception that proves rule, he is the anomaly. He set the precedent that people thought was the way to be successful and because he was so successful. I understand why that became the way everyone wanted to emulate. For me? It’s easy. Have good players playing with each other. I’ve seen managers with limited ability be in a position to succeed regardless of time spent, don’t get me wrong coaching 100% plays a part but the longevity of it isn’t as important as we are led to believe. Has anyone seen Frank Rijkaard since he’s done managing Barca team in their prime?

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