Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When is the right time to fire the manager?


Paolo Di Canio only lasted a handful of games this season before being fired by Sunderland.

There's no doubt he's a egomaniac, nutcase, passionate, crazy Italian, but surely the owners of Sunderland knew that when they hired him. He was able to save them from the drop last year and was given free range, and a massive budget to sign new players. He then imposed his strange, unpredictable, overwhelming style of management.

He called out players for being lazy, unfit, unable to speak English, eating too much junk food, drinking too much soda. Di Canio called out his players for their poor performances, abusing individuals and embarrassing the team and club. But we all knew he would.

So why was he fired? The players weren't happy? I'm sure the fans haven't been happy for a long time, but they don't get to fire the manager or sack the players. They don't get to change things or demand better.

Being bottom of the league in September won't get you relegated. Sure, the form is not good and the players haven't gelled yet. But a new manager now has to deal with that, and will surely request his own players at even more expense once the January window opens.

Maybe managers should get a window, the same way there is for transfers. I'm not saying Paolo did a good job, but he didn't really get to do the job at all. Fans deserve better. Chopping and changing can work, but there has to be some consistency. A quarter of the season minimum? 20 games? The owners have the right to change all they want, but I'd like to know how many times it works - because getting a quick fix guy isn't the solution if you fire him as soon as he loses a couple of games.