What could possibly go wrong?
The hiring of a new manager or head coach always brings renewed hope and expectation. There’s talk of ‘fresh ideas’ and a ‘clean slate’, and most teams enjoy a rebound in results from the previous regime (even if this is mostly regression to the mean).
And yet we know that in major European leagues, 8 out of 10 managers do not reach their two-year anniversary. Along the line – and usually sooner rather than later – we know that it will probably go wrong. This shouldn’t be a surprise to us, so there’s no excuse to not be prepared.
So what can clubs do to anticipate and preempt potential managerial issues?
- Track performance; in 2014 we highlighted how Newcastle’s slump in results was in spite of good performances, and that they were unlikely to remain 19th in the league. They duly went unbeaten for the next six games – with the same manager
- Keep clear lines of communication; articulating clear targets for the incumbent manager – whether around results, youth opportunities or recruitment – ensures that any review process can be performed objectively
- Search more efficiently; identify managers whose style, substance and resourcefulness would be an ideal fit should the worst happen
- Crystalise the club’s philosophy; doing this will enable clubs to determine exactly what they want from their next manager or head coach
With over two months of the season gone, it’s time to start preparing for what could possibly go wrong.