Dec 182012
 

When a team is in crisis, the easiest solution is to sack the head coach. It’s easier and cheaper than sacking the whole team!

Managers will often find themselves with a squad that they never asked for, or inherited or were signed by the director of football, who may not be thinking of the system the coach wishes to use.

Valencia sat mid-table in the La Liga, 4 points from places for Europe, 8 points from relegation. So – they sacked Mauricio Pellegrino, after fans asked for the President’s head! Unai Emary left his position as manager of Valencia at the end of last season on completion of his contract. He wasn’t offered a renewal and he wasn’t a popular manager with the fans, either. He wasn’t popular, probably because he was realistic, and simply made the most of what he had from a club in serious economic problems and who were selling all their stars. Emery was guilty of playing too defensively. However, he finished third in the league 3 years running, qualifying for Europe every year.

Pellegrino never seemed to get the grasp of his task, or handle the media, so important for coaches today.

Pellegrino never seemed to get the grasp of his task, or handle the media, so important for coaches today.

With this serious drop in form, Valencia simply sacked head coach Mauricio Pelligrino and all his staff. Meaning – that in one year they will spend more than the previous 3 years altogether in coaching staff!

So why didn’t they simply renew Emery.

Espanyol has sacked manager Pochettino after their worst start in decades.

Caparos and Bielsa were managers who were considered to be revelations last season but were not long in packing their bags.

The example of the structure of the club, first introduced by Johan Cruyff at Barcelona, and the way they play the same system throughout their structure means that both players and coaches fit easily into any function requested of them by the club on and off the pitch.

Tito Vilanova, came through the ranks at FC Barcelona, and knows the club intimately

Tito Vilanova, came through the ranks at FC Barcelona, and knows the club intimately

Tito Vilanova, came through the ranks at FC Barcelona, and knows the club intimately

FC Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in the world with the power to go out and buy the biggest players and pay the best managers. However, they don’t need to – because they have found a club structure that works long term. They don’t have competition from other clubs, because no one else will realize that their way of operating is the best way to do things and simply copy them.

Barcelona’s objective at the moment is to win their next trophy with 11 players from their youth structure. That is simply admirable. Funnily enough, though, one of the clubs I represent and advise in South America (River Plate of Uruguay) has been doing this for many years now!

Club Atletico River Plate de Montevideo, Uruguay

Club Atletico River Plate de Montevideo, Uruguay

 

One of River Plate’s most memorable victories in Copa Sudamericana