Should any of these bottom three sides change their manager?
The business end of the Premier League season is upon us, and as fans across the country scour the league table to see exactly what fate befits their respective teams, conversation remains rife about what changes could have made to ease their fears of relegation earlier in the season. However, an argument could be made that it is never too late to make a change, even at the managerial level, and that a breath of fresh air could provide just enough vitality to a team in order to secure survival.
As we approach the end of the season, it remains a realistic possibility, if not a likelihood, that all three promoted teams will be relegated, a feat only seen in the Premier League once before, yet two of those teams have stayed strong in the face of each and every challenge and maintained the manager that secured their glory last season. At Leicester and Burnley respectively, Nigel Pearson and Sean Dyche are battling to earn any point they can to help keep their clubs, both favoured at the start of the season to face the drop, in the Premier League for yet another season.
The third team to rise from the Championship twelve months ago, QPR, have made a change already this season, with Harry Redknapp being forced to resign on health grounds after seven games without a win. In his place stepped Chris Ramsey, well respected coach, but previously untested at the top position in the Premier League.
Ramsey, who has been in charge for ten games, led QPR to a big win at West Brom a week ago, but the situation at Loftus Road is dire, and should a team at the wrong end of the table make a move, it could well be Rangers. The Hoops are desperate to avoid the same fate that befell them two years ago, especially considering the financial security that could come with one more season in the Premier League, given the new television deal that is set to kick in next season.
Trap door opens
A defeat to Premier League title favourites Chelsea on Sunday was expected, but the manner in which they lost to a late Fabregas scored after a costly Rob Green error, will be cause for deeper woes, and as time runs out for the Londoners, is there a case to remove Ramsey?
The positives from which to draw from a new manager would be the usual ‘honeymoon’ period that the club enjoys, yet relying on a hypothetical possibility is not conducive with success. There are few other advantages of making a change now, especially as the players are finally settling into Ramsey’s techniques and philosophy. As an experienced Premier League coach, he has worked under Harry Redknapp for a long time, and will have definitely picked up a thing or two from one of the most experienced top flight managers of all time.
Not only is there the upheaval in football matters to consider, but for QPR, or any other team considering making a change, there is the matter of who to replace their current manager with.
Given that we are so close to the end of the season, there isn’t a massive talent pool of experienced managers from which to replace an incumbent with, and moreover, not many of those out of work would take a job that is likely to be based in the Championship next season.
Of course, having for years seen struggling teams axe their manager early in the season, the it is refreshing to see both Burnley and Leicester take the opposite stance, and whilst it may come back to bite them, both clubs know that stability is the long term goal, and such stability will lead to top flight security in years to come, even should it mean a brief stint in the football league.