Managers and the Managerial Manifestation: The Curious Case of Club Football

Blog by: Roh  


Club managers, like footballers, are highly priced commodities with club owners ready to splurge on acquiring the best possible managing talent. But as difficult it can be to ‘purchase’ the necessary player of choice in the transfer window, acquiring a manager of choice isn’t at all difficult.

Money doesn’t always enter into the equation as a priority then; not only for the potential, most-likely managerial candidate, but for the club owner as well. For, somehow, when it comes to scouting managers, club owners become more idealistic ready to do everything and anything to ensure that their primary choice doesn’t opt for any other club. Names and reputations of clubs – and managers as well – are then built this way, by the careful and calculative choice-making of club owners.

Just as easily, these reputations go in for a toss as well. The investment in managers – as idealistically pragmatic as they can get – don’t then necessarily transform the owners into meek and mild yes-men. Results are expected, indeed they are a priority and the manager who cannot get the necessary results then finds himself unceremoniously cast aside for someone with an even brighter resume. For, even though managers get carte blanche to get the player/players of their choice into the squad, in case of the team failing to step up, it’s the manager who faces the most of the owner’s wrath. So many instances of club managers coming and leaving, as if club football were a game of musical chairs, do the rounds then reinforcing the nature of the volatility of the business of club football’s professionalism.

The managers frenetically pacing the sidelines shouting themselves at the players in case of a sub-par performance is then a manifestation of this underlying authoritarianism of the club owners. Precedents and reputes then come to be constructed this way too, with the owners then gaining more prominence than the club, its players and the manager put together.

It’s in the midst of these turbulent happenings that some managers acquire statuses of Gods and titans building more than their reputation. They become a force to be reckoned with, their capacitance to help the club to success – season after season – such that they are elevated to the stature of invincibility. The sport’s history then boasts of many such legendary names who have taken their respective clubs to the very pinnacles of glory.

And no two managers have been alike in their managerial approach further adding to their singularity. Some dictatorial while some more mellowed, some braggarts and some, more result-oriented than being verbally demonstrative about their greatness; the list is quite endless. But no matter their line of thinking towards achieving the desired goal, these names have gone on to influence their clubs to such an extent that it’s been difficult for their successors to emulate the tale of their triumphs.

Perhaps that’s why club owners find it difficult to get a suiting successor to such tall precedents. To give due credit to the man who picks up the baton, it’s quite a daunting and challenging task. For he wouldn’t merely have to re-live the past on close quarters, but he would also be facing the test of ensuring that the club’s distinguished – and standalone – meritorious feats take on newer and brighter pathways.

And when it comes to the latter prospect wouldn’t be only the club owners who would be on the lookout. Scores and scores of fans, from across the world, would then be waiting to see the magic that the newly appointed manager brings into the fold.

Longevity then isn’t measured by years or decades, but by the number of wins that the new appointee manages to achieve in the shortest possible time without altering the fundamentals that his predecessor established during his time and at the same time, by infusing his own uniqueness to the existing mix.


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