While this Premier League season seems to be about as predictable as a roulette table, there are quite a few clubs that are not enjoying the crazy start to the league season. The worst part for those clubs? The ever growing idea that the man at the helm of the club might not be the person to take them forward into the future. For two of England’s most successful clubs, the issue has been a major talking point for a long time. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger seem to always be moments away from parting, while Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers have quickly forgotten the 2013/14 season as the reds seem completely unable to find the back of the net. So, why will these clubs not pull the trigger? Well…
Here is the issue that every fan from nearly every club on the planet needs to realize right now – Despite the fact that every draw and loss is immediately followed by millions of people on every form of social media calling for the manager’s head, those same people are posting stuff without using that all-important item between their ears: their brain.
“But Andrew,” I hear you say, “Wenger has shown an inability to become a modern manager and seems to think that continuing to push forward in a way that would have brought success a decade (or more) ago is going to come back in to style…”
“Sir McCole,” the Liverpool fans chime, “Rodgers inherited Suarez and has shown a transfer acumen where 1 in every 5 transfers actually works out…and if we miss out on the Champions League after just returning, the man needs to pack his bags and go!”
Let me start by saying that the imaginary Arsenal/Liverpool fan is right. Wenger does continue to do business like he is building a team for the 2000-2001 season, and Rodgers looks like he would have been better served holding onto a large chunk of the Suarez money until this January…when the squad could have been completely evaluated for its needs.
However, here is the kicker…and this goes for every major team in every league…
There is not anybody that is any better on the market.
If Arsenal fires Wenger, who are you going to get?
If Liverpool fires Rodgers, who can you get to replace him?
Arsene Wenger has provided a level of success that very few clubs have enjoyed in the last twenty years and he seems to create top four magic in the face of an injury situation that resembles some sort of plague. You could definitely bring in somebody with promise or somebody that is much younger, but there is not a single manager out there right now that would be on the Frenchman’s level…not even close. Every manager that is worth their salt right now is coaching at a major club. Mourinho is not going anywhere, LVG is being given a longer leash than Moyes ever had, every major international player has a major manager heading up their operation, and the big clubs in Europe’s elite leagues seem to be set on their current managers.
Brendan Rodgers has taken Liverpool back to a place that very few could have predicted by the end of last season. The state of Liverpool as a club was starting to meander towards a future where the club fights for Europa League and hope (and prays) that it can steal 4th place once every decade or so. Firing a man after he was given his first big transfer window (you think Swansea transfers prepared him for this?) and losing the best player in the BPL last season seems like an idiotic move. But, once again, the issue being discussed here is not the fact that Rodgers should have another whole season of goodwill built up from last years success, the issue is that there is not anybody out there that Liverpool could legitimately present as an “upgrade.”
The simple truth of it is that the world of football clubs does not focus on what makes sense. The “what have you done for me lately” of the sports world means that a continuation down the current path will probably result in both coaches leaving their posts. Considering how big a payday Wenger can demand once he steps outside the bounds of the Emirates, the Frenchman will definitely land on his feet. Hopefully, Liverpool and Arsenal do not react rashly…just ask AC Milan how that has been working out for them…