Steven Gerrard only lasted 11 months as Aston Villa coach. Jesse Marsh may pass through Leeds United after a shorter spell as the club’s fans have turned on former RB Leipzig boss in recent matches despite only holding the charge for eight months.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS and more (US)
Managing a Premier League team is becoming more difficult on every level – even Thomas Tuchel lost his job at Chelsea earlier this season, just over a year after winning the Champions League. But it seems that success in clubs entering the season with no title contenders and no relegation candidates has become the most difficult challenge for them all.
All those coaches hired by the so-called Big Six know exactly what will happen if they don’t succeed, but at least they go into the job knowing they work for clubs with the financial strength and attractiveness of potential contract signings to have a chance of achieving their goals. At the other extreme, in those clubs who have been promoted or accept that the survival of the Premier League is the only measure of their success, the coach has a simple objective: to stay strong. Scott Parker was sent off at Bournemouth five games into the season, having returned to the Premier League three months ago, for his frequent public questioning of the club’s recruitment strategy rather than a prolonged period of poor results despite their 9-0 defeat in Liverpool almost certain to be settled. his fate.
After teams like Villa, Leeds and
Finishing in 10th place may be a sign of progress at such clubs, but only if it is a stepping stone to a bigger, better and higher season. Unless you are a team like Newcastle United, another club that seeks to recreate more positive times from the past but has the financial strength to build for today and tomorrow, it is almost impossible to succeed if you are in that middle zone. Premier League clubs.
Gerrard discovered that because of his cost at Villa, he lost his job after 40 games in his coaching, winning 13 and losing 19 games. Signings this summer (plus £27m for full-back Lucas Digne in January) and his biggest transfer, defender Diego Carlos’ £28m, has been out since his second game of the season through injury. Gerrard’s gamble on Philippe Coutinho has not worked, as Barcelona’s £18m summer signing failed to impress after a shining initial spell on loan last season. But for Villa’s prestige and ambition, the summer spending on new players was unlikely to be transformative.
It’s a similar story in Leeds, where Marsh lost midfielder Calvin Phillips (to Manchester City) and striker Ravenha (Barcelona) for a fee totaling around £100m, while club record holder Daniel James also left on loan to Leeds. Fulham. Elland Road’s recruitment team has replaced them with a variety of players with little or no experience in the Premier League, such as Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen. Having only avoided relegation on the last day of last season, Leeds entered this season with a weaker squad having allowed three key players to leave in the summer, so it is no surprise that Marsh’s side will struggle and are now in third place. .
But Leeds, like Villa, is too proud of its fans’ history to accept annual battles against relegation. The problem is that neither club is still financially strong enough to be able to chase new glories with the kind of investment, on and off the pitch, that enables Eddie Howe to make such quick strides at Newcastle.
Gerrard was gone after fans at Fulham turned on him last week, chanting ‘You’ll be fired in the morning’ as they watched their team lose 3-0 at Craven Cottage. Marsh suffered the same anger from the fans after his team also lost 3-2 at home to Fulham on Sunday.
Hearing fans chant the name of a former coach is another bad sign, and Marce has heard Marcelo Bielsa’s name chant several times in recent weeks. Sources told ESPN on Friday that Marsh is not in imminent danger of losing his job at Elland Road, but running the Premier League is all about the shifting sands of results and support for fans. Marsch falls in negative territory on both major scales.
It was the same story for Gerrard who, having arrived at Villa Park with fanfare last November after proving his credentials by guiding Rangers to the Scottish Premier League title in 2021, was sent off within minutes of the 3-0 defeat to Craven Cottage last Thursday. . Whoever appoints Villa to replace Gerrard will discover the same problems, and there may soon be a new coach at Leeds tasked with bridging the gap between expectations and reality.
But if clubs hire coaches and then fail to sign players who are good enough to make a difference, it will always be a story of diminishing returns followed by another roll of the management dice.