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The Mystery Behind Premature Managerial Appointments

17/06/2016 16:53

"Managers are the only ones that want stability. ​Nobody else wants stability - stability doesn't make money. What makes money is instability."

That quote came directly from the mouth of a certain Jose Mourinho, who himself has a poor track record for staying put for too long as any given club, and it appears that it's a view shared by many football clubs worldwide.

While it's the norm to announce a new manager who takes over immediately, there has been a rapid increase of premature appointments months in advance, who are set to take over at the end of that season.

This year Bayern Munich were first up. It was the news we were all waiting for: that Pep Guardiola was on his way out the door, and that he would be replaced by former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti the following summer.

This news was circulated before the season had even dawned into the new year, with the situation further complicated two months later- when Manchester City decided to throw another spanner into the works.

On 1 February, they finished off the puzzle by confirming Guardiola's next destination would be at the Etihad, commencing a ticking clock on the incumbent Manuel Pellegrini's time at the club.

Now comes the question of the logic in this whole procedure. Is it all about money? That element would make sense on one side- Manchester City have enough trouble selling tickets as it is, but the early announcement that arguably the best manager in world football would be taking over is almost certain to sky-rocket season ticket sales for the next season.

As for Bayern, they have a loyal fanbase at the Allianz that sells out almost every home game in the Bundesliga, meaning ticket sales wouldn't be a motivation. But the Munich club are serial offenders in this strategy.

Guardiola himself was a premature announcement, with news that he would soon end his sabbatical from Barcelona and take the reigns from the highly successful Jupp Heynckes, who won the quadruple in spite of knowing it would be his last season at the club- perhaps his impending retirement was a spur-on in itself.

He subsequently left Guardiola with a tricky job of following the impeccable standard at Die Bayern, and Pep struggled to make the mark in Europe, failing to progress past the Semi-Final stage in the Champions League in any of his three seasons at the club.

The German media were breathing down his neck for him to clinch continental glory during his final season, although he ultimately fell short, crashing out to Atletico Madrid after claiming he had 'one bullet left'. While the players are professional and will always do their utmost, you can't escape a feeling that their minds may have been distracted knowing the hot-seat merry-go-round was about to spin.

On the other side of the bargain, Manuel Pellegrini too was finding life difficult following the announcement. At the time the Chilean was still in the running for four different trophies and was still keeping the pace with surprise package Leicester City at the top of the Premier League, although a week later he would oversee a shock 1-3 loss at home to the Foxes, before Tottenham injected more misery at the Etihad the week after, winning 1-2.

Although he tasted some success in the Capital One Cup Final against Liverpool, City lost further ground on the title and fell short in some big games including against bitter rivals Manchester United, as well as a lifeless performance in the Champions League Semi-Finals versus Real Madrid as they scraped fourth place. Pellegrini later admitted his regret over the timing of the earlier announcement.

"I don't want to use [this] as an excuse but it was so difficult to work after that. Not for me, for the players." He said.

Who can blame him? If you're a Manchester City player, would you not find it tricky to motivate yourself with the knowledge that your current manager is a dead man walking, and someone like Pep Guardiola is coming instead? Over in Munich, Guardiola won the league and cup double, but his players failed to deliver in a competition that their incoming boss has won more times than anyone else in history.

The switcharoos continue, with Chelsea announcing that Italy boss Antonio Conte will take over after the Euros, and Italy one-upping them by announcing that Giampiero Ventura will succeed him. What a total headache that must be for the Italy players. And the truth is there's no need for it.

In 2014, Holland announced that Guus Hiddink would take over until the Euros and THEN revealed that Danny Blind would be the manager for the 2018 World Cup.

Whether it's a club or a national side: do the squad and the man in charge a favour and save your news for when the new boss lifts up the scarf.

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