Steve Gibson has a fantastic reputation for giving managers time to prove themselves in the dug-out. Stability has flourished out of this attitude towards managerial appointments as Middlesbrough sit pretty at the top of the Championship.
Gibson has been chairman of the club since 1994 and has appointed six managers in that time. This is an incredible feat considering that some boards these days dispose of them like household waste and they then end up recycled as another club’s choice for a new man in the hot seat.
The settled atmosphere that surrounds the Teeside club has really helped player development with many young stars emerging out of their youth ranks, like Adam Johnson and Joe Bennett who joined Aston Villa this summer.
In the higher echelons of the footballing ladder Chelsea Chairman Roman Abramovich has not provided the same level of stability as Gibson. The Russian has been in charge of the blues board since 2003. In this time he has pressed the eject button on eight managers who have sat in the Stamford Bridge hot seat. In March 2012 the chief executive of the League Managers Association described the situation in West London as embarrassing.
Tony Mowbray unlike quite a lot of managers in the country does not need a sleeping pill to get some rest every night because he knows he is secure in his position. Expectations are something that can stop a new boss from easing their way into a job.
This type of pressure can translate onto the players. At times it seems a real possibility that a chairman’s perceptions as to where they want the club to be and the way they communicate this with their manager can stop the man in charge from doing the best he possibly can. Chelsea is a great example of this vicious circle that so often occurs throughout football management. The average time in charge for a manager in the Premiership and the three football league divisions is said to be lower than eighteen months.
As a whole the Premier League is notorious for impatient chairmen and constant games of musical chairs in every dugout throughout the league, season after season. If anything the reds are better prepared for life in the top division than some of the clubs who currently ply their trade there.
It could be possible that Southampton boss Nigel Adkins becomes the first to participate in a game of musical chairs this season with the media spot light hovering over his poor performing charges. A situation like Adkins’ is a perfect example of a test of a chairman’s patience.
The Saints boss has done a fantastic job since he arrived on the South Coast. Long term is something that a lot of boards struggle to take into consideration with many taking the short term approach where instant success is expected. Let’s hope Nicola Cortese gives his manager the time he needs to achieve success in his club’s return to the top flight.
With everything perfectly poised for promotion Middlesbrough would be a welcome return to the Premier League and provide another great footballing side to compete with the current crop of club’s in the division.
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