Premier League – Ronald Koeman is a success but there’s more to Southampton’s rise – Rory Smith – ESPN FC

Premier League – Ronald Koeman is a success but there’s more to Southampton’s rise – Rory Smith – ESPN FC.

Another great piece here from Rory Smith. It definitely gives another viewpoint on how we rate managers, and it makes sense. All the blame and all the praise can’t be attributed to one man, though it’s certainly easier when they come in new and fresh and there’s a dramatic change of fortune for the club. It’s  easy to do so given their title but sometimes, if not most times, managers aren’t in control of as much as we think they are.

They can’t all be do-it-yourselfers like Arsene Wenger I guess.

Let’s consider the last paragraph and look at some managers.

This is not a bad thing; indeed, it explains one of the great mysteries of football: why a manager can do well at one club and then fail so miserably at another, or vice versa. The answer is straightforward: because they are not alone.

Okay, so consider Luis Enrique.

Is it the people around him; the board, his coaches etc that play a part in his being deemed such a horrible manager at Barca? He was bad at Roma too and Rudi Garcia seems to be doing pretty damn good so it’s not a good look for Enrique. While I generally agree with the overall assertion that other areas of the club have an effect(Like Zubizaretta signing that right-back, Douglas) there’s also a point where its obvious the managers’ just bad, or not cut out to manage a world-class team.(His best work has been with Celta so that adds to that last idea doesn’t it? Maybe he should get some more time to prove himself though.)

Ego and stubbornness play a part too if you consider Andre Villas-Boas’ early exits at Tottenham and Chelsea. He did have to deal with an impatient Dan Levy at Tottenham and player power at Chelsea so there’s that outside effect thing again.

Which brings us to good ‘ol Arsenal.

I think we’re an outlier where this article’s concerned, and that’s why Wenger’s getting the stick he’s getting, and has gotten the praise he’s gotten.

You could say Arsenal is being hindered by an increasingly stubborn/senile/out-of-touch overlord, or manager as the title says, who is in charge of player development, scouting and backed by a lackadaisical boardroom.

Those technically in charge of the youth academy and finding new talent for Arsenal are held in check by one man. He’s in charge of the buying too. It’s very much Wenger’s team. He’ll take the blame for transfers, players not developing or performing(especially if, you know, he plays them out of position) and pretty much anything else. He’ll get the praise too I guess.

Not even the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have that power.

Actually, when you look even further it has to be pointed out that a lot of Arsene’s best transfers came when David Dein was at the club, and the most successful times on the pitch came when Pat Rice(who seems like less of yes man than Steve Bould) was sitting beside Wenger. Maybe I’m being harsh on Bould there, as Rice was still at the club when the trophy-less years began but maybe he just gave up trying to contend with Wenger after Dein left. Who knows? Just spit-balling here.

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