Tony Pulis, Sean Dyche, Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and to a degree Mauricio Pochettino have proved a point.
That point being, if you have a plan, if you can motivate players to buy into the plan and if it can make the most of their abilities in a team unit you can make significant progress. Quality management is not about splashing the cash on big players. Neither is it primarily about necessarily having the best players.
In Pulis’ case it hasn’t even been about playing the most attractive football. It is about knowing what you have and being able to utilise that in an effective way to get results far above expectations.
It’s because of this approach that a club like Crystal Palace who were legitimate favourites for relegation are now looking at a comfortable lower mid-table finish. Everton have likewise made themselves strong contenders for fourth place in a manner that not even Moyes was able to conjur in his time at the club.
It should be a lesson to underachieving clubs to invest and stick with the kind of managers and head coaches who can get the best out of the players at their disposal.
Underachieving clubs for example like Spurs who compounded the inability to build on whatever progress was made in AvB’s season by first sacking him half-way through the season and replacing him with a hot-head. Manchester United’s problems have been well noted as well, but other underachieving sides must include the likes of Aston Villa and Newcastle United.
Anyone looking at the resources available to Paul Lambert and Alan Pardew respectively would not necessarily expect a charge to the top four, but their abject performances and result this season should surely raise cause for concern.
As the season draws to a close and clubs look forward to some of their players flying to Rio for the World Cup and the plans for the 2014-15 season, it’s the ideal time to consider change. A number of clubs in the Premier League can be a lot better than their current league positions suggest. as with United, that is not an issue of getting rid of the majority of a 25 man squad. That is the issue of identifying the quality coaches whether from home or abroad who can bring about that change.
C. L. J. Dryden