There are three certainties in life, death, taxes and overrated managers getting yet another chance taking control of a Premier League team.
On the same day, longtime Premier League managers Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew have been hired to take on longtime Premier League sides who have struggled this season. Allardyce is with Everton and Pardew is with West Brom and those two teams sit just above the relegation zone at 16th and 17th respectively.
Instead of potentially going to a different hire, Everton and West Brom went to the status quo and in many ways that could be the best strategy. With the risk of losing hundreds of millions in getting relegated, you tend to go with established names who have been there even if they may not be the best fit. But that is also in itself a problem that is holding the Premier League, and England as a national team, back.
A fifth of the Premier League have the following people as manager: Sam Allardyce, Roy Hodgson, David Moyes and Alan Pardew. Four people widely disregarded as being some of the most overrated managers in the modern game and who have had many chances in the Premier League. Managers who go ten behind the ball, park the bus,eek out 0-0 draws and think that kind of play is the sexiest thing in soccer. While each manager has a claim to fame, there’s no doubt that these four have enjoyed way more chances and would get more of a benefit of the doubt than if someone was in their first job and performing the same way.
Sam Allardyce is with his fifth Premier League team at Everton. Allardyce is well known for surviving relegation and getting those bad teams out of tough spots and that skill is intoxicating to a team like Everton who is panicking right now and are afraid of the unthinkable. I frankly felt that Everton was safe from relegation regardless but Allardyce gives Everton security.
Yes, Allardyce’s tenure at England was cut short after he was busted on camera for telling businessmen how to get away with breaking transfer rules but despite that happening a year ago, seems like ancient history because he hasn’t gotten a team relegated…yet.
Roy Hodgson, at Crystal Palace, is on his fourth Premier League team. Hodgson has literally been around the world as a manager coaching anywhere and everywhere. His Premier League journey started with Fulham as he coached them to a surprising Europa League final berth. That led to him being hired at Liverpool, who was in a very dark place at that time. The Hodgson/Liverpool marriage quickly became a disaster and got hired at West Brom. From West Brom, Hodgson got to the English National Team where his main contribution to the team was a hilarious GIF from the 2014 World Cup and then after a year, is at a Crystal Palace team who is currently last and is very desperate for points.
David Moyes is with West Ham and is on his fourth team. Moyes has probably had the best chance of the four to make it on the Premier League stage. Moyes has to be credited with turning Everton around to be a team who was the “best of the rest” after the top teams when he was there. It’s a moniker that now seems gone but for a time, people were talking about Everton breaking into the Champions League and that was due to Moyes.
And then Moyes got very much exposed at Manchester United as someone who may not have been the manager everyone thought he was. Granted, Moyes was in a tough spot dealing with an aging roster and replace a legend in Alex Ferguson that it would be near impossible to be successful. But Moyes didn’t help himself either with some of the decisions he made. After a stint at Real Sociedad, Moyes came back to Sunderland where both jobs turned into train wrecks and now he’s at West Ham. Moyes had a sweet gig at Everton, tried for United and failed and hasn’t exactly recovered. I’ll at least give Moyes credit over the other three, at least he was willing to take a risk.
Alan Pardew is with West Brom, his fifth Premier League team. Pardew had glimpses at success but seemed to always fall short. This isn’t taking away from his role at Newcastle and getting them to a remarkable fifth place finish in 2012. Pardew has been to two FA Cups and lost both times. Pardew seems to have a reputation of having immediate success and then it very quickly sours to the point where whenever Pardew winds up being sacked, it’s way too late and the team is worse off than when he left it. West Brom may like that first part, but they need to know when to pull the trigger when that time comes or else it could cause issues down the road.
It would be easy to simplify this and just say that because these people are English (Moyes is Scottish), and because of that, those in charge feel more comfortable bringing them on because they would be more likely to know the intricacies of the Premier League. Maybe that is the case to a point and you can’t really ignore that these four managers are all older and English but that would be short-sighted. It’s more than that.
Yes, these four managers have an antiquated style that was big among English teams years ago. It was outdated then and it’s outdated now and was a reason why England hasn’t really been successful as a national team over the past 50 years. But that’s not the entirety of England. Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche are Englishmen and they are some of the brightest minds in England. They both have different managerial styles where Howe goes attacking while Dyche does employ the ten behind the ball technique. But both have shown to differentiate their style to reflect the players and the game and that may be more valuable than someone who can only play ten behind the ball and be a one-trick pony.
Maybe the situation causes chairpeople to rely on these managers even though that may not be the right move. I love the drama of promotion and relegation as much as the next person but the pressure of relegating and losing hundreds of millions due to dropping to the lower league keeps teams from taking risks. As much as I want to deride these four managers and feel it’s Groundhog Day or something, I understand why teams take on these managers time after time because of the fear of relegation and keep maybe more talented and more modern managers out of the supposed “Best League in the World” because they haven’t faced this league and haven’t faced a relegation battle.
The only way the Premier League can finally move on from bringing back retread managers is the teams need to get over a mindset that says inexperience is an issue and because of that, we’re bringing back the same ol’ names. Maybe inexperience can be part of a bigger issue but exactly how is someone going to get experience in the Premier League if they can’t get hired in the Premier League? It’s not like adding an Alan Pardew is going to guarantee a team from being relegated. Sam Allardyce and Roy Hodgson haven’t had a team relegate (Hodgson was sacked from Blackburn and they would relegate that season) but Pardew and David Moyes have managed teams that relegated. Having an experienced name is more like a security blanket than actual success. Team officials, fans and media feel more comfortable with a name they know than someone they have never heard of. Have the faith to get rid of that mindset and the Premier League will be a better league.