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Behind The Scenes Work: What Determines When a Manager is Fired

Most of the problems that make a footie manager get sacked are quite obvious: poor performances, bad results, goals not achieved, and outbursts when dealing with the press, among other potential issues.

The decisions, however, may be controversial in the eyes of the public eye and fans, as sometimes the issues can happen behind closed doors.

Premier League clubs, for example, are complex institutions with several professionals that deal with the squad daily.

A good example of a big problem was when José Mourinho had an argument with a doctor about the injury of a player. Mourinho was clearly overly focused on the sports side of the situation, and the problem with Eva Carneiro reportedly became an issue among players, who didn’t support Mourinho and the way he dealt with the situation.

Controversial situations involving elements of the staff that aren’t players or managers or top directors are somewhat rare, but that case years ago exposes how a lot happens behind the scenes aiming a beautiful spectacle for footie fans in The UK and globally.

That situation was probably an extreme one, but it is an illustration of how long gone are the days that football was a sport of gentlemen when it was first conceived, and now, over 100 years later, we have a fully professional sport involving several staff members. The players can count on their support to have their kits where they’re supposed to be, as well as much more complex tasks such as the definition of a strategy to build muscle faster and be ready for the competitive games of the EPL and other big tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League.

Soft Skills and The Job of a Footie Manager

The case of Eva Carneiro illustrates how things can go south for unexpected reasons if a staff member is mistreated. Managers need to be aware that their job goes well beyond supervising the daily tasks of the players and the matches themselves.

Choosing staff members that can fit into the philosophy of a manager is a hard task. Part of this puzzle has to do with a very clear reason: the key factor to determining the predominant mood around the squad is the personality of the manager, and the coaching staff needs to reflect it cohesively.

Some managers are silent leaders are marked by calm behaviour, such as Carlo Ancelotti, while others display their emotions in a visible way like Guardiola and Mourinho, for example.

The goals of the managers in terms of how to communicate with the squad and the ownership/directors need to be defined very clearly even before signing a contract.

Ancelotti, for example, is speculated to be the next coach of the Brazilian international team, for example. Personally, I believe that Carletto is a fantastic coach for top European clubs, but would have a hard time in Brazil. 

The press and the fans of Brazil expect far more flamboyant and vocal behaviour, for example, when dealing with referees than the Italian manager normally displays.

Managing a team is a lot more complex than a chess game, which is a frequent comparison between managing a team and the strategy-oriented game. You don’t need to motivate the pawn to do a good job!