Cabbage is the main focus of today’s Room 433, believe or not. Admittedly not just any cabbage but rather the one thrown at Steve Bruce during Aston Villa’s ridiculously dramatic 3-3 draw at home against Preston North End.
Things were not exactly looking up for Brucie prior to his sacking as Villa manager as the side linger in Championship mid-table while constantly on the periphery of financial meltdown. The larger point about this Bruce-cabbage related incident is that while some managers are never given enough time a fair few actually manage to overstay their welcome. Steve Bruce at Aston Villa is a classic example of this.
Managers overstaying their welcome is a football tradition as old as time. Even the great managers like Brian Clough hung around too long at Nottingham Forest, with his final season in charge seeing the midlands club get relegated. Jose Mourinho currently seems to be overstaying his welcome at Manchester United as the club spirals further and further into his dull brand of out-of-date football. Managers like Mark Hughes seem to overstay their welcome at almost any club they go to yet these managers keep getting jobs and it is probably time the football world moves on a bit.
Steve Bruce himself overstayed his welcome at Aston Villa for such a long time that the local paper, the Birmingham Mail, called for him to go, an unprecedented move by a paper of their type. So, this begs the question: ‘Why do so few managers step aside at the right time?’
The obvious answer to this is that managers are often waiting for that big payoff get when they are sacked, so resigning is not financially rewarding for them. Antonio Conte last season at Chelsea is a perfect example of this as he even took the first pre-season session of this term while waiting for his sacking to be finalised. Managers benefit from being sacked and know they will get rehired regardless.
A rare example of a manager taking the ‘noble’ way out is Gordon Strachan at Middlesbrough. The Scot was brought in to secure an immediate return to the top flight for Boro. But after a dismal 12 months, Strachan agreed to tear up his contract and leave the club, which is an example that more managers should really follow as greed becomes even more prevalent in football.
So, managers overstaying their welcome join the likes of weird media narratives in the dreaded Room 433, something which is definitely not the football version of BBC’s Room 101. Absolutely not. As ever, suggestions for Room 433 are always welcome in the comments below.