Wigan Athletic - The Backroom Staff
With former Latics boss Roberto Martinez being officially announced as the new Everton manager and then admitting that he is likely to take most of his backroom staff with him from the DW Stadium to Goodison Park, Vital Latics member Pete Reece, aka Noel Wards Leg, asks is this the right course of action. Or should the clubs coaching and backroom staff be exactly that, the clubs, over to you Pete:
Since the time has come for everyone from the Assistant Manager to the Chief Scout to pack their bags to follow Roberto to Everton, I just wanted to pause for thought on this issue.
Can you imagine going on holiday from work and coming back two weeks later with not just one new manager but an entirely different management team in place? Maybe it has happened to you in which case you might empathise with what I'm talking about.
Certain clubs, Swansea being one and, on the continent, Olympic Lyon, have got a policy now of insisting that when a new manager is employed, he works with the existing backroom staff at his new club and doesn't start turfing people out to bring in new ones. These clubs recognize the importance of stability.
Any player who speaks about a rapid turnover in management says how disruptive it is and if you think about it you can understand why: new rules, new tactics, a new style of play, some players who were in favour now suddenly disregarded, different ways of motivation and training and most of all, perhaps, a different way of relating to and communicating with the players. You get all that with one new person, and that can be good, but if you've got five or six new staff around you, all asking different things of you from what you're used to, then personally I can understand why a change of that magnitude becomes disruptive and possibly counter-productive. Of course, change will happen with a new manager but if, as a player, you have some kind of stability and are familiar with the ways of working of some of the backroom staff, then that will undoubtedly help you.
Of course, there is nothing a club can do to prevent staff from leaving and neither should they. New faces and new ideas on a gradual basis can be good. If Bobby wants his staff to go with him then that is what should happen. At some point in the future, however, when Wigan Athletic sacks a manager or, like Paul Jewell, they leave without going to another job then I, for one, think the club should strongly consider the benefits of keeping the existing staff and asking the new manager to work with them.
Why do we do it in this way? Partly because it's the way it's always been done. Also, we think the new manager has to have his people around him to support him in success. Does this mean that football managers can only work with one group of people and are incapable of forming new relationships? Are they unwilling to expose themselves to new influences from new colleagues? Virtually everyone else in the world has to work with new people when they start a new job, why is a football manager any different? From the point of view of a club, it is wasteful and expensive to pay off the contracts of several people if they are longer required. And how good can the new people be anyway if they follow the same route as most managers out of the exit door and to the dole queue?
Swansea have made massive progress as we all know and for the last two years in the Premier League have punched massively above their weight. They are, like Latics, are a very stable club except more so. Lyon won the French league seven years on the run - using four different managers! Surely, what we're seeing there is that those individuals were able to benefit from fantastic infrastructure and stability. So much so that when they left, the next person was able to build on what went before and bring continued success.
Clearly WAFC is going to need a new set of backroom staff very soon. From my point of view, I hope that they will be with us a long time and help bring us the stability that we need as we strive to build on Roberto's achievements, return to the Premiership and become even more successful than we have been up to now.
Noel Wards Leg
Are Graham and Dennis also destined for Goodison?
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
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