Thursday, 9 January 2014

"I do not believe the Premier League has any bad managers" - Chuck Martini

Former manager Chuck Martini has said that there are no bad managers in the Premier League as taking over a team in the top-flight of English football requires in-depth knowledge of the game.

Chuck Martini, Head Coach, Muscat
Football Academy
Reproduced with permission
"I do not believe the Premier League has any bad managers. They wouldn't be in that league if they were bad managers," says Martini, who coached Southern League Division One side Godalming Town FC and Ryman Division One team Walton and Hersham FC in the UK.

"They're proven to be managers. People like Mark Hughes who've been sacked in the past, look, every manager will eventually get the sack.


"The Premier League is big business," he explains. "The difference between being in the Premier League and being in the Championship, it is absolutely devastating to a football club.

The most recent manager to get the sack was Scotsman Malky Mackay, who was dismissed after a protracted stand-off with Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan during which time he was told to either resign or face the sack by Tan.

Mackay has since been replaced by former Manchester United legend Ole Gunner Solskjaer.

"There are chairmen out there that are footballing people," says Martini, a member of the League Managers' Association.

"I wouldn't consider the Cardiff chairman a footballing person at the moment but he has an idea," opines Martini. "He's probably brought in Solskjaer to be the coach, he's probably loved him as a player at Manchester United.

"It's his money at the end of the day so he's entitled to bring the coach he wants in," says the former Leicester City keeper. "But as [a] manager, I find it devastating that a manager of Malky Mackay's reputation that has taken the club to that height, to be sacked, not given at least one season in the Premier League.

"I feel that's a little bit harsh, regardless of their recent form or recent results."


But while Martini thinks the sacking of Mackay was harsh, he feels Andre Villas-Boas was unlucky to have been sacked as manager of Tottenham Hotspur because of the pressure he was under.

"Villas-Boas for me has been unlucky in a sense that he managed two very top teams in Europe and in England," he explains.

"As a young coach, it was always going to be difficult to deal with personalities like [Didier] Drogba, [Frank] Lampard, [and John] Terry.

"In my opinion, he didn't man-manage them properly because he could've still gotten something out of those players," he adds. "Allow them to lead a little bit more, play to their egos a little bit more, and [get] the best out of them. I think he was very single-minded.

"He wanted to come in and he wanted to change things and he had his own plan and his own direction. I think Villas-Boas' problem was he was impatient because maybe he thinks he's got to come and achieve it straight away."

"People like Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, the wily old ones that people might think are monsters from the past, they understand the game, they understand personalities," says Martini.

"They understand when a player is ready to go and when you can still get the best out of them. They understand the influence that those players have in that dressing room. 

"As a new coach walking into a football club, I've never ever come and changed everything in one go," he recalls. "It's hard, as much as you may think 'this is not the team that I want' but you have to try and be patient."    

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