Jump to content
Note to existing users - password reset is required Read more... ×
Sign in to follow this  
Parma Ham's gone mouldy

Managers are not Messiahs

Recommended Posts

The modern societal predilection for the cult of the individual is particularly unhelpful when taken in the context of football managers. The irony is that managers have considerably less impact on the success or otherwise of football teams than is perceived from the outside. That this perception is fostered by simplistic-headline media or the tendency of human psychology to grasp at binary, bite-size solutions to more multiplicit problems is predictable, though simple in-out style presentations do little to advance arguments or clubs/businesses. In the Norwich context it can be observed that short term outcomes define views (the weekly result), rather than an informed analysis of the process. This is not helped by the footbal logic of "what goes on inside football stays inside football" or "players must never be named or criticized". This leaves the football manager as the front-of-house lightning rod against whom all dissatisfaction is directed. In the current Norwich context it can observed that there is almost no criticism that the players are not making an effort. Indeed effort has not been in question for any game this season. Many would see this (rightly) as a pre-requisite, though my experience says that this kind of consistent maximization of effort is atypical and an indication that the manager has a clear control over the mindsets of the players. Indeed we can also observe that outcomes are consistent (beyond?) exPectations, with 6 points ahead of target with 3 matches remaining.

Evidence indicates that changIng managers has little correlation to success, other than an occasional short term spike, before outcomes return to the mean. Wage ratios are a far more reliable indicator of success and have far more influence over points and subsequent revenue pounds. Norwich do not pay very high wages. Indeed they may be the lowest average payers in the Premier League. There is considerable evidence that retaining a capable manager over the long term can yield outcomes above the mean. It can be observed in our case that key indicators for managers (as viewed by chief execs) favour Hughton rather impressively. Classic matrices are wages/points, transfer success ratio, resources/targets achieved. It can also be observed that managers have neither invested large personal funds in the company and nor have particularly long average terms in office, thus from a corporate point of view they are something of an anachronism. They are perceived to wield great influence, yet they do not play or invest. To some degree therefore the charade played by all is the cult of the manager as the reason for all failings (or occasionally a genius or Messiah), both of these are usually false and hugely uber-represent the efforts, fallibilities and capriciousness of young men playing an inexact science with huge variables, coupled with the enormous influence wielded by investors, wages, television money and luck.

I would contend that we have neither a Messiah or a Pariah. W have a stable, capable, clear-thinking black manager, with plenty to prove in football and societal terms. He has laid out a clear, pragmatic plan which is likely to achieve it''s short term target. Profession in terms of wages, investment (and yes) aesthetics is demonstrated via the marquee statement signing of RVW.

Norwich have a gay Director, woman owner and a black manager. Let us now also break the mould of tabloid psychology and reject the cult of lightning rod managers, short-term auto-gratification dramas and polemics and build a club via a process of pragmatic development, stability and realism as to goals and achievable outcomes in the context of our revenues, wages and expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
success is not measured on staying in the league that was the minimum requirement in my book. Success is striving to be better than we had been before. I feel we have gone backward in every aspect of our game this season. Our supposedly tighter defence has conceded 3 or more goals on 9 different occasions. Hardly progress.

I don''t think his race has any bearing on his ability as a manager. He has still taken a very good team to watch when he took over and made them abysmal to watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="Parma Ham''s gone mouldy"][quote]The modern societal predilection for the cult of the individual is particularly unhelpful when taken in the context of football managers. The irony is that managers have considerably less impact on the success or otherwise of football teams than is perceived from the outside. That this perception is fostered by simplistic-headline media or the tendency of human psychology to grasp at binary, bite-size solutions to more multiplicit problems is predictable, though simple in-out style presentations do little to advance arguments or clubs/businesses. In the Norwich context it can be observed that short term outcomes define views (the weekly result), rather than an informed analysis of the process. This is not helped by the footbal logic of "what goes on inside football stays inside football" or "players must never be named or criticized". This leaves the football manager as the front-of-house lightning rod against whom all dissatisfaction is directed. In the current Norwich context it can observed that there is almost no criticism that the players are not making an effort. Indeed effort has not been in question for any game this season. Many would see this (rightly) as a pre-requisite, though my experience says that this kind of consistent maximization of effort is atypical and an indication that the manager has a clear control over the mindsets of the players. Indeed we can also observe that outcomes are consistent (beyond?) exPectations, with 6 points ahead of target with 3 matches remaining.

Evidence indicates that changIng managers has little correlation to success, other than an occasional short term spike, before outcomes return to the mean. Wage ratios are a far more reliable indicator of success and have far more influence over points and subsequent revenue pounds. Norwich do not pay very high wages. Indeed they may be the lowest average payers in the Premier League. There is considerable evidence that retaining a capable manager over the long term can yield outcomes above the mean. It can be observed in our case that key indicators for managers (as viewed by chief execs) favour Hughton rather impressively. Classic matrices are wages/points, transfer success ratio, resources/targets achieved. It can also be observed that managers have neither invested large personal funds in the company and nor have particularly long average terms in office, thus from a corporate point of view they are something of an anachronism. They are perceived to wield great influence, yet they do not play or invest. To some degree therefore the charade played by all is the cult of the manager as the reason for all failings (or occasionally a genius or Messiah), both of these are usually false and hugely uber-represent the efforts, fallibilities and capriciousness of young men playing an inexact science with huge variables, coupled with the enormous influence wielded by investors, wages, television money and luck.

I would contend that we have neither a Messiah or a Pariah. W have a stable, capable, clear-thinking black manager, with plenty to prove in football and societal terms. He has laid out a clear, pragmatic plan which is likely to achieve it''s short term target. Profession in terms of wages, investment (and yes) aesthetics is demonstrated via the marquee statement signing of RVW.

Norwich have a gay Director, woman owner and a black manager. Let us now also break the mould of tabloid psychology and reject the cult of lightning rod managers, short-term auto-gratification dramas and polemics and build a club via a process of pragmatic development, stability and realism as to goals and achievable outcomes in the context of our revenues, wages and expectations.[/quote]
Di Canio
A lack of effort is a massive criticism, which has frequented most of 2013''s games.
Better players command higher wages, I very much doubt if we paid Holt an extorniate amount his skill level would dramatically increase.
Where I work (Morrisons) the manager''s delegate the specific work within the department. How much of such and such is going to be produced, stocked and shelved and vice versa. The manager''s take direct control of what needs doing and how it is to be done. The same applies for football managers. The only reason they are seen any differently is because the media holds them up as psuedo-celebrities. This is wrong in many different ways and does end up attributing a lot of blame. And rightly so. If a team is performing badly it is down to the manager to give the team a morale boost, a telling off or any other such thing that will show different results, just as it is at Morrisons and any other establishment that makes use of a manager.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Haha, oh christ I didn''t even read your last couple of "paragraphs". Let me tell you something and I will spell it out very clearly.
His skin has naff all to do with his skill. Stephen Fry''s sexuality has NOTHING to do with him being a board member or whatever it is he does. Delia''s gender has NOTHING to do with how the club is run and how much money it receives. These are personal characteristics of said people and are completely inconsequential to our club. Your post has successfully riled me up and put me in the mood for an argument. I believe you are wrong on almost all counts in your post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It can be observed that we have a black manager, woman owner and a gay director. The point is nothing to do with ability or performance, but rather demonstrates that as a club we have challenged stereotypes and show NO prejudice. The analogy is that we should also break the false football stereotype that managers are the sole orchestrators of success or failure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="Parma Ham''s gone mouldy"][quote]It can be observed that we have a black manager, woman owner and a gay director. The point is nothing to do with ability or performance, but rather demonstrates that as a club we have challenged stereotypes and show NO prejudice. The analogy is that we should also break the false football stereotype that managers are the sole orchestrators of success or failure.[/quote]
No because we didn''t challenge them, we selected people that wanted to be close to the club because they support the club. What and who they are are of little consequence. Stop trying to attribute things that just are not. Managers, in all walks of life (As I''ve already mentioned) are held accountable for a companies failure. They are the ones that command the staff members and they are the ones who are made to answer when things aren''t going well. That is the way it is and always will be. It is not a false football stereotype because it is not a false stereotype to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course managers are accountable for their performance. But this has to be judged on what the ''outcomes'' are that must be met and these are agreed on appointment, and regularly reviewed. At least that is my experience. Of course, we don''t know what Hughton''s targets are; but we suspect that one is keeping us in the premier league, if at all possible, however that is achieved. But I imagine, given his strong coaching background, and clear interest in the development of young footballers, the building of links between the first team squad and the Academy is also a prime focus, and there is lots of anecdotal and concrete evidence that Hughton is achieving this. So, although our focus as supporters is overwhelmingly what we are witnessing on the pitch, Hughton''s performance as a manager will be judged against a much wider range of perfomance indicators..

And I agree that the ethnic, gender and sexual preferences of our Board and Manager are irrelevant, in terms of the club, but the fact that this makes us unusual is relevant in terms of the wider context of football.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is instant gratification in wanting the manager out as a silver bullet solution to the pain of a bad result. A chief exec,chairman or board - for these are the real managers of this company - will ultimately react to the demands of the consumers (us fans), though we can choose to be informed, realistic , investment consumers or x-factor, text-a-vote reactionaries to the latest sun headline.

Players are generally expensive and command high wages because - over a period of time - they perform to a higher mean level. Other honest pros, who may have plied their trade recently in the 3rd division may be able to attain such heights occasionally. If they are full of the confidence of having won lots of matches courtesy of performing at a lower level \ having low expectations which allow for for a temporary fearlessness \ luck that allies to positivity then they may match players of a higher mean level, but this is temporary and transitory. Standards revert inexorably to the mean. If players try hard, but misplace many crosses during a game, is this a result of poor management?

We are about tO be debt free. We are on the verge of earning £100m. We are about to welcome a £10m marquee striker signing. We have achieved this on a very low wages to points ratio. Good management of resources. Pragmatic catenaccio is not sexy, but it is repeatable and has clarity of purpose and instruction. We do not have a Messiah and wishing for one misses the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="Parma Hams gone mouldy"]It can be observed that we have a black manager, woman owner and a gay director. The point is nothing to do with ability or performance, but rather demonstrates that as a club we have challenged stereotypes and show NO prejudice. The analogy is that we should also break the false football stereotype that managers are the sole orchestrators of success or failure.[/quote]Let''s not forget the team challenging the prejudice that "trying to score a goal is generally beneficial".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="Stig"]Haha, oh christ I didn''t even read your last couple of "paragraphs". Let me tell you something and I will spell it out very clearly.
His skin has naff all to do with his skill. Stephen Fry''s sexuality has NOTHING to do with him being a board member or whatever it is he does. Delia''s gender has NOTHING to do with how the club is run and how much money it receives. These are personal characteristics of said people and are completely inconsequential to our club. Your post has successfully riled me up and put me in the mood for an argument. I believe you are wrong on almost all counts in your post.
[/quote]

This.

I fancy an argument with you... Howson is dogsh*t. What do you say to that? Eh? Eh?!

*runs for cover!*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="gorlestongirl"]But I imagine, given his strong coaching background, and clear interest in the development of young footballers, the building of links between the first team squad and the Academy is also a prime focus, and there is lots of anecdotal and concrete evidence that Hughton is achieving this. So, although our focus as supporters is overwhelmingly what we are witnessing on the pitch, Hughton''s performance as a manager will be judged against a much wider range of perfomance indicators..

[/quote]

The youth team is pretty irrelevant at this level. We will be lucky if even one player makes the premiership grade in any season.

Like all managers, Hughton''s performance will be judged against results and nothing else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I hold Hughton and his coaching staff entirely responsible for the fact we have been dragged back into this mess and if we go down (having been in the position we were in December) he should be sacked on the spot.

We have a good enough team to have got enough points to be safe by now. That we haven;t is a little down to bad luck (Southampton pen miss/Sunderland) but primarily down to the defensive and conservative tactics and approach to games we have employed. We basically have not attempted to win an away game for over 3 months and the same attitude in the home games against Newcastle and Fulham could also cost us dear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="Parma Ham''s gone mouldy"][quote]Di Canio?[/quote]
Got them two wins and closer to survival than they would have been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In fairness WY, yours is an entirely valid point and I would agree. Lambert was the exception to the rule, he did indeed display Messianic qualities and used this quasi-religious methodology to inspire a remarkable turnaround in fortunes of our [then] ailing club.We did indeed require a miracle at that point and - miraculously - got one. His is an exceptional tale that we were fortunate as a club to benefit from and I loved every second of it. He undermines all of my argument, though there are caveats.1. The club was at its lowest ebb [below its mean level]2. The club had had a raft of loan players designed to remove liabilities from the [playing] balance sheet 3. A new board was in place, with a fresh outlook and keen to make an impression / be distinctive from what had gone before4. Expectations were low5. We were comparatively wealthy to the clubs at that level6. Given 2., he had the chance to shape his squad / mentality / dressing room from scratch [a very rare luxury in football]The drawback with the Messianic approach is that once a level is reached [let''s argue well beyond expectations], then Messianic figures have a tendency to move on before the feet of clay emerge [and standards revert inexorably to the mean]. Thus you move on.Generally speaking such Messianic properties are actusally due to a raft of factors, though [understandably] the manager in question will be keen to preserve the image [and the press will also sustain it for a while]. Dowie, Holloway, Boothroyd all had ephemeral moments of being presented in this way, though we would not necessarily eulogise them now. Mourinho and Ferguson are the exceptions that sustain, though even the marvellous José doesn''t let the grass grow under his feet, and SAF has qualities of pragmatic, dogged, professionalism, psychology and support that augment his Messianic qualities [which are therefore underpinned by more prosaic, sustainable reasons for success].As observed, the manager has less to do with the success of a club than the zeitgeist / media / supporters typically perceive. Thus sustained [dull?] stability is a key goal for club stakeholders and a long-term management structure is preferable in this context, particularly if that individual can be persuaded / has the ability to engage the in the development of the club as a whole [Academy, Budgets, Long term transfer strategy] over an extended period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×