Many pundits and football fans alike have marked this summer as one of colossal change in the Premier League. Arsenal, for the first time in 22 years have chosen appoint a new manager and their search has led them to Spanish coach Unai Emery, but does Arsene Wenger stepping away from the Arsenal fold signal the end of an era for long-serving managers in the Premier League? We surveyed our panel to gauge the public opinion.
More than 50 per cent of Brits believe that Wenger’s departure from the Emirates signals the end of so-called ‘old-fashioned’ long-serving football managers, agreeing that he will be the last for a very long time.
As one fan points out, the “culture of sacking managers seems to be apparent in the Premier League as of late”. Another alluded to a new climate of heightened pressure from the boards and chairmen of top football clubs, who expect success instantly – citing the current situation at Manchester United as an example, where they find themselves in a state of free fall after Sir Alex Ferguson left.
It’s no secret that top football clubs are now following the ‘Roman Abramovich’ model of hiring and firing year after year, possibly because Chelsea have won 15 major trophies in the last 15 years. There is a suggestion that the constant cycle of churning through managers with a proven track-record breeds more success than the perception of treading water for up to 5 years under the same manager.
Sixty-four per cent of Premier League fans believed that Sir Alex Ferguson had the biggest influence on the Premier League. With so many football teams chopping and changing their managers frequently (sometimes even multiple times a season), it’s hard to see where the next major influence is going to come from and when.
With increasing wage structures and transfer fees going through the roof, 38% believed there is significantly less passion in England’s division now compared to 10 years ago – perhaps signalling a new wave of more mercenary like professional footballers who are more concerned about their own financial gain then playing and committing to any badge.
Two in five respondents said they felt a fair amount of nostalgia for past Premier League seasons and it’s hard to argue with them. Just 12 years ago we had characters such as Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, John Terry, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Cristiano Ronaldo… the list is endless.
Those names were taken from clubs at the top of the league, but mid-table and even relegation strugglers assembled teams rich in commitment and character. Derbies were full of passion and the atmosphere was palpable. It’s hard to disagree with the public consent that there has been a decline in the passion on display.
At OnePoll, we specialise in giving the public a platform to voice their opinion on topical matters – ensuring that these issues are placed firmly on the public agenda. Our surveys power projects for our sister company 72Point, regularly featuring in national news publications such as The Sun, The Mirror, The Express and a host of mass-readership digital sites. We understand the importance of having a voice, with a dedication to conducting research around the issues that matter.