Richard Wood column: Sack or survive? The Rotherham United defender’s view on managers

The media focus has been on Leicester City and rightly so. The controversial sacking of boss Claudio Ranieri last week has caused huge debate. Ex-professionals, pundits, current managers, and fans have all had their say.

Was it the correct decision?

Only time will tell, but I believe the club acted too quickly and jumped the gun. Ranieri miraculously masterminded the club’s Premier League glory only nine months ago. It seems insane that the club have relieved him of his duties bearing this in mind. He should have surely been given more time.

There are huge financial implications for clubs in regards to relegation and promotion, and football is a results-driven business. I completely understand that. However, stability is key in my eyes. Having a manager in place for the long term is hugely important and owners shouldn’t just get rid of a boss just because of a poor run of results.

In modern football, managers aren’t given long enough. A football club can’t be progressed overnight. It takes time.

Everybody wants instant success, but this generally does not happen. Clubs need to have faith and trust the person in charge. Chopping and changing managers on a regular basis isn’t conducive to success.

I was signed by Chris Coleman for Coventry City in January 2010. He set out his plans for the future and I spoke with the chairman about Coleman and his vision. It all sounded great.

Five months later, after a bad end to the season when we had some disappointing results, Coleman was sacked. We avoided relegation, by the way.

I was hugely disappointed with the decision, as promises and assurances made in January were not upheld.

I think the club acted impulsively and, with the benefit of hindsight, believe they made the wrong choice.

Just look at what Coleman has achieved since. He’s doing a remarkable job with Wales.

In contrast, my old club have endured a troublesome few years. Financial difficulties have been well documented since there relegation to League One back 2012. Would the club still be in the Championship if they’d stuck with the current Wales manager?

I believe so.

Burnley are a terrific example of a modern-day club that back their manager and look at the long-term plan. They stuck with Sean Dyche even through a relegation to the Championship. It’s no coincidence they are enjoying a good season back in the top flight.

The other club is Manchester United. Back in the 1989/90 season, the club were in a terrible run of form. Fans and journalists were calling for the manager to be sacked, but the board gave him a vote of confidence and stuck with him.

That manager was Sir Alex Ferguson, and no other explanation is needed.

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