Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Official: Nottingham is the toughest city for football managers to survive in

Today's blog was, for a change, prompted by an event on the other side of the Trent. Before you think I've taken leave of my senses, grabbed a wheelbarrow and joined the Meadow Lane mob, then bear with me.

The sacking of Ricardo Moniz on Tuesday reminded me of a thought I'd had when Dougie Freedman was under pressure ahead of the Derby game. Namely, that between us, Forest and Notts get through an awful lot of football managers. I got it in my head that there can scarcely be a city with a worse reputation for burning through bosses.

It's one of those things you think in the pub but can never be bothered to check. Only now, having probably had too much Port over Christmas, I've decided to follow up on the idea after the Moniz sacking. 

I decided that the only way to test whether or not there's something dangerous about Nottingham for managers was to compare it to other cities that are home to multiple clubs (ignoring London since there's too many clubs and I've not had THAT much Port).

So, taking Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Stoke, Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield and adding in Glasgow and Edinburgh for good measure, I've looked at the total number of managers each city has had across its two clubs since 2000 (a year picked for ease). I've discounted caretakers and interim bosses but counted two stints by the same person separately. It might not be that scientific but you get the idea.

The table then, is as follows:

Well, we've got to be top of something, right? In all seriousness though it's grim to think that Notts have had more managers than both Birmingham clubs and almost as many as the Manchester and Liverpool clubs combined. There's no point in us sniggering either, we're only four behind the Meadow Lane merry-go-round and only Notts and Hearts, of the clubs I looked at, have had more men at the helm. As a city, our two clubs have had only one fewer manager than the six clubs of Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow combined.

So, what's so dangerous about Nottingham? It's hard to talk for Notts, since I don't keep too keen an eye on events on the Black and White side of the city, but the numbers are a sad indictment of the poor running of these two historic clubs. Trigger happy owners have chased the dream of promotion without having the finances or foundations in place to sustain it and have paid the consequences. We've both relied on a conveyor belt of signings for short term gain and not tapped anywhere near enough into the talent that exists within the city itself. 

If anything is to come from the City of Football status it must be for both clubs to get better at nurturing young stars instead of a failed dependency on the chequebook. That, then, needs to go hand in hand with managers being given time to get the job right. Both clubs have tried to rush to rebuild past glories - sometimes arrogantly presuming it's what they 'deserve' - without a proper thought of how to get a better future. 

Here's the full list, if you're as sad as me and interested in this sort of thing:

Nottingham 30

Forest 13: David Platt, Paul Hart, Joe Kinnear, Gary Megson, Colin Calderwood, Billy Davies, Steve McClaren, Steve Cotterill, Sean O’Driscoll, Alex McLeish, Billy Davies, Stuart Pearce, Dougie Freedman.

Notts County 17: Gary Brazil, Jocky Scott, Gary Brazil, Billy Dearden, Gary Mills, Gudjon Thordarson, Steve Thompson, Ian McParland, Hans Backe, Steve Cotterill, Craig Short, Paul Ince, Martin Allen, Keith Curle, Chris Kiwomya, Shaun Derry, Ricardo Moniz.

Edinburgh 26

Hearts 15: Jim Jefferies, Craig Levein, John Robertson, George Burley, Graham Rix, Valdas Ivanauskas, Eugenijus Riabovas, Valdas Ivanauskas, Stephen Frail, Csaba Laszlo, Jim Jefferies, Paulo Brito, John McGlynn, Gary Locke, Robbie Neilson

Hibs 11: Alex McLeish, Franck Sauzee, Bobby Williamson, Tony Mowbray, John Collins, Mixu Paatelainen, John Hughes, Colin Calderwood, Pat Fenlon, Terry Butcher, Alan Stubbs.

Bristol 21

Bristol City 10: Tony Pulis, Tony Fawthrop, Danny Wilson, Brian Tinnion, Gary Johnson, Steve Coppell, Keith Millen, Derek McInnes, Sean O'Driscoll, Steve Cotterill

Bristol Rovers 11: Ian Holloway, Gerry Francis, Garry Thompson, Ray Graydon, Ian Atkins, Paul Trollope, Dave Penney, Paul Buckle, Mark McGhee, John Ward, Darrell Clarke.

Sheffield 21

Sheffield United 9: Neil Warnock, Bryan Robson, Kevin Blackwell, Gary Speed, Micky Adams, Danny Wilson, David Weir, Nigel Clough, Nigel Adkins.

Sheffield Wednesday 12: Danny Wilson, Paul Jewell, Peter Shreeves, Terry Yorath, Chris Turner, Paul Sturrock, Brian Laws, Alan Irvine, Gary Megson, Dave Jones, Stuart Gray, Carlos Carvalhal.

Birmingham 15

Birmingham 6: Trevor Francis, Steve Bruce, Alex McLeish, Chris Hughton, Lee Clark, Gary Rowett

Aston Villa 9: John Gregory, Graham Taylor, David O’Leary, Martin O’Neill, Gerard Houllier, Alex McLeish, Paul Lambert, Tim Sherwood, Remi Garde.

Stoke 15

Stoke City 7: Gudjon Thordarsson, Steve Cotterill, Dave Kevan, Tony Pulis, Johan Boskamp, Tony Pulis, Mark Hughes.

Port Vale 8: Brian Horton, Martin Foyle, Lee Sinnott, Dean Glover, Micky Adams, Jim Gannon, Micky Adams, Rob Page.

Glasgow 12

Rangers 6: Dick Advocaat, Alex McLeish, Paul Le Guen, Walter Smith, Ally McCoist, Mark Warburton.

Celtic 6: John Barnes, Martin O’Neill, Gordon Strachan, Tony Mowbray, Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila.

Manchester 10

Manchester United 3: Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal.

Manchester City 7: Joe Royle, Kevin Keegan, Stuart Pearce, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Mark Hughes, Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini.

Liverpool 9

Liverpool 6: Gerard Houllier, Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish, Brendan Rodgers, Jurgen Klopp

Everton 3: Walter Smith, David Moyes, Roberto Martinez