Hodgson, Pochettino and the art of Managerial Succession
Sooner or later, Crystal Palace will face a big decision on Hodgson’s future as former Tottenham coach, Mauricio Pochettino shows how difficult it is to make good timing.
Premier League clubs only change their managers for one of the two reasons. Either the current head-coach is not getting desired results or the boss is being poached by a bigger club after exceeding expectations.
However, what remains clear is there is never an easy time for a club to change their manager. The reason being, a new head coach brings in fresh ideas, new working ways, and hopefully new levels of success.
Nonetheless, this is not always the case. For every Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, there is a Christian Gross at Tottenham. Success in football management is hard to come by and is short-lived. Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson is now clearly outliers in terms of the duration they spent in their jobs.
Choosing and settling for a new manager has never been more pivotal than it is today. Certainly, it has never been more costly.
For the teams at the bottom of the Premier League table, it is about sustaining their status in the top division and establishing an identity as a club.
Currently, Crystal Palace finds itself in an odd place. They are at the center of a process trying to advance the club. Additionally, the club is planning massive stadium development to go along with their recent academy progression.
In terms of the squad, they are trying to make a change. Last year, they had the oldest team in the League. But this year, they are taking steps to reduce the average age and wage. This they are doing by an addition of promising young players like Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson.
The man-in-charge of the squad is Roy Hodgson. The manager has more than proved his worth to the club over the last three years. However, he is currently on a rolling one-year contract which he signed an extension to back in March until the end of the 2020/21 season.
The decision to limit the terms of the contract makes sense for all parties. Managers of Hodgson’s age will naturally face questions over how long they wish to carry on the grind to top-level football.
Hodgson himself says that as long as he has the passion and fire to keep going, he will continue working. For a club as forward-thinking as Palace are now with their academy and stadium expansions. Replacing Hodgson will be at the forefront of their main tasks to contemplate.
A change of manager and shift in philosophy is a very tough thing to implement as Palace knows full-well with their aborted reinvention under Frank de Boer before Hodgson’s arrival.
It is also a decision that requires proper timing and where Pochettino applies as an example, both in terms of moving quickly and not quite quick enough.