Talking Soccer: Lack of long-term planning in Premier League


Swansea City manager Francesco Guidolin encourages his players, with Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp, right, during their English Premier League soccer match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea, England, Saturday Oct. 1, 2016. (Nigel French / PA via AP)

After less than a year as manager of Swansea, head coach Francesco Guidolin was fired yesterday after a lackluster start to the season. Taking over the position in January of this year, Guidolin was able to bring Swansea away from the relegation zone to finish 12th in the Premier League. After losing five out of their first seven league matches, however, the team felt it needed a change in management.

Firing Guidolin in favor of Bob Bradley shows a trend for many teams in England and abroad to search for quick solutions to problems that go beyond the scope of team management. Aston Villa also fired their manager yesterday, replacing Roberto Di Matteo after only being hired as manager in June of this year. Di Matteo in fact, just replaced Remi Garde, who was only with the club for the previous season. It seems that when a weaker side in the league starts to fall anywhere near relegation, teams seem to offload their manager in favor of a new one, hoping it will give their team a boost to stay up. This clearly did not work for Aston Villa and I doubt it will work for Swansea, a team which has been in the top level of English soccer since 2011.

This philosophy isn’t one that will work in the long term, however, and more and more teams will see that replacing their managers in rapid succession will be their downfall. Setting up their management for long-term growth is the key to success in the Premier League, as teams like Southampton, Arsenal and Crystal Palace have proven it. Giving players a stable environment to grow and play on a static team are the ways to increase value for the team.

I believe Swansea City will see releasing their manager won’t help as the season moves forward, and as more teams that have become regulars in the Premier League start to fall out of it, they will learn the importance of maintaining their managers for longer than a season-and-a-half if they hope to remain.

Joe Burns is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at

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