Blog: Leicester never gave Paolo Sousa the time he needed

The length of time given to football managers has become a more erratic and unpredictable business in the last few years, argues Darren Pearce. There was a time not too long ago when a season was considered to be a given for any newcomer to the dugout, regardless of results. While that may have been somewhat generous to those who failed, one cannot help but feel that the sacking of Paolo Sousa by Leicester today indicates that the pendulum has swung excessively in the opposite direction.

To be clear, results in the nine games under their new manager have been very poor, with five points a meagre return by almost any standard. However, one has to factor in the changes that the new man made and was always going to before asking whether the timeframe was a fair one on which to judge him. Leicester did superbly last season in reaching the playoffs as a result of organised, effective and result-driven football. Nigel Pearson deserves great credit for this, and this writer remains convinced he will soon have Hull City functioning in a similar fashion. But once you go down the route of employing a man like Sousa who uses a completely different tactical and technical approach, you have to accept the short-term teething problems that this brings. If you don’t want immediate pain for long-term gain, then replace like for like.

18 months ago, a Bristol City fan explained to this writer over a beer how despite Gary Johnson’s first nine matches in charge all ending in defeat, all at the club stuck with him as the new ideas being instilled into the players slowly became second nature. Johnson left the Robins a division higher, and Sousa may well have produced a similar outcome at the Walkers Stadium. We will never know because nine games was all he got. Milan Mandaric may well depart the scene in the near future, and it is believed that new Thai owners are lining up Sven-Goran Ericsson as Sousa’s successor. Maybe it is for the best because on Sven’s salary, they will not be able to afford to sack him that quickly.

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