Suzanne Geldard column: Patience is the key word in silly season
IT’S not often I pay too much attention to what Rio Ferdinand has to say or tweet.
But in 140 characters or less he struck a chord with the whole of football a few days ago.
Sacking season got into full swing at the weekend with seven Football League bosses relieved of their duties in a seven-day period as of Sunday night.
David Flitcroft was one, almost straight after Barnsley's 3-0 home defeat to Birmingham City – meaning, after winning at Brighton, caretaker boss Micky Mellon must get another result against old club Burnley at Turf Moor this weekend to earn the chance for an extended stay in the hot seat.
Former Clarets boss Owen Coyle was shown the door at Wigan Athletic after 23 games in charge following their 3-1 loss at home to Derby on Sunday.
The total managerial departures for this season now stands at 19 and we are just a third of the way through the season.
While there was general outcry at the lack of time given to modern day managers Ferdinand’s take on the whole situation was a good one, and one which related to the bigger picture at any football club rather than individuals about to form an orderly queue for the next vacancy.
“Managers getting cleared out like old clothes these days!! And we expect managers to blood youth into 1st teams?? No chance,” he tweeted.
Of course, loyalty is a two-way street. As Burnley have experienced in the past a manager can leave on his own terms, not just a football club’s.
But it is perhaps no coincidence that the longer a manager stays in charge at one club, the more chance there is that youth team products can find a clear pathway to the first team.
The launch of ‘The Class of ‘92’ serves as a timely reminder.
The longevity of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United will never be repeated.
But even a few seasons of stability can make all the difference to youth development.
Look at Steve Cotterill’s Turf Moor tenure. In three full seasons he blooded Kyle Lafferty and Chris McCann, and in his last summer as Clarets boss gave Jay Rodriguez his first senior contract.
A manager who is under pressure to deliver immediate results is not afforded the luxury of time and long-tern planning. And so youth development suffers. And when you development suffers, so does the long-term future of the club.
And that process is particularly important for Burnley – and any other team not blessed with a bottomless pit of funds.
In over a year with Burnley now, Sean Dyche has been allowed to develop his ideas and his team.
While more money would be welcome to add strength in depth, a small senior squad means more chance of youngsters breaking through. Like Tuesday night, when the Clarets squad had been stretched to capacity, leading to teenage right back Cameron Dummigan being named on the bench for the first time.
Okay, it was more circumstance than design on this occasion, but more time at Turf Moor for Dyche could see the next generation of youth team talent coming through.
But for that plan to have any chance of success, patience will be required in all quarters, from the turf to the terraces, not just the boardroom.
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