sports gazette

The Italian Jobs get the Caine

Published: 3 Oct 2016

Today saw the first two high profile managerial casualties of the season, with both Swansea’s Francesco Guidolin and Aston Villa’s Roberto Di Matteo shown the revolving football door to unemployment.

Both announced earlier this morning, it only further highlights the harshness of modern day football expectation and how both club loyalty and embarrassment in staff turnover have become extremist in their ways.

61 year old Guidolin moved to Swansea City in January 2016, with the Swans, then, just two points above the relegation zone. Through hard work and a change of fortunes, the Swans survival at the end of the season ensured the Welsh outfit another outing in the Premiership and because of this they justly rewarded the experienced Italian a two year contract.

However, his record so far this season was questionable to say the least with just one win in seven seeing the Swans flirt dangerously close with the relegation zone, just goal difference keeping their heads above the water.

With the Swans previously associated with a quick tempo style of play and concentration on possession and pressure, there is no argument regarding their poor form and tactical naivety. However, some argue it is perhaps too soon to dismiss a man with such history and prestige to fall back on. The likes of Udinese, Palermo, Parma and French outfit Monaco were all former houses for Guidolin, all clubs highly regarded throughout the European game.

But with the Swans new owners and their subsequent relationship and pursuit of former USA coach Bob Bradley, it was widely documented that Guidolin’s tenure in Wales was coming to an end. Alas, rather than sack and search, Bradley was seemingly already in place to replace the Italian, evident with his appointment announcement coinciding with Guidolin’s sacking.

Whether this will change the Swans form, only time will tell, but it is an example of football clubs demanding instant success, or at least some near future promise.

Slightly more surprising was the shock departure of Roberto Di Matteo at Aston Villa. The shock lay more in the camp of this ‘big name’ manager leaving, rather than the fact that Villa acted on it. Their turnover of managers in recent times has made the position at Villa Park less desirable each time its available.

Following last season’s abysmal Premier league campaign, where they rightly finished bottom of the pile, resulting in three managers, a host of players leaving and continuous campaigning by supporters against the owners, Di Matteo’s summer appointment was a pleasant sight to see by all in claret and blue in the midlands.

Misery however, would continue to reign supreme at Villa Park, with just one win out of eleven for Di Matteo’s Villa side who find themselves slumped uncomfortably near the bottom end of the Championship league table.

A club who have heavily invested in players, have arguably the greatest facilities in the league, and have a fan expectation to provide football that will see them ‘rightly’ return to the Premiership; things are not exactly going to plan.

Unlike Swansea, as far as we are aware, there isn’t a name in place to take the hot seat. We do know however, that whichever man steps forward to take on the momentous task will be met by expectation, a concrete fear of disappointment and ultimately, a ticking clock.

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