In modern day football, you’ll hear people say top coaches in the world can’t take up jobs at minnow clubs and you’ll hear some say a particular top manager at a top club will fail at a smaller club.
Last year December, José Mourinho was axed by Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, after a 9th defeat in 16 league matches leaving the team just one point above the relegation zone having won the league title eight points clear the prior season. Months later, reports suggested that he was wanted by Manchester United to replace LVG and Everton to replace Roberto Martinez but it was so certain to the football world that a manager of José’s calibre would never take up any job with the Toffees.
The bitter truth is those top managers didn’t start out managing top clubs. Most did very, very well with smaller clubs in order to get recognized and signed to bigger and better clubs. So if you pay special attention to more unknown managers for small clubs, they may or may not be the next Mourinho or Guardiola, etc. However, don’t expect them to stay with the small club for long, unfortunately. Most great managers have a way of rising to the top, and managing clubs that are already great, because they don’t want to refuse the higher pay, prestige, etc. Best of players can be brought to a club only with the force of money or the clubs stature. A minnow club can only become a great club under top managers if they have the financial backup to spend on quality players who can help them excel.
Still, though. It is always cool to see the brilliant up-and-coming managers and players in lower leagues, because you can see how much good they can do for their teams, and then you get to see how they are rewarded in the future, as they rise through the ranks.
Talking about “soccernomics”, the team that wins the most trophies in any competition is normally the team with the highest wage bill, i.e. the team that pays more wages to their players, coaches, manager and staff. That isn’t to say that if a team like Stoke City pay the likes of Imbula £350K a week, they’ll automatically become title contenders. The clubs that win the most trophies are the ones that can attract the best players with the promise of high wages, and can keep other clubs from taking away their best players by tying them down with huge contracts and wages.
The same applies to managers; Pep Guardiola is paid about £15M a year, José Mourinho is paid about £13.8M a year and Carlo Ancelotti is paid closest with about £9M per year. Of course, if they chose to, they could always go to a smaller club and probably get them to perform better. But no professional likes to take a wage cut, and most smaller clubs can’t afford such wages for a manager who they might want to tie down for multiple seasons.
Although there are some exceptional cases; No disrespect to Liverpool and their fans, top team, rich history, lots of respect for the scousers but they’re a top team that can’t stay relevant now. How then do you convince a top manager to take up a team like that? Yes, they can pay top wages, they can sign top players (Finance wise) but someone like Riyad Mahrez who has just won the league at Leicester City wouldn’t join a team who has failed to do so in almost three decades. In cases like this; it is not about how much history, it is about current chances to make history.