Addicks making mistake like West Brom and Cardiff City? Or success like Southampton?

Charlton Athletic

Charlton Athletic yesterday sacked Chris Powell with Belgian Jose Riga set to replace him, in echoes of Pepe Mel coming in for Steve Clarke at West Brom.



The influx of foreign owners throughout England can lead to such an uproar at clubs. Firstly they think it's great due to new investment in the club leading them in the right direction hopefully. But on so many occasions the new owner tries to revamp the club from top to bottom straight away, and so often it seems to start with the sacking of a manager who had been performing admirably previously.

Perhaps Charlton Athletic's position should suggest it isn't a surprise to see Chris Powell sacked as manager. They are sitting at the bottom of the Championship and have managed just six league victories all season. Four points away from safety as things stand but they do have four games in hand on Millwall in 21st place. The one small positive from their bleak season was that they had made it to the last eight of the FA Cup and faced the lowest ranked team left in the competition; Sheffield United. Wembley was within reach but they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to the League One side. It was Powell's last game in charge of The Addicks

Belgian businessman Roland Duchatelet took over Charlton just two months ago and he also owns Standard Liege amongst others. Unsurprisingly five of Charlton's six signings came in January came from his other clubs. However they lost two key players in Dale Stephens and Yann Kermorgant to Brighton and Bournemouth respectively. 

Powell can count himself unfortunate having guided Charlton to the League One title in his first full season in charge and then followed that up with a ninth place finish in the Championship. HIs replacement will be unheard of to most in England. Charlton fans won't be getting too excited over the expected appointment of Jose Riga.

The Belgian has only previously managed in his homeland before and is currently technical director of AC Milan's academy. He could come good, it would be harsh to rule that out, but it sounds as if it could take time for him to adapt. Whereas Charlton need someone to hit the ground running.

There is a worrying trend which has seen clubs appoint foreign managers in the hope they can bring attractive football to the club and perhaps find a few talented European youngsters. The links that Italian, Spanish, and German managers have in their countries can help develop a squad on a tight budget.

Southampton's appointment of Mauricio Pocchettino raised many eyebrows at the time, especially as the sacking of Nigel Adkins was seen as very harsh. However his brand of football has been hugely successful at St Mary's and he has turned them into a top ten club. 

In my opinion West Bromwich Albion looked at that situation and thought "we're a similar sized club, why can't we be performing to the same level?" They sacked Steve Clarke despite a wonderful first season at the club and they looked abroad for his successor. Pepe Mel arrived despite not boasting a terribly impressive managerial record himself. His last spell as manager ended with him leaving Real Betis at the bottom of La Liga. Safe to say he hasn't had a great start at The Hawthorns and there are even reports suggesting he could already be getting the axe after no wins.

Cardiff City treated Malky Mackay with no respect after he brought Premiership football to the capital for the first time. I'll rephrase that, Vincent Tan treat Mackay with no respect. The fans and players of course admired Mackay and were right behind him, and rightly so.

He was sacked however, and in shocking circumstances which I don't need to go into any further. His replacement arrived on the back of a great reputation as a player in this country, but not as a manager. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had success in Norway with Molde but can that be compared to English football? The Championship is a much harder league so why weren't promising English managers like Sean Dyche, Nigel Pearson, and Eddie Howe looked to? Solskjaer has taken a long time and only now are there signs that his side are playing at the level he expects.

Owners arrive at clubs these days with the intention of appointing a new manager regardless of the current performance of the team. If Leeds United are eventually taken over by Massimo Cellino, Brian McDermott will be out of the job sooner rather than later. He has already been 'sacked' once by them and I imagine Cellino will already have someone in mind to manage the club.

Fulham twice appointed foreign managers this season whilst Sunderland turned to a Uruguayan. At least Rene Meulensteen and Gus Poyet had a lot of experience in England but there is still limited opportunities for British managers in the top flight.

Tim Sherwood and Garry Monk have been the exceptions this season. They have found themselves managing in the Premier League with their first managerial job. They have both had a decent spell with Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City respectively but will they still be in the hot seat for the start of next season? It looks unlikely. There has constantly been talk and rumours regarding Spurs moving for Louis Van Gaal or Michael Laudrup in the summer which must be very unsettling for Sherwood.

Those two have shown that there shouldn't be any trepidation when it comes to appointing a young British manager who is perhaps untried and tested at this level or any level. They have taken to management well, and hopefully can go on to have successful managerial careers. More chances need to be given instead of turning to a European manager in the hope he can revolutionise the club, because as so often seen it can take them a long time to adapt things, and even longer to adapt once things haven't worked out and they are sacked.

image: © Ewan-M

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