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Is patience with Premier League managers at an all time low?


It's not such a shocking notion to football fans anymore that Premier League managers are being discarded at an alarming rate.

Indeed, a couple of bad results can call bring a rousing of 'sack rumours' for a manager, and with more money than ever involved, coupled with ambitious (and in come cases, incompetent) billionaire owners, the spotlight doesn't shine hotter anywhere in world football than the Premier League.

In what is now a proverbial conveyer belt of managers in the league, it is easy to forgive fans, players and the press for having rather short memories when it comes to the comings and goings of a football manager.

Just take a look at Fulham, with manager at the start of the season Martin Jol all but forgotten, fans are now focusing on their third manager of the season in Felix Magath, with Jol's replacement Rene Meulensteen sacked after 75 days in charge, despite drawing at Old Trafford and being a whisker away from a win against Liverpool.

Whilst this problem has been steadily growing for a number of years, last season was significant in the managerial rat race, with three of the top four longest serving managers in the league all leaving their posts.

When you compare the top five longest serving managers on the last day of last season, compared to the current top five, there remains only one enigma left from a time where loyalty to managers wasn't considered wrong- Arsene Wenger.

Longest Serving PL Managers (Last season)

Sir Alex Ferguson: Manchester United (6th November 1986- 2013)

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal (30th September 1996-present)

David Moyes: Everton (14th March 2002-2013)

Tony Pulis: Stoke (14th June 2006-2013) second spell at club

Alan Pardew: Newcastle (9th December 2010-present)

With Sir Alex Ferguson's reign an unprecedented achievement, his retirement opened the door for Moyes, who having been at Everton for over a decade, seemed an ideal fit to replace the most successful manager in English football history.

It should be noted as well, that these managers, including Pulis, were not the victims of sackings, like so many managers around them, but left their respective clubs of their own accord.

The current top five longest serving managers in comparison to just last season makes bleak reading, with it looking impossible that in the current climate any manager will surpass Ferguson's 27 years at United, Wenger's reign at Arsenal, whenever it may end, or even Moyes' comparatively modest 11 years at Everton.

Longest serving PL Managers (present)

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal (30th September 1996-present)

Alan Pardew: Newcastle (9th December 2010-present)

Sam Allardyce: West Ham (1st June 2011- present)

Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool (30th May 2012- present)

Paul Lambert: Aston Villa (2nd June 2012- present)

So now Wenger sits atop of a pile of constantly shifting managers, as they swap and change from club to club. Only two other managers, Steve Bruce at Hull, and Chris Hughton at Norwich, were at their respective clubs before the start of the 2012/2013 season in the Premier League.

But what about the rest of the Football League? The Championship is notoriously cutthroat and with only four managers being appointed before the start of last season, has the worst loyalty to managers.  League One fairs better with eight, and League Two slightly less so with six.

Proof then that this is not a problem contained solely to the top flight but something that is occurring through out the Football League, but should you look just outside to the Conference, you will find that almost half the managers in the League have been there since before the start of the 2012/13 season.

Three Premier League Managers have been appointed in 2014, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking charge of Cardiff, Gary Monk replacing Michael Laudrup at Swansea, and of course Magath at Fulham, with a further three managers having only took charge this season.

You could argue that throwing these stats around does little in the way of addressing the issue or even explaining it, but these are, to quote one Rafa Benitez, 'facts.'

And in truth these statistics serve as a reminder to a footballing community that has been desensitised by the managerial merry-go-round, to a point where some fans have as little loyalty for managers as their clubs do.

One final statistic, that would have shocked any football fan not too long ago- out of the 20 current Premier League Managers, 12 have been in charge for less than a year. That is something which even five years ago was no where near being a reality, but for most Premier League managers, they are finding it all too real indeed.

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