With the midpoint of the league season almost upon us, the managers in League Two who still have a job might allow themselves a sigh of relief along with a mince pie this Christmas. Of the 19 managerial casualties since the beginning of August, 8 of them have been from League Two.
It can be argued that the stakes are pretty high in League Two as finishing in the bottom two opens the trapdoor into non-league football. Four of the current bottom five clubs have got the jitters and decided to part with their managers already. A noble mention should go to Morecambe’s Jim Bentley however, who is currently enjoying his eighth year in charge. He is the longest-serving manager in the top four tiers of English football.
Bentley must be doing something right so I thought a guide to keeping your League Two managerial job was long overdue. After all, nobody wants to become the next Leroy Rosenior who is the current holder of the record for the shortest spell as manager. Rosenior had the misfortune of being appointed Torquay manager as the club were being taken over by a local consortium. Papers signed, they wanted their own man in and Rosenior was gone in 600 seconds. Hardly time to boil the kettle for your first brew!
The FMC Guide to Keeping Your Managerial Job
The idea behind this guide is to get the manager loved by the fans. It’s difficult for the Chairman to sack a popular figure.
If the fans think your players are rubbish, agree with them. Don’t blame the pitch, the weather, the officials or bad luck for a defeat. Blame the players.
Study social media and gauge the opinions of the fans (you may need a fairly thick skin to do this) then threaten to drop the players the supporters are unhappy with. Do this as publicly as possible. Anything done behind closed doors is a waste of time.
When the side does manage to score, celebrate with the players. Don’t stick your hands in your pockets and look at your shoes. Make sure you join in with the melee on the pitch. Don’t wear a suit. Jeans and hoodie are what people want to see.
Practice your gestures. Hands should be held out in exasperation at any decision you don’t like. Cover your eyes with your hands at near misses. Become the cheerleader at every opportunity. Encourage the crowd to sing and join in. Punch the air when we score. Run down the touchline with arms raised when the final whistle goes and we’ve won.
To put the icing on the cake, make sure you’ve got a pint in your hand at the post-match press conference and you call everybody ‘Mate’.
Your managerial longevity will be assured.