With the news today that Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier felt ill last night, and admitted himself to hospital as a precaution, the question has been raised is there too much pressure on managers.
Gerard Houllier – taken into hospital last night
The simple answer is there is, because you only have to watch most managers on the sidelines during a game, to see the stress written all over their faces.
The 63-year-old Aston Villa manager, who had heart problems while he managed Liverpool, was taken to hospital in Birmingham overnight, but he is said to have spoken to Aston Villa’s Chief Executive Paul Faulkner at 7:00 am this morning, and his condition is said to be comfortable.
Houllier is now expected to remain in hospital for several days while he undergoes various tests, and of course we wish him the very best, and hope he will be perfectly OK in a day or two.
But there’s no doubt there is significant stress on most managers, particularly at this particular time of the year, when the teams are at the business end of the season.
Sunderland’s Steve Bruce looks stressed out to high heaven whenever we watch him on the sidelines, and anybody who watched the great Tottenham vs Arsenal game last night may be getting some worries over Arsene Wenger.
Arsene has looked particularly frustrated during games this season, as his team keeps giving away leads they have built up, and the Frenchman seems to throw that plastic water bottle to the ground several times in each game.
But his Arsenal team this season are enough to give anybody health problems, and we’ll not even mention Newcastle coming back in the last 23 minutes of their home game with the Gunners in February, after being 4-0 down, and drawing that game 4-4. Whoops.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew seems to handle the stress very well, and when Newcastle have been beaten he seems to be fairly level-headed, unlike most of us fans. 😀
This is what Pardew said about the stress on managers today:
“From my earlier time in the Premier League to now, the emphasis seems to be so much more on the manager for good and bad, and I don’t really think that’s healthy or right, if I am honest.””
“It’s about the clubs and players. They are the guys who go out there and perform and get you off your seat, they are the ones who really should be spoken to and discussed.”
“Personally, I don’t suffer too badly with stress, although my grey hair gives that away a little bit – but I had grey hair when I played and if you saw me play, it would be stressful.”
“You have just got to be balanced and treat victory and defeat in the same manner if you can.” “It’s very difficult, defeat, because we all suffer. Sir Alex suffers, I suffer – and I suffer just as much in this division as I did in any other division.”
“I would like to just wish Gerard all the best and hope he recovers very, very quickly because it’s a business where we have to take care of ourselves at times.”
In such a high stress job it’s very important that managers take care of themselves by having very regular check-ups, and we see that Steve Bruce seems to have piled on the weight this season too.
That’s hardly a good sign, and of course it’s a symptom of stress, but your personal health has to be the most important thing.
I keep telling my wife that being a football manager could be one of the hardest jobs in the world, but it’s certainly not easy being a Premier League manager.
But the huge increase in TV revenues, especially in the English Premier League has put huge pressures on the managers, who are held responsible for the results of their teams.
That’s the way it is right now, but we’re no saying it’s good.