The Huge Stresses And Pressures Of Being A Football Manager

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.

Comments welcome.

22 comments so far

  • Graeme

    Apr 21, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #1

    Cheer up Stevey Bruce, how sad can it be, for a sad mackem Bastard with a shite football team lol

    Doesn’t he go a lovely shade of purple when its not going his way!! Its so sad to watch lol

  • Billy1985

    Apr 21, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #2

    gh is a good manager i actually wanted him at newcastle before ch took charge get well soon

  • davybtoon

    Apr 21, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #3

    see weve been watchin anderlecht again god i hope we lukaka that wud be amazing

  • Billy1985

    Apr 21, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #4

    chelsea are after him apparently

  • Irish Geordie1

    Apr 21, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #5

    lads what do ye think of my new newcastle based website
    let me know if im missing anything plz

  • marcos

    Apr 21, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #6

    It is very difficult to be a manager of a football club and it is not only in England. Here in Brazil if a team suffers two defeats in a row the manager will start to be under pressure. They are humans like us. Unfortunately it is easier to sack one person than eleven. Manchester United is a good example, where Sir Alex Ferguson has been in charge since 1986. I think they need more time to develop a good job at a club.

  • hainesy

    Apr 21, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #7

    I heard some crazy crap saying that we were looking at their keeper Silvio Proto?

  • Thump

    Apr 21, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #8

    “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.”

    And it’s your job to motivate those players into getting us off our seat. If a player doesn’t want to be at a club, the door is open.

  • stuart no9

    Apr 21, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #9

    thump, typical AP no sense of responsability always finds someone or something to blame i wonder who would take the credit if we won something


    Apr 21, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #10
  • G

    Apr 21, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #11


    ‘gh is a good manager i actually wanted him at newcastle before ch took charge get well soon’

    Is that sarcasm? GH is one of the worst managers I have seen in the English game! How he keeps getting top jobs is beyond me. I know you will argue that he won trophies at Liverpool, however, if you check the records it was Phil Thompson that brought the trophies to Liverpool cos GH was either in hospital, or recovering. He took apart a Liverpool side who were on the verge of perfection with Roy Evans, and only needed the odd tweak, he instead decided to rebuild completely and failed miserably. They are still trying to recover from the damage he did them. I wish GH no ill will, but I would rather he karked it than managed my club, because if he got our gig, it would be me or him!

  • Billy1985

    Apr 21, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #12

    its not sarcasm at all mate lol

  • dave 1961

    Apr 21, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #13

    SEE WHO THE REF IS ON SATURDAY the one and only martin (cheating incompetent ) atkinson hope he gets a good reception then a right to the chin when the games over, or a bit of luck he will crash his car on the way, I despise that *rick and would love to enter a boxing ring with him.

  • stuart no9

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #14

    dave1961 i dont think he is a cheat (atkinson) hes just f…king useless, you notice all the games he refs, hes not onesided (exept that game against man c i must admit) its just that he is clueless when it comes to making big decissions . i think both teams will suffer through out the game ,on some biggies , hes just an older version of attwell clueless, incompetent, but cheat ? i dont think hes that quick or clever, but it will be interesting

  • Tanzy

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #15

    I think Newcastle need a big clear out, personally if i was manage i would do the following,
    Sign Barton,Simpson,Enrique and coloccini with new deals.

    I would then start the clear out with the following players leaving.

    Sol Campbell Free
    Danny Guthrie 2.5m
    Wayne Routledge 1.5m
    Jonas Gutierez 5m
    James Perch 1m
    Alan Smith 3.5m
    Xisco 1.5m
    Steven Taylor 3.5m
    Shefki Kuqi Free

    Selling these players would bring in an estimated 18.5m to add to the 35m we already have. Giving Alan Pardew a 53.5m kitty. I would then personally go and buy the following players.

    All the players i have mentioned i believe are overated and good enough.

    The players that i would bring in to replace the player departing, would be the following.

    Jermain Defoe – 10m – Tottenham,great players but does not get his game.

    Sebastian Larrson – Free – Great technique and pin point crosses.

    Stephane M’bia – Free – Marsielle, solid defender.

    Gervinho – 8m – Lille – Pacey, skillful and can score goals.

    Balazs Dzsudzsak – 10m – PSV – Technically great, scores and assists. Great playmaker

    Kevin Doyle – 6m – Wolves – Great effort every game, never stops running.

    Stephen Ireland – 7m – Aston Villa – Skillful, good technique and an eye for goal. Needs to prove himself in the remaining games.

    Buying 7 players in, spending total of 41m. Leaving 12.5m for January buys.

    Leaving you with a starting team of the following,


    Simpson Coloccini M’Bia Enrique

    Barton Dzsudzsak Tiote Gervinho

    Ben Arfa


    Krul, Williamson, Nolan, Larrson, Ireland, Doyle, Gosling

    Squad Players
    R.Taylor, Ameobi, Best, Lovenkrands, Kadar, Tavernier, Ferguson, Lua-Lua.

    I believe this squad would be capable of challenging for Europe.

    What do yous think?
    Does anyone have any inside information about transfers happening at Newcastle?

  • Tanzy

    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Comment #16

    also send ranger, forster, vuckic out on loan for half a season or full season.

  • Mac

    Apr 22, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    Comment #17

    Yeah football management is indeed a stressful job.Name another job where if u don’t get the results required you’re give a muli million quid pay off. Fat Sam has made over 10 million from being sacked. Roy was sacked by Liverpool and paid 7.3 million quid. Imagine that hanging over your head.

  • chuck

    Apr 22, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    Comment #18

    Huge stresses sure goes with the huge salaries, face it where are these guys gonna get that kinda bread elsewhere and how many of them quit ?
    You got it none !

  • Sav

    Apr 22, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    Comment #19

    What’s all this from Fat Fred? Now I hear he’s using the ‘we almost signed Rooney’ tale to imply he had nowt to do with sacking Sir Bobby. What a jerk.
    And he ‘nearly signed Alex Ferguson’ to replace Keegan.
    Not content with lining his pockets while ruining the club alongside sidekick Douggie Hall, Fat Fred in his dotage is now trying desperately to rewrite the wrongs of his time in charge at the Toon.

  • baro

    Apr 22, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    Comment #20

    Seriously? Funniest thing i heard all week besides Fat Freddy … Newcastle interested in De Jong who recently broke De Jong’s leg.

  • baro

    Apr 22, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    Comment #21

    Newcastle have offered 17 million euro to sign Moussa Sow from Lille to overtake Tottenham and lots of other interest ….

  • baro

    Apr 22, 2011 at 4:17 AM

    Comment #22

    Its like saying we get Sow and 18 million for Carroll! That sounds like a good deal. 2 good goalscorers and 18 million plus some people on this team leaving in the summer for approx 5 million.

    I’d use …
    15-17 million on Moussa Sow
    10 million on Gervinho
    10 million on Bryan Ruiz
    5 million on Kyriakos Papadopoulos
    RW- FREE Larsson
    LB – FREE Wendt
    ST – FREE Elmander
    ST – FREE Zavon Hines
    Att. Mid – FREE Victor Obinna


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