The Media Versus the Premier League Manager

Premier League Press

It’s a recurring theme each and every season. The media picks a few managers whose jobs seem to be in jeopardy and they proceed to hound them with the same questions over and over again. Two things happen because of this: they either get the sack or they are able to ride it out and move on.  I understand that it is a reporters job to ask hard questions and try to get answers out to the public, but so often it seems that there are a few of these managers that they go after with questions that border on ridiculous.

To me this seems like sensationalism, just a way to sell more papers or get more clicks with outrageous headlines.  In the past year the media has hit on several managers that have ended up giving them just what they want, another rant to grab the headlines. This is such a recurring theme that a Google search for “Premier League Manager Rants” gives you 2,010,000 results. The first page of results has 3 different “Top 5 Manger Rants”. I’m sure there are plenty of pages in there that don’t match up, but the point is that there a plenty of managers that have “lost it” in front of the press.

What is it about the media that causes so many tirades? Is it something to do with being a manager or is it a fault of the media? In many ways, I think it’s a combination. The press tends to go after managers that are already feeling the stress of the position. Often this includes pressure from fans or the team struggling to get results in the league. It’s inevitable that a manager not doing well will begin to feel the burden of the job, but I think there are times that the media’s role in it goes beyond simply reporting. Too often reporters continue to ask rather asinine questions that they know the answer to, know the manager does not have an answer, or one that has been asked repeatedly already.

Is this necessary? Does the press really need to continue asking the same old questions over and over again? I don’t think so. Many times I think the managers reactions are warranted and many more times I feel that they could have gotten more upset. There is no reason to continue asking a question that has been asked by the previous 3 reporters unless the intention is to have the manager explode and get the sensational headline they want.

I know, this is certainly an oversimplification of what goes on, but there are definitely reporters and news sources out there that are looking for that tabloid-esque back page headline that will shock everyone. I don’t like it, but I’m also a realist and understand that this isn’t going to change any time soon.

The press will continue to do its job and bring us fans the news. Along the way they will also drum up some additional news that might rile some people and lead to those outrageous headlines that gets everyone talking. It will also result in more managers getting sacked because of it, but that is part of the Premier League circle of life in many ways. Managers will come and go, whether they deserve to be fired or not, while others will ride out the storm and survive to coach another match.