Saturday, November 24, 2012
Chris Hughton insists the pressure on managers at the very top level in the Premier League is unrelenting.
The Norwich City chief echoed the sentiments of Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew and many other leading figures within the game at the brutal midweek exit of Roberto Di Matteo from Chelsea.
Di Matteo’s exploits in landing both the FA Cup and the Champions League were unable to insulate him from a demanding owner who moved quickly to replace the Italian with Rafa Benitez.
“You have to be surprised when you have a manager who had such a CV over such a short space of time. You expect him to still be in the job,” said Hughton. “Particularly with what he has had to cope with this season in almost developing a new side with some wonderful offensive players; we were on the wrong end of that at Stamford Bridge. It is a newish team and that takes a little bit of time to settle in.
“They have had by far more good than bad days. My thoughts go out to Roberto who is a proven, wonderful manager. It is certainly not a bad CV to have.
“We are playing against a club this weekend who in terms of management is at the opposite end of the spectrum and someone who has been there for ten years. He has had that consistency and it shows what can happen if you can ride out those difficult moments.”
Hughton believes Di Matteo’s dismissal further underlines the precarious nature of his profession. The City boss spoke again this week about the difficulty he has in switching off from such an all-consuming career, following a survey from the League Managers Association which acknowledged the major stresses placed on its membership.
“They are probably right. What they are probably saying is we don’t switch off enough, we don’t have that social life outside the game. If those are the findings then it is probably right,” he said. “It is a job you tend to take home with you and it is governed by results.
“I think we all know we should switch off a bit more but it becomes very difficult. You look for those moments when you can – whether that is a golf day or with the family. For me, it is my family. Occasionally, yes, I would go out for a meal but it is governed by the pressures of the job. When things are going okay it is a little bit more relaxing.”