December 6 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Chris Hughton revealed he had plenty of sympathy for Paolo Di Canio regarding the manner of his Sunderland sacking and the bitter fall out over the Italian’s reportedly abrasive management style.
"There is no doubt in light of (Paolo) Di Canio a lot will be made about how managers interact with their players, but I go back to what I said about personalities. You have to manage within your personality. The big change for me is the man-management skills required because 20 years ago you might have been managing a group where half were local lads who had come up through the system."
Tales of player revolts in response to Di Canio’s forceful methods have sparked a fresh debate in recent days on the difficulties of managing expensively-assembled playing squads in the modern era.
Hughton’s profession is one of the most precarious in elite football, with figures from the League Managers’ Association stating the average lifespan in the top flight is less than two full seasons.
Hughton insists the Black Cats’ hierarchy would have done plenty of due diligence on the former Swindon boss when they decided to dismiss Martin O’Neill less than a fortnight after City’s battling 1-1 draw on Wearside in March 2013.
“Generally when you appoint a manager you know his managerial style,” said Hughton. “Everybody is going to be different. All 20 of us in the Premier League do things in a different way and handle situations in a different way. That is the beauty of our game. You have so many different personalities and in Paolo you had an emotional individual who was very disciplined in everything he did as a player and carried that on at Swindon.”
“The best management style is the one that helps you achieve what you want and to do a good job. The style for me is not the thing that matters, it is whether you are doing a good job.
“As a fellow manager it is always disappointing at this stage of the season, but it is probably a reflection of the game and the pressure managers are under, but five matches is no period of time.
“I feel for Paolo because most people know what he is, he is a passionate individual and he showed that in his period of time at Sunderland where he had a successful end to last season.”
Hughton concedes Premier League management is now a difficult career path with the financial muscle of the English top flight able to attract the very best continental talent.
“You have to manage them differently to my (playing) day. It is a big part of the game now. You are dealing with more nationalities, dealing with individuals that perhaps have had more given to them,” he said. “The fundamentals do not change. You still want the right things from a player, to have that respect, to get them working hard. What I will say about the modern-day player is the professionalism is really high. Every club now can put support in place to look after players. There is more preparation that goes into every game now because technology allows that in terms of sport science, ProZone, the amount of analysts and the volume of games you can study.”
Hughton’s successful playing career for club and country saw him play under characters like Jack Charlton, Keith Burkinshaw and Billy Bonds, but the Norwich boss rejects any suggestion management was easier in the past.
“Is it better now than before? No, because that was what we had in those days and I have no doubt in 15 or 20 years time the game will have changed again,” he said.
“There is no doubt in light of Di Canio a lot will be made about how managers interact with their players, but I go back to what I said about personalities. You have to manage within your personality. The big change for me is the man-management skills required because 20 years ago you might have been managing a group where half were local lads who had come up through the system.”