Graham Cummins: Managers pay price for being a less valuable asset than players

'By sacking Nuno, Levy is hoping that Kane can start scoring goals again and restore his valuation before the January transfer market'
Graham Cummins: Managers pay price for being a less valuable asset than players

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo was left down by his players.

THIS season’s Premier League is just 11 games old, but several clubs have already decided to part ways with their managers.

Are the poor results that led to these decisions down to the managers or the players? Yes, the managers do have to take the majority of blame when it comes to a bad run of form. They are the people who instruct their players to play in a certain way, a way that may not best suit the team.

However, players should never remain blameless, and far too often the manager is used as the scapegoat because it makes financial sense for a club to dismiss a manager rather than offload a number of first-team players.

Players who play at the very top do lack responsibility. When it comes to blame, it’s seldom that they are the ones prepared to look in the mirror first, and when they are prepared to stand in front of a camera after a string of bad results, players tend to share the blame with their team-mates rather than criticising themselves solely.

Of all the managers to be handed their P45s lately, Nuno Espirito Santo can perhaps feel the most let down.

The former Tottenham manager had a 50% win ratio during his brief spell as Spurs boss, but his sacking does show that in modern football, players are bigger than the manager.

Apart from maybe Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp, if it came to a choice between the star and the coach, the former is always going to win. And even then, I would question what Liverpool fans would think if it was a choice between Klopp or Mohammed Salah remaining at the club.

That’s because when it comes to the financial side, a player is a more valuable asset.

Spurs were looking in the region of €150m for Harry Kane, and in current form, they would be lucky to get a 10th of that figure for a player that has been more of a burden to the Spurs team than an asset this season.

Chairman Daniel Levy played a risky game by not dropping his valuation of the England captain over the summer, and he was probably thinking that City would be willing to pay the asking price in January. However, Levy’s decision has backfired, and the sacking of Nuno, I believe, was an attempt to salvage some meaningful valuation of Kane.

Nuno’s ‘negative’ tactics were seen as the main reason for Kane’s poor form rather the player himself being the problem. By sacking Nuno, Levy is hoping that Kane can start scoring goals again and restore his valuation before the January transfer market.

Kane was happy to stand back let people believe that Nuno was to blame for his lacklustre performances rather than take sole responsibility.

What chance did Nuno have when he was dealing with a squad full of pampered players, who had the backing of the chairman and fans? Players like Dele Alli, who seemed to have more respect from the fans, even though they have done nothing for the club over the last number of years.

I’m sick of hearing people talk about Alli like he is a good player. Yes, there was a time when he was a top player, but he has since become a burden. Rather than go to another club and try and prove himself, he seems happy to sit in the stands.

I always find it amusing that when a team is on a bad run of form, players who sit on the bench or even in the stands all of a sudden become better players, even though the moment that player steps on the pitch again, the supporters realise just how bad he is.

Of course, the manager should be held fully responsible, when they continue to be stubborn and refuse to change something that clearly isn’t working.

I’ve played under managers like this, and what happens is; even though the players might not initially do it, they do sort of down tools because they get frustrated with a manager that refuses to listen and only believes that their way is the right way.

‘It takes two to tango’, as the saying goes, but it’s the one manager and not a group of 20+ players who suffers the consequences.

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