There is total drama in Europe as a number of top clubs have changed managers in preparation for next season.
In Italy, almost all the top six teams have parted ways with their managers and appointed new ones. Champions Inter Milan (Simone Inzaghi), Juventus (Massimiliano Allegri), AS Roma (Jose Mourinho), Fiorentina (Gennaro Gattuso), SSC Napoli (Luciano Spalletti) and SS Lazio (Maurizio Sarri) will all be led by new managers as indicated.
Bundesliga top clubs, too, have not been spared of the managers’ merry-go- round as Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund will all have new bosses next season. Julian Nagelsmann joins the champions Bayern Munich from RB Leipzig while American Jesse Marsch will replace him at Leizpig from sister club Red Bull Salzburg. Dortmund’s new boss is Marco Rose from Borussia Monchengladbach who have employed Adi Hutter from Eintracht Frankfurt. Frankfurt have pinched VfL Wolfsburg’s manager Oliver Glasner. What a chain reaction!
In France new League 1 champions Lille OSC, Olympic Lyon and OGC Nice have all changed coaches.
In Spain’s La Liga, there are also changes for Real Madrid and Valencia. Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane has been replaced by Carlo Ancelotti while Valencia CF have brought in Jose Bordalas from Getafe CF.
Finally, in the Premier League only three clubs are affected with Ancelotti leaving Everton, Nuno Espirito Santo departing Wolverhampton Wanderers and Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace retiring from management. Spurs remain linked to Antonio Conte and former boss Pochettino.
But why all these changes? The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the finances of clubs, with Europe’s top 32 clubs seeing 6.1bn euros (£5.27bn) wiped off their value since February 2020, according to KPMG.
These financial losses have made clubs unable to back some ambitious recruitment plans that some coaches demanded. This is true with Conte, Hans Flicks of Bayern and Zidane. Conte wanted reinforcements after winning the league in 11 years, but the club wanted to reduce the wage bill by 20 percent.
And working in the Covid 19 environment without fans and constant medical examinations also took a toll in terms of psychological trauma.
The season was also long and exhaustive because of congested fixtures due to delays from last season. So, some coaches just want to take a break and rest from the game.
I would like to end this entry with a tribute to Gabadinho Mhango who is finishing the season on a high. It’s been a frustrating season for him due to injuries and constantly being benched. However, in the last two matches Gaba has shown his class, netting two match winning spectacular goals from free kicks. This is good for Malawi as we prepare for the Afcon tournament. Go Gaba! Go!