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Learn English through Football Podcast: The seven stages of being a manager

After all the recent news about managers being sacked, canned, given the chop, released, fired, languagecaster takes a look at the language we use to describe a managers job. We also …

  • Introduce a new football expression in English for Football
  • And continue the predictions battle in the Predictions competition


Now as we have already mentioned, football managers have been in the news this week with some high-profile sackings and plenty of gossip surrounding possible new appointments. So, on languagecaster’s main report this week we take a look at some of the language used to describe the life of a football manager.

‘All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players’ is taken from Shakespeare’s play As You Like It in which the character Jaques introduces the seven stages of man. Here though, with apologies to the great writer, are the seven stages of being a football manager.

Stage 1: Managerial merry-go-round

Getting a job as a football manager is not such an easy prospect as It seems that the same old faces are always involved. This is known as the managerial merry-go-round with bosses never really leaving football but seemingly just swapping jobs. Therefore, getting onto this merry-go-round is your first priority and to do so you need to read the job advertisements in the newspapers. Or more specifically, the football gossip on the back pages.

Stage 2: Applying for a job

Of course you need to send in a CV but before you do that you need to be be linked with the post or become a target for the club. If you see your name written with these phrases then you can improve your job chances by expressing an interest in the position

Stage 3: Getting the job

Congratulations, you have been appointed as first team coach, or manager, or trainer or gaffer or whatever, you have the job. You have succeeded the previous incumbent and finally you can lead the team. You are in charge. Don’t forget to sign a contract and make sure there is a pay-out clause, just in case things don’t go as planned. You’ve made it. You’re are on the managerial merry-go-round.

Stage 4: Being in charge

Now you are in charge what is it you have to do? Well, be responsible for all sorts of jobs, including choosing tactics and players, dealing with agents, transfers and the media and of course, keeping an eye out for a new job. Invariably the start of your tenure is a good one as players try harder and a sense of hope surrounds the club and this leads to what is known as a honeymoon period when results improve and everyone loves you.

Stage 5: Trouble ahead

But then results don’t go your way and your name is on the back pages of the papers again, but this time with a picture of you looking rather sad. Speculation is rife and rumours abound as others on the merry-go-round sense an opportunity. You meet the owners for crisis talks as there are suggestions that you have lost the dressing room, the players have little or no respect for you and then, before you know it, you have become a dead man walking.

Stage 6. Good bye

And then just as you are getting used to the hot seat, you have to go. You are out of a job, sacked, fired, dismissed. You have got the boot for poor results and you are paying the price. But you’re not really as you receive a multi-million pound pay out in compensation.

Stage 7. Round again

You decide to take a break from the game but you do not rule out a return at some stage in the future. And then suddenly your name is back in the frame for another post. Initially, you distance yourself from it, dismissing it as mere speculation. But you miss the cut and thrust of the day-to day challenges of the Premier League and you feel you cannot turn down the opportunity of managing once again. And before you know it, you’re on the merry-go-round once more.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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