John Rudge and Neil Aspin

Longest serving list shows continuity breeds success

Longest serving list shows continuity breeds success

Rob Fielding says the club should learn a lesson by perusing the longest serving managers list.

Rob Fielding writes…

A look at the list of longest serving managers reveals a key fact in my thinking.

Let’s look at that list:

  1. Jim Bentley (Morecambe)
  2. Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe)
  3. Neal Ardley (Wimbledon)
  4. Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
  5. Sean Dyche (Burnley)
  6. Keith Hill (Rochdale)
  7. Darrell Clarke (Bristol Rovers)
  8. Maurico Pochettino (Spurs)
  9. John Coleman (Accrington)
  10. Chris Hughton (Brighton)

There are names on there that have brought unprecedented success – Howe, Hughton and Dyche keeping unfancied sides in the Premier League and in Dyche’s case into Europe; Ainsworth and Coleman have steered minnows to promotion; Ardley has moved the Dons above their hated rivals in Milton Keynes; Hill is working wonders with Rochdale.

The clubs stuck by their man, showed faith in them and were rewarded over time…

But it hasn’t been a continual upward story of success. Dyche suffered relegation with Burnley, Pochettino still hasn’t won a major trophy with Spurs and Ainsworth once scraped survival for Wycombe on the final game of the season. All are issues that brought criticism from fans but crucially the clubs stuck by their man, showed faith in them and were rewarded over time.

It’s a lesson Vale should take on board with Messrs Aspin and Rudge.

Whether fans like it or not- change generally takes time. It may take more than a turnover of players and a summer transfer window to completely change Vale’s trajectory.

If Vale don’t challenge for promotion but still show improvement, then I think this should be no time to panic. Keep faith with the legendary duo and give them the time they need to make changes. Football has become far too knee-jerk in recent years and I would be looking at giving Aspin and Rudge four or five seasons not two or three.

If the club believe they are the best people for the job then they need to stick with them through thick and thin.

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