House of Payne: Are long-term managers more successful? Look at Arsenal and Met Police for your answer

Still going strong: Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal for 18 years...

Still going strong: Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal for 18 years...

First published in Sport by

Arsene Wenger may be in his 18th year as manager of Arsenal, but he is remarkably one of only three managers in the Premier and Football Leagues to have gone past four years.

The others are Exeter’s Paul Tisdale at seven years, and Cheltenham’s Mark Yates, who is around a month over that four-year mark.

Once Wenger finally goes, the current trend for a quick fix makes it difficult to imagine a manager lasting as long.

The success Chelsea have had under a selection of bosses may have helped to dispel the theory that continuity works best at a football club.

But, in non-League football, where the job is more thankless and managers have to take their players’ working lives as well as their football into account, perhaps the tide is turning.

The way has been led by Metropolitan Police manager Jim Cooper and his assistant Gavin MacPherson, who last week celebrated a decade in charge at the Ryman Premier League club.

When the pair took over they were struggling at the bottom of the Ryman League Division One South having beaten Wembley in a play-off the previous season to avoid dropping into the Combined Counties League.

Their first senior trophy since before the war, the London Senior Cup in 2010, was followed by the Ryman League Division One South title the following season.

Overall, they have won 207 and lost 124 in their 443 league games in charge.

They have been a consistent factor in the change from being a works team into one which is now made up totally of non-police staff.

As chairman Des Flanders said: “I’m often asked by chairmen at other clubs ‘You’ve had your managers a long time, why’s that?’. I reply ‘Because they’re good’.”

The same could be said for Alan Dowson, manager of Kingstonian since 2007, and Paul Doswell, who arrived at Sutton United a year later.

While there have been disappointments along the way, Ks and Sutton – like Met Police – are consistently among the challengers rather than the strugglers, which makes you think.

Surrey Comet:

Stalwart: Met Police boss Jim Cooper has enjoyed more ups than downs in his 10-year reign... and counting

 

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