England LMA chief hails Germans for retaining Loew

FILE PHOTO: Germany coach Joachim Low at Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia - June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

(Reuters) - England's League Managers Association (LMA) chief Richard Bevan, a fierce critic of soccer's hire-and-fire culture, has heaped praise on Germany for keeping faith with national coach Joachim Loew despite a calamitous World Cup.

Loew's contract runs until 2022 but his side's shock exit in Russia after defeats by Mexico and South Korea sparked speculation about whether he would keep his job before the German Football Association (DFB) confirmed his position last week.

Speaking to Thomson Reuters clients on a Global Sports Forum on Tuesday, Bevan said: "It is great to see a world-class proven manager such as Joachim Loew being supported by his football association.

"At 58, he is a highly experienced manager with a significant amount of knowledge and experience in the game and a tremendous amount of success.

"Loyalty to managers is still the best recipe for success. Success and failure are rarely far apart in any business or sport but stability has always been identified as the ingredient for medium and long-term success."

Last November Bevan complained that a culture of sacking managers was "severely damaging" English football.

After the departure of Arsene Wenger from Arsenal after 22 years at the end of the domestic season, there are fears that the days are over for long-term managers such as Wenger and former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, who was in place at Old Trafford for 26 years.

But Bevan said: "The LMA and its members continue to challenge the hire-and-fire culture but, as clubs further begin to understand the value in stability, there will be a greater value placed on the role of the manager and the coaching staff.

"Wenger and Ferguson are unique outliers of modern football management and their longevity delivered significant periods of success.  

"(But) The average tenure for all current managers is 1.53 years."

Bevan said the LMA had been in regular contact in recent weeks with England coach Gareth Southgate, whose side have reached a World Cup semi-final, against Croatia on Wednesday, for the first time since 1990.

"Gareth has developed an amazing team spirit and shared excitement with the nation," he said. "When you reflect on top managers, there are many paths to success but the link perhaps is their vision, clarity and determination.

"Gareth is an impressive, structured and intelligent manager. There is a semi-final not just to be played, but won, and I am sure that is his focus."

(Reporting by Adrian Warner in London; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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