Coaches who make it past Christmas and those who don't...

Years ago, guessing which coach would get the chop before the Christmas break used to be a festive classic. But it has to be said, coaching is an extremely difficult job. It’s a task which requires looking after 20-year-old lads who have bags of talent at what they do, but who, for their age, are intrinsically impatient, jealous and self-centred - it’s only natural. They don’t yet have the maturity to express what they know; they are surrounded by people who constantly flatter them, they live by their wits – snapping up whatever chances come their way. That is what – and who, coaches have to work with . And then there are the others they have to please - the directors, the press... and the wife and kids, they are the ones who see first-hand how the family bread winner traipses home worn out after another hard slog at the office.

Eduardo Berizzo, dismissed by Sevilla just before Christmas

Managerial merry-go-round in Spain

Meanwhile, we are all hazarding a guess at who will get the chop before the Christmas holidays? Coaches are always in the firing line just for being coaches. Now that we nearing the end of the festive period, maybe it’s a good time to give a pat on the back to the ones who survived – because that means they have a decent chance of making it through to June. There have been casualties though: Alavés and Las Palmas haven’t changed coach just one, but twice. And now they could be on their way to their third of the season. Following the trend were Villarreal, Deportivo and Sevillathe latter, in a manner that was particularly unpleasant. Berizzo had been ill, he’d just undergone an operation and they sacked him just two days before Christmas...

Wenger still going strong

Only five clubs have bought in new coaches ahead of the New Year. A total of 15 coaches have been handed their notice. Comparing those figures to recent years, this season, the number of pre-Christmas dismissals have actually dropped – in contrast to what’s been happening in the Premier League, who seems to have adopted some form of Latin impatience. It must be down to globalization. Traditionally, English clubs have tended to stoically pass off any setbacks their teams suffer - indeed, just as time-honoured as old Big Ben in Westminster, we have record-breaking Arsène Wenger who has spent 21 years at the helm with Arsenal despite seemingly being now at a dead end. But around him, six managers have been handed their P45s – that’s one more than in Spain and only one less than in Italy. The major European leagues are becoming more and more like each other with each year that passes...