Gary Neville reveals the one big change in football involving managers he would support

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Gary Neville knows all about being sacked mid-season and will no doubt be able to sympathise with Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka who became the sixth Premier League manager to lose his job this season.

The former Manchester United legend was sacked after less than four months in charge of La Liga outfit Valencia a year ago, while Karanka was dismissed just three days ahead of the Red Devils' visit to Riverside on Sunday.

But for Neville, United's win in the north east was not simply satisfying for the fact that Jose Mourinho's men extended their unbeaten league run to 18 games, but also it proved to Boro that sacking their boss was not going to be an immediate remedy for their struggles.


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Middlesbrough are currently second from bottom and five points short of safety, after Swansea City's resurgence under new boss Paul Clement - and clearly the newly-promoted club felt a similar course of action will have the same impact.

However, their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of United has added to their misery, while they are now in a desperate position to find the Spaniard's successor.

Boro have joined Swansea, Hull, Crystal Palace and Leicester in sacking their boss - or bosses in the Swans' case - midway through the season - something which Neville is desperate to see banned in the Premier League.

"I would support completely the idea that managers can't be sacked during the season," said Neville, per Goal.

"When you set off at the start of the season with a manager then he has to be your manager for the entire season.

"Football would support it, in terms of the professional side - I'm not sure whether the owners would.

"But it would mean the players would know you're going to be the manager until the end of the season, they'd have to get on with it."

Strugglers benefiting from sackings

Swansea have clearly benefited from parting company with first Francisco Guidolin and Bob Bradley this season, as Clement has helped the club to escape the bottom three.

But while it has proven to be the correct decision, and most likely a defining moment, for the Swans, there are no guarantees that axing managers is necessarily the right call.

Indeed Hull and Leicester have also improved since parting company with the men who led their teams at the beginning of the campaign, while Palace have also shown an upturn in form in recent games, but Neville admits he has been hoping it wouldn't work out for some of those clubs.

"Teams are making changes at the bottom of the league and I'm almost sitting there thinking, 'I wish this doesn't work' because when it does, it gives others the confidence to change their manager." Neville continued.

"There have been examples where it's worked when managers are sacked and where it hasn't. I'm not sure there is a distinction between either.

"It seems to be more the done thing where you do sack the manager at the earliest point as the players respond. We have seen that at Leicester - what an incredible bounce they have had. It's happened at Swansea and Hull."

Financial pressures for owners

Former Liverpool defender and fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has also previously backed the idea of banning clubs from sacking their managers mid-season. But with so much at stake financially in the Premier League it's hard to imagine that idea sitting too well with club's respective owners.

Leicester have proven that dismissing their much-loved boss Claudio Ranieri has helped them to much-needed wins over Liverpool, Hull and West Ham in the Premier League, while writing another miracle story by progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after beating Sevilla in the last 16.

Managers are often under the spotlight, however, such a ban that Neville is supporting would give managers the time and chance they deserve to prove they are capable overcoming adversity. If not, then owners and chairmen can justifiably make the decision to call time on a manager's reign.

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Jose Mourinho
Michael Carrick
Premier League
Gary Neville
Wayne Rooney

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