A calamitous start to the Premier League season for several of its mainstay sides has lead to a return to the league of a vast old guard of managers.
Already this season, Sam Allardyce; Roy Hodgson; David Moyes and Alan Pardew have all made returns to the Premier League with Everton; Crystal Palace; West Ham and West Brom respectively.
The choices of these four clubs to unanimously hire four managers well versed in the art of Premier League survival (Moyes' ill-fated spell at Sunderland aside), but without a single major trophy between them during their time in the dugout, was bemoaned by fans as a surefire sign that young English managers will never be given a chance to prove themselves in the top flight of English football.
The year is 2017 and Alan Pardew, David Moyes, Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes & Sam Allardyce are all managing in the premier league still. Feel like I'm back in 2009— Harv 🎄 (@HarvMarksy) December 17, 2017
But while these fans bemoan another raft of missed opportunities for up and coming managers, it is hard not to escape the fact that, for the most part, these four appointments have had the desired effect.
In his five league games as Everton boss, Sam Allardyce has already amassed more points (13) than his predecessor Ronald Koeman did in the opening thirteen games of the season (12).
Crystal Palace meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last seven under Roy Hodgson and are now out of the relegation zone for the first time this season, and after a slow start, David Moyes' West Ham have not conceded in three games, beating Chelsea and drawing with Arsenal in the process.
Only Alan Pardew at West Brom has yet to fully find his feet.
It is this kind of impact that demonstrates just why these managers will always get the call from those Premier League clubs facing the prospect of an unexpected relegation battle. Quite simply, for the likes of West Ham, Crystal Palace and even Everton, do not have the infrastructure nor playing squad to regularly compete with the might of the so called 'Big Six.'
What that means is that, with the exception of perhaps the odd cup run, the biggest success these clubs can enjoy is Premier League survival, and with the riches up for grabs courtesy of an equal share of the league's astronomical TV rights deal only set to increase in years to come, so does the incentive of remaining in the richest league in the World.
Only difference between the old guard (Pulis, Allardyce, Moyes, Hodgson, Pardew) and younger Brits or unheralded foreigners is time. Those dinosaurs generally find themselves in same precarious situations at their clubs but they always get time to rectify it where others don't.— Dan McLaughlin (@Dan23_92) December 18, 2017
Therefore it is clear to see why clubs continue to turn to the likes of Allardyce, Moyes and Hodgson: Why risk your biggest source of income on an unproven manager when there are plenty out there with a proven track record of keeping you where you need to be?
There are some who may point to Eddie Howe's success at keeping Bournemouth in the top tier year on year as proof that young managers are just as effective at keeping unfancied teams in the division, but until another comes along who can do just the same, many will point to Howe as the exception to a rule that has very rarely been tested, and understandably, it seems no side wants to be the one to take up the mantle.
In moulding itself into the financial monster it is today, it seems the Premier League may have inadvertently cost those players who made it what it was to begin with the chance returning in a new capacity come the end of their illustrious careers.