SPORTSDESK COMMENT: Raised expectations can spell trouble

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How many sports columns around our nation this week have focused on the managerial merry-go-round.

These scribes do have a fair point as many of us have furrowed our brow over the departure of Andre Villas-Boas at Spurs and West Brom’s Steve Clarke.

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke, during the Barclays Premier League match at The Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 14, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Cardiff. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke, during the Barclays Premier League match at The Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 14, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Cardiff. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

Former players have been going on record about their shock at these decisions and the heads at the League Managers’ Association will be kicking over their footstools in frustration.

The problem is nothing will change, especially at the top level clubs.

Sometimes doing well can spark the downfall of a manager because the dreaded raised expectations then come into play, as has happened with Clarke at West Brom.

Clarke took West Brom up to the heady heights of eighth in the Premier League last season, though that was mainly due to the loan signing of Romelu Lukaku.

The Baggies now lie just above the relegation zone and looking at the spending tables, this is probably where they belong.

Unfortunately chairmen and fans have short memories.

Then we look at the case of Villas-Boas’ sacking from Spurs, which is easily the most interesting dismissal of the season.

It has been said that Villas-Boas left by mutual consent, but hours prior to his departure he was quoted live on TV saying: “I won’t resign and I’m not a quitter.”

Either Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is the best negotiator of all time or Villas-Boas is now shaking off the effects of a heavy bout of hypnosis.

I’m sure in a couple of weeks both parties will be saying lovely things about each other, Villas-Boas’ tones probably being helped by the golden handshake he will have received on his way out of White Hart Lane.

While he was in charge Villas-Boas had the best win percentage of any Spurs manager in the Premier League and the North London club were poised nicely just in behind the top few, as they had been for a number of years.

I believe the expectations of Spurs were raised because of a huge war chest given to Villas-Boas by the board in pre-season after the sale of the talismanic Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

Bale was easily the key figure in a squad that Villas-Boas inherited and he almost single-handedly dragged them up to fifth last season.

Recruitments to the tune of £93million were made in the summer, but the gel has yet to set and as a result Spurs were picked apart by Liverpool at the weekend.

Prior to this result, Spurs had been on a useful run of form both in the league and in Europe.

Had Villas-Boas hung onto his job then he may have been expecting a nine-point haul in the remaining games of December against Southampton, West Brom and Stoke. Would this have saved his job?

This can be linked more locally to the current campaign at Scarborough Athletic.

Concerns were raised after the mixed start to the season, though once again things hadn’t gelled among a string of new signings.

If you have a look at the past few results, I think things have been set in the correct direction.

Would the same have happened at Spurs?