By Tim Poole
It speaks volumes for the modern era that Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is the second-longest serving coach in the Premier League.
With less than three years' experience at St James Park, the 51-year-old is hardly a club veteran. Though he, unlike many, is doing well to still be in a job at a time when the football world is learning of managerial departures while those very managers are working as pundits on national television.
But an all-too-common trend is beginning to develop across Europe that is seeing the roles become reversed. In an exceedingly short-termist culture, managerial jobs are increasingly being viewed as mere stop-gaps: the chance to pad one's CV and audition for positions elsewhere.
LONGEST-SERVING TOP-FLIGHT BOSSES
|ARSENE WENGER - Arsenal
16 YEARS, 266 DAYS
|ALAN PARDEW - Newcastle
2 YEARS, 197 DAYS
|SAM ALLARDYCE - West Ham
2 YEARS, 23 DAYS
|MARTIN JOL - Fulham
2 YEARS, 17 DAYS
|MALKY MACKAY - Cardiff City
2 YEARS, 7 DAYS
|BRENDAN RODGERS -Liverpool
1 YEAR, 23 DAYS
It was a different story back in 2011, however, when the 54-year-old had been left humiliated and abandoned by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
"Like all my players, I came [to PSG] for the project, not the money," Ancelotti told La Gazetta Dello Sport last September.
Project? What project? Loyalty, it seems, has become a bygone concept.
It was les Parisiens who offered the Italian a route back into management – and with a unique, heavily-funded adventure that would satisfy any coach's desires, at that.
Yet as PSG begin the next chapter of their journey, Ancelotti will be in Madrid, leaving his work incomplete and paying the club that afforded him vast sums of both faith and money the ultimate disrespect.
In his first full season in Paris, Ancelotti claimed the Ligue 1 title by 12 points and reached the Champions League quarter-finals, with his side even giving Barcelona a run for their money when they got there.
Now, the 54-year-old will attempt to work wonders at a club where no manager has survived longer than three years since 1974.
But the Italian is not alone. Just as Ancelotti's reign at PSG was designed to prove his worth to the established powerhouses of Europe, Rafa Benitez's recent spell with Chelsea was about getting himself a permanent job elsewhere.
|Clubs are often berated for the mistreatment of their coaches but how can chairmen show anything but distrust when their faith is discarded without so much as a second thought?|
Despite promising Blues fans several trophies, the 53-year-old delivered just the one. It was enough, though, and it landed him a full-time post at Serie A outfit Napoli. But had Real Madrid come calling, would it have made even the slightest bit of difference if Benitez had been offered the Chelsea job on a permanent basis?
And if Laurent Blanc – who accepted a two-year deal to replace Ancelotti – impresses at PSG, how soon will it be before the traditional elite of Europe make an approach for him?
|MADRID APPOINT ANCELOTTI
|5/1||Real Madrid are 5/1 with Coral to win the Champions League
The pursuit of success needs time – and both Tottenham's and Russia's chances of succeeding have been significantly boosted with the knowledge that their recently acquired coaches will be staying on for the foreseeable future.
Yet, with a collective approach closer to that of careerist mercenaries than consummate professionals, modern managers are doing themselves no favours. The 'audition job' is becoming ever more frequent.
Football clubs are often berated for the mistreatment of their coaches but how can chairmen show anything but distrust when their utmost faith is discarded without so much as a second thought?
There is no bigger example of patience paying dividends than Sir Alex Ferguson, who claimed 13 Premier League titles in 27 years at Manchester United and his replacement, David Moyes, has only been rewarded with a six-year deal because of a comparable showing of loyalty to Everton.
Alas, Rome wasn't built in a day.