Following the high-profile departures of Louis van Gaal and Roberto Martinez at the end of the recently concluded Premier League season, TheHardTackle takes a look at five managers who lost their jobs long before they were officially out of work.
Former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is no stranger to an abrupt and acrimonious parting of ways, and the Portuguese is unsurprisingly the biggest name on this list thanks to his torrid third season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, Manchester United and Chelsea also feature in TheHardTackle’s list of five managers who lost the dressing room and were effectively dead men walking before any official announcements were made.
1. David Moyes (Manchester United)
The steely-eyed Scot, who was supposed to be ‘The Chosen One’, quickly became the ‘The Embarrassing One’. The size of the task at hand for any manager succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2013 would have been humongous. Having done a good job at Everton by providing the club with financial and footballing stability in the Premier League, Moyes was revered and respected by managers across the Premier League.
But was he ready for the biggest club in the United Kingdom? The answer was a resounding ‘no’. A miserable summer transfer window coupled with sub-par performances throughout the season showed that Moyes was struggling on the big stage. He soon lost the respect of his players and ex-United legends, with some calling into question his old-school training techniques. And when the evidence became all too overwhelming, the United hierarchy had to pull the plug on a failed experiment.
2. Andre Villas-Boas (Chelsea)
A world record managerial signing from Porto in 2011, Villas-Boas headed to Chelsea as one of the youngest managers to manage in England’s top division. However, his tenure at Chelsea was marred with technical frailties and dressing room bust-ups. The young manager increasingly was found out in a tactical sense — the failure of his high defensive line contributed to Chelsea’s poor defensive record in the 2011/12 season.
After a string of bad results, AvB called his players in for an earful on an off-day, which triggered widespread resentment among senior players like John Terry and Frank Lampard. What started as murmurs of discontent quickly snowballed into a dressing room mutiny which ultimately led to the downfall of AvB. The players had lost faith in the Portuguese and a furious Roman Abramovich had no option but to make a change.
3. Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid)
A match made in footballing heaven — or so people thought. After three tumultuous yet fairly successful years at Real Madrid, Mourinho left the Spanish capital in 2013, leaving behind a divided dressing room and a club torn from the inside. It was widely reported that the feud between Iker Casillas and Mourinho had reached a level beyond repair.
But by far the most talked about controversy at Real Madrid was Jose Mourinho’s tussle with Cristiano Ronaldo, as he was very public about his opinions of Ronaldo and his poor defensive contribution. With voices of dissent rising within the dressing room, it came as no surprise when Mourinho was shown the door.
4. Raymond Domenech (France)
The 2010 World Cup will forever be remembered by the legion of French fans as the disastrous campaign which saw Anelka sent home after launching a tirade against Domenech, followed by an altercation between Patrice Evra and a trainer that ended in Les Blues‘ players refusing to train.
The crisis became very evident as the team apparently forgot what was taking place on the pitch with all the action and entertainment off it. As a result, the inevitable happened and France were knocked out of the group stages without registering a single win.
5. Roberto Martinez (Everton)
Signed from Wigan in 2013, Roberto Martinez arrived as a young, vibrant and exciting new manager who promised to take the club to the next level in the post-Moyes era. What ensued in his first season was just that, as he took his Everton squad to a respectable 5th place finish, which incidentally happened to be two places above David Moyes’ Manchester United.
But, like many managers before him, Roberto Martinez soon was found out in many areas in the following season, were Everton were a shadow of the 2013/14 version of themselves.
With a squad loaded with talented bright prospects like Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and John Stones, it was the very unimpressive campaign in his third and final season which sounded the death knell on his time at Goodison Park. His Everton team in his final season was characterized by giving up leads in the Premier League as they registered the unwanted record of being the team that conceded the most points from winning positions.