They Couldn’t Run A Bath: Top 5 Managers Who Bombed

Whether it’s a newly promoted manager failing spectacularly or a continental import whose reputation is damaged after his failure to match up to an expectant fan base, in 20 years of Premier League football there have been a number of management disasters.

Below we take a look at five who not only failed, but did so under the spotlight.

  • Paul Ince- Blackburn Rovers

Ince arrived at Ewood Park having won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and League 2 title in his first season at MK Dons.

He got off to a good start but performances and results began to deteriorate as Rovers went 11 games without a win, including six consecutive defeats.

Ince was perhaps judged more critically given that the previous season they had finished 7th under Mark Hughes. A 3-0 defeat to Wigan drew criticism from Chairman John Williams, who sacked Ince with Blackburn 19th in the league. He left with the worst Premier League record of any Blackburn manager.

  • Roy Keane- Sunderland 

Having won the Championship in his first season in management, Keane was widely regarded as one of the most promising mangers in the game.

In his first season in the Premier League the former Manchester United hard man guided Sunderland to a creditable 15th position. Prior to the 2008-09 season he spent £35 million on players, taking his tally to £60 million in two seasons. It is the excessive spending which perhaps marks Keane’s failure as a manger so spectacularly.

A run of five defeats in six games saw Keane resign after 15 games of his second Premier League season and only four wins. Given the money spent the Irishman failed to live up to the clubs improved expectations.

  • Brian Kidd- Blackburn Rovers

Kidd had enjoyed great success as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant and was held in high regard as one of the best coaches in the game. However, he failed to replicate this when he made his first venture into top flight management.

Having won the League four years previous, Blackburn had been tipped as a good outside bet to do so again. Kidd replaced Roy Hodgson in December and despite a good start, for which he won Manager of the Month, his success was short lived.

His failure was further exacerbated by £20 million he had spent on players in his first four months. It was not enough to save Rovers who won only 2 of their last 17 games and were relegated.

  • Jacques Santini- Tottenham Hotspur

Santini arrived in North London shortly after Director of Football Frank Arnesen as Daniel Levy heralded the fact that Spurs at last had a more continental set up.

There were high hopes for the French national team boss who had helped transform Lyon into the dominant team in Ligue 1, winning the first of their 7 consecutive titles in 2002.

A 13 game stay at White Hard Lane made him the clubs shortest serving manager. Six goals in 11 games added unrest amidst rumours of disagreements between the manager and Arnesen over players. Five wins would suggest Santini was not a glaring failure but the successful new era expected on his arrival failed to materialise.

  • Luis Felipe Scolari- Chelsea

Scolari’s appointment at Stamford Bridge made him the first World Cup winning manager in the Premier League. Having also lead Portugal to the final of Euro 2004 and the semi finals of the 2006 World Cup.

Appointed as Chelsea looked to win the Premier League back from Manchester United, Scolari got off to a great start. Chelsea were unbeaten in their first eight games, and top after 13.

A 1-0 defeat at home to Liverpool, their first home defeat since 2004 was followed by a disappointing exit from the Carling Cup as they lost to Championship side Burnley on penalties. A draw with struggling Newcastle and another home defeat, this time to Arsenal, triggered a run of eight games and only two wins.

Twenty wins from 36 games is not a bad return. But Scolari was brought in to win titles and failed to live up to Chelsea’s expectations and his own reputation.

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