Chelsea manager Frank Lampard during the training session at Cobham Training Ground. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 26, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit: John Walton/PA Wire
Are the natives getting restless at your club?
Let’s face it, in the fickle world of football, most managers are never more than a bad month away from the sack.
If you’re looking for inspiration for where your club should turn next, you’re in the right place, as the Marathonbet blog looks at the best managers out of work right now…
Out Of Work Managers | The A-Listers
The stand-out candidate on the market right now after adding another Serie A title to his collection with Inter, but Conte can afford to be picky. With Spurs seemingly failing to meet his ambitions, Conte can probably afford to sit tight for a while knowing he’ll be the No. 1 choice for any of the European elite if they need to make a swift change next season. However, his fiery reputation does precede him, so any takers will need to be up for the battle when it comes to board room bargaining.
While it’s hard to feel sorry for a man with a trophy cabinet and honours list as extensive as Zidane, it does seem the Frenchman is still viewed with scepticism in some quarters over how his approach and tactics would work away from his beloved Real Madrid. Nevertheless, you don’t get much more A-List stardust for your buck than the 48-year-old. A move to France or Italy looks most likely in the long term, but an extended break might be his preferred option given the notorious demands placed on any manager in Madrid.
While his time at Borussia Dortmund ended in rather brutal fashion at the turn of last year, Favre remains one of the brightest minds in the game, and his body of work should make him a racing certainty to be interviewed by any ambitious Premier League outfit.
A Favre appointment could have echoes of Ralph Hasenhüttl should he arrive in English football, given the Saints boss was prematurely written by many after his time at RB Leipzig ended on a sour note.
If anything, the Frenchman boasts a better CV than the Southampton boss, with his adventurous tactical style winning both admirers and honours at Zurich and Dortmund.
The 56-year-old fell foul of the powers-that-be at Barca at the start of the year, but given the chaos that has ensued since Valverde left Camp Nou, the Spaniard’s image may have been rehabilitated should any high-profile vacancies arise over the coming months.
Photo: EFE/ Toni Albir
With two La Liga titles under his belt plus a track record of success in a foreign country (three titles with Olympiakos), Valverde has a CV he can rightly be proud of, and his good grasp of English ticks a big box for any potential Premier League suitors.
He’s a playing icon, but can he cut it as a manager? The early indications suggest Pirlo may need to revise his expectations downwards for his next role after a massive misfire of a season with his treasured Juve. However, given his status in the game as a stylish operator both on and off the pitch, you’d expect at least one commercially-savvy chairman to give him a second shot.
It’s not as if he’s uncommitted to life in the dugout either, having received his UEFA Pro Licence prior to stepping up from Juventus U23s. The Juve move probably came too soon in his fledgling managerial career, but that black spot in his CV will need rectifying swiftly if he’s going to enjoy as much success off the pitch as he did on it.
We’ve seen all sorts of first when it comes to Premier League managers over the years, but Fonseca would be the first-ever Mozambique-born manager in the English top flight if the Roma manager’s next move does come in the EPL.
He’s repeatedly been linked with Premier League jobs in the past, and he would be a plum candidate for any club outside the top six given the versatility of his CV, managing Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto all before the age of 50.
With Ligue 1-winning pedigree and a spell in Italy under his belt, Garcia has all the continental credentials required to tempt any Premier League club exploring an ambitious leftfield appointment.
At 57 years old, Garcia would be a late developer as a first-time EPL manager, but he has been a model of consistency in his managerial career, with over 50%-win ratios at Lille, Roma and Lyon.
That’s not a record to be disregarded at if any mid-range EPL teams want to swerve the usual candidates for a more exotic name.
Premier League Contenders – Current Out Of Work Managers
Premier League panic tends to set in when the autumn nights draw in. As always, there is a decent crop of experienced names waiting by the phone for the right opportunity, as well as a few intriguing names spying a first stint in English football.
This lot for starters…
While Hodgson’s exit from Crystal Palace was painted as a step towards retirement for the 73-year-old, the veteran boss wasn’t exactly equivocal about officially calling time on his six-decade spell in management. The former Eagles boss has one of the most eclectic CVs going so you wouldn’t entirely rule out another short-term spell abroad or in international management, while if a firefighter is needed by any club come the autumn, there are few better candidates.
While his hugely successful stint with Sheffield Utd ultimately ended on a sour note, Wilder will be a man hugely demand when the managerial merry-go-round cranks back into life.
The former Blades has been there and done it at all levels of the English football period, from guiding Alfreton Town to the Northern Counties East Football League Premier Division 20 years ago to his fairy-tale rise back into the top flight with his hometown club.
That means he won’t be phased by the relative scale of any interesting projects that come his way in the coming months. Wilder also looks unlikely to be the type to wait around for the ‘perfect’ role to come up, given this is his first sustained career break since 2008. Expect him to get back stuck in before the summer is out.
Sarri’s immediate successor is also back on the market after his surprise exit from Chelsea in January.
A poor run of form throughout the winter of 2020/21 put paid to Lampard’s short-lived reign at the club where he made his name, but he’s rumoured to be fired up for a quick return to the dugout when the right opportunity arises.
A mixed picture from his time at both Derby and Chelsea makes it an interesting question as to where Lampard currently sits in the managerial food chain.
Will he wait around on the punditry circuit for another Premier League opportunity, or does he need to get his hands back dirty at Championship level?
He might need a promotion or trophy on his CV if he wants a long-term return to a top end Premier League club.
The old adage goes ‘a change is as a good as a rest’. Well, Eddie Howe will have benefitted from both when he finally decides the time is right to make a return to the front line after a bruising end to his time at Bournemouth.
Philip Oldham/Sportimage via PA Images
The former Cherries man looked badly in need of a breather after a decade at the helm but will surely be desperate to prove the 2019/20 season was simply a minor blip in an otherwise faultless career to date.
Given Howe struggled in his only spell away from the South Coast with Burnley, expect him to take some time to mull over his next move. It’s a delicate balancing act, though, as too long out could see him left behind when it comes to being linked with top-flight jobs. Exhibit A: Alan Curbishley…
Could one of the Bundesliga’s most experienced operators fancy a change of scenery for his next move?
55-year-old Labbadia has never managed outside German football but is the consummate safe pair of hands in a division where he has been handed the reins of clubs including Hertha, Wolfsburg, Hamburger SV, VfB Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen. A German Big Sam, if you like.
Given he’s seen and done it all in that division, a spell abroad might be the logical next step, and he’s previously been tentatively linked with West Brom and Newcastle. The timing might be right for Labbadia to take the leap into the English game.
Now, here’s a left-field name who could soon be coming to a Premier League club near you.
Martinez ticks all the boxes to be a daring left-field appointment for any top-level English side trading in their manager in the coming months.
He’s young, has almost 500 games as a manager under his belt, and boasts a track record of success having first guided Granada to promotion to the Spanish Primera before taking them all the way to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
With Martinez making the surprise decision to leave the club on a high this summer, it seems more than likely his ambitions could lie outside of Spanish football as he seeks a fresh challenge.
After ensuring his national treasure status remained intact in Ukraine by guiding his nation to a first ever European Championship quarter-final in 2021, Shevchenko is back on the market and reportedly looking for a major role in club management.
Credit: Mohammad-Javad-Abjoushak / SOPA Images / ZUMA Wire/ Alamy Live News
Celtic were reportedly one of the clubs on the former Chelsea striker’s radar earlier this summer.
Refreshed after an extended break, expect his name to be put forward for some big clubs when sacking season begins in earnest.
In the cut-throat world of being Watford manager, Gracia arguably fared better than most.
One of the few Hornets head coaches to survive at Vicarage Road for more than a full calendar year, the Spaniard did take the club to an FA Cup Final before falling foul of his owner’s sky-high expectations. That body of work was enough to land him the Valencia job before he left that post last May.
His one major black mark?
He’s yet to rack up more than 100 games in charge of any of the 11 clubs he’s managed to date.
Still, in the modern game, that seems unlikely to seriously count against him.
After years of maintaining a low profile coaching various ‘B’ and ‘C’ sides in the Spanish lower leagues, López’s diligent managerial career was finally rewarded with a high-profile gig in 2018 as he was entrusted with maintaining Levante’s status in the Primera.
Over 147 games, he was mostly successful in that mission as the Granotas successfully consolidated for three seasons in a row under his stewardship, with the 54-year-old also guiding his side to a first ever Copa Del Rey semi-final.
A poor start to the 2021/22 season saw the Levante board press the panic button as López was relieved of his duties in October, but his spell should go down as a qualified success. A solid three-year stint at any European top flight club is a track record not to be sniffed at for any chairman casting the net a little wider for their next appointment
Out-of-Work Managers: Championship & EFL Contenders
Timing is everything in football.
There’s probably a part of Alex Neil that wishes he had put loyalty aside to join West Brom in April 2019 after his solid four-year spell with Preston North End ultimately turned stale in 2020/21.
Given Preston’s budget limitations, the Scotsman was always likely to fall foul of raised expectations at the Lilywhites after keeping them comfortably upper mid-table for most of his spell at Deepdale.
Things ultimately did unravel as he parted company with the club following a difficult to start to 2021 which saw his charges win just one of his last nine games, leaving North End nowhere fast in 16th place.
Smart suitors should overlook those last few months and look at his career in the round. Neil’s a manager with five years of mostly solid work in the second tier – including a league title – and he’s still only pushing 40.
It was the most predictable sacking of the 2021/22 Premier League season, but Xisco Muñoz won’t be unduly troubled by his swift departure from Watford having comfortably proved himself to be a capable manager at Championship level last season.
The 41-year-old didn’t have the easiest of assignments turning around a Hornets side producing some turgid performances in the first half of the 2020/21 campaign. Under Vladimir Ivić, the Hornets had been looking in danger of drifting away from automatic contention before Munoz’s course correction.
A more stable posting will surely be the priority for the Spaniard as he seeks his next role, with Muñoz still looking to bring up his first half-century of games as a manager despite two spells in club management.
The Welsh firefighter is back on the market after a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 46-day stint with Sheffield Wednesday.
A behind-the-scenes fall-out saw Pulis make a hasty departure from the Owls before he had a chance to reshape his relegation-threatened squad in the January transfer window.
Tony Pulis during a Carabao Cup, Quarter Final match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.
He may well jump at the chance to prove a point to his former employers at another posting after leaving South Yorkshire with just one win from his 10 matches.
Expect plenty of owners looking at their bottom lines to overlook that ill-fated career move should survival expert Pulis put himself forward for an instant return to the dugout.
OK, he might have failed at Nottingham Forest, but it’s probably easier to list which managers haven’t over the last decade.
Is it too soon to write off a manager who, Forest aside, boasts one of the best records around at Championship level?
Successes at Newcastle and Brighton suggest Hughton surely still has something to offer despite his first major setback in the second tier, with the veteran boss winning just 14 of his 53 games in charge of the Tricky Trees.
Given memories of his unhappy stint at Forest may linger for some time, Hughton’s best short-term bet may be to re-invent himself as a specialist firefighter in the mould of Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis if he is to make a quickfire return to an EFL dugout.
The Northern Irishman is back doing the media rounds after a disappointing end to his second spell with Celtic and, unsurprisingly, seems keen on a new project well away from the Scottish Premiership.
A surprise move into Israeli football has been touted, while Lennon may also feel he has unfinished business in the EFL after battling financial constraints during a fraught 18-month spell with Bolton Wanderers.
Sparky has probably run out of chances in the Premier League after his spell as the unlikely saviour of Southampton proved short-lived two years ago.
That said, the Welshman is less uninspiring than his reputation sometimes leads fans to believe. It’s easily forgotten that he did guide Stoke City to a third ninth place finish in a row only just over four years ago.
A familiar face in many an EFL dugout over the last decade, Monk’s appointment is unlikely to be met with overriding enthusiasm wherever he lands next in the Football League, but the 42-year-old can point to a CV that mostly marks him out as a safe pair of hands at Championship level.
That said, Monk may need to tread carefully before accepting his next assignment, with behind-the-scenes chaos badly impacting his chances of success at both Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday.
After a lengthy sabbatical following his sacking from the Owls, Monk will surely be itching for a return to the front-line and could get the ring from any owner looking to make a risk-averse – if not overly imaginative – appointment.
Will Lambert have to look at a return north of the border for his next move?
He might struggle to find a role in English football that meets his requirements after a dreary two-and-a-half-year spell at Ipswich where most matches featured the word ‘nil’.
That pragmatism might serve a club looking for a firefighter well, but the defensively-minded Scotsman might have to wait until sacking season in 2021/22 before his safety-first approach gets another fair hearing.
His long-time links to Celtic mean he’s never far from the discussion when it comes to vacancies in the Scottish Premiership, and that could be a natural next move for a manager seeking a radical second act to a career in danger of stalling.
The former Man City striker may well be scouting around for another assignment in English football having enjoyed mixed spells with Brentford, Wigan, Leeds and Fleetwood during a nomadic managerial career.
It’s one that recently saw him return to his native Germany for the first time for an 18-month stint with Fortuna Düsseldorf. Having left that post back in June 2021, Rosler’s none-too-shabby win percentage of 44.8% and immediate availability could see a few chairmen put the feelers out should any interesting EFL vacancies arise in the near future.
Will it be third time lucky for the former England international?
So far Campbell has been forced to fight fires for two cash-strapped clubs in the form of Macclesfield Town and Southend Utd, acquitting himself well at both in challenging circumstances.
The former Arsenal and Spurs man probably deserves the chance to take on a more settled outfit, but this being the EFL, he may have to take another rescue job to get back in the dugout if he wants to return before the end of the 2020/21 season.
Former Wales boss will be hoping enough time has now elapsed from his awkward starring role in ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’ that any chairmen might be prepared to give him a second look at EFL level.
Perhaps wisely after a shocking time of things at the Stadium of Light, Coleman opted for a spell away from the immediate limelight in the Chinese Super League with Hebei China Fortune, leaving that role after a solitary year in charge.
Coleman’s biggest stumbling block remains the niggling concern over whether he has the capability to transfer his international track record to sustained club success, but his intrepid CV points to a character not scared of taking on difficult challenges.
Aitor KarankaAlex McLeishAndrea PirloAndré Villas-BoasAndriy ShevchenkoAntonio ConteBilly DaviesBruno LabbadiaChris BeechChris ColemanChris HughtonChris WilderDerek McInnesDiego MartínezEddie HoweErnesto ValverdeEusebio Di FrancescoFabio CannavaroFlorian KohfeldtFrank De BoerFrank LampardGary CaldwellGarry MonkGennaro GattusoGiuseppe IachiniGraham WestleyGus PoyetHeiko HerrlichIan HollowayJaap StamJavi GraciaJim McIntyreJohn HughesJonathan WoodgateJürgen KlinsmannLucien FavreLuiz Felipe ScolariMark HughesMarko NikolićMartin AllenMichelMicky AdamsNeil HarrisNeil LennonNigel WorthingtonPaco LópezPaul ClementPaul DickovPaul LambertPaul PeschisolidoPaulo FonsecaPhil BrownPhillip CocuQuique SetiénRaphael WickyRichard MoneyRoberto Di MatteoRonnie MooreRoy HodgsonRudi GarciaSabri LamouchiSam AllardyceSean O’DriscollSol CampbellStuart KettlewellStuart McCallTony PulisUwe RöslerVincenzo MontellaVladimir IvićWalter MazzarriXisco MuñozZinedine Zidane
*List correct at time of writing but subject to continual change.
Who is the best manager out of work right now?
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