The Premier League isn’t just the home of some of the best football on the planet, it’s also home to some of the biggest names in football management today.
From the glamour of Pep Guardiola to the sheer drive of Sean Dyche – these are managers operating at the top of their game and any club would be lucky to have them. Not every manager can be quite so inspirational though.
Take David Moyes turning up at West Ham, following a markedly unsuccessful stint in charge of Sunderland. It’s an appointment that has to rank among the most uninspired in Premier League history – but it’s definitely not the first to underwhelm, as these seven sorry names demonstrate.
Joe Kinnear – Newcastle United
Joe ‘F**king’ Kinnear rocked up at Newcastle in September 2008, as a replacement for the departing Kevin Keegan, some four years on from his last managerial gig helping guide Nottingham Forest down to League One.
His reign was a disaster from the off with Kinnear best remembered for his antics away from the pitch, rather than results on it. Blunders included swearing 52 times during a press conference and referring to Charles N’Zogbia as Charles Insomnia. By February 2009 he had stepped back due to ill-health.
Alex McLeish – Aston Villa
The appointment of McLeish at Villa Park in June 2011 was ill-advised to say the least. Having quit local rivals Birmingham City just five days earlier via the always-classy medium of email, the Scot was unveiled as Aston Villa manager – much to the understandable anger of Claret and Blue fans.
Supporters protested the appointment on several occasions while anti-McLeish graffiti also had to be removed from outside the ground. McLeish’s brand of long ball football didn’t help things and brought Villa a record low of just four home wins in the 2011-12 season, with the team finishing two points above the relegation zone. He was sacked soon after.
Avram Grant – Chelsea
Jose Mourinho was always going to be a tough act to follow at Chelsea – unless you happen to be Antonio Conte. Even so, the appointment of Roman Abramovich’s personal friend Avram Grant in October 2007 was an odd one.
Not only did Grant lack the required UEFA coaching qualifications but his methods were apparently “25 years behind the times” according to unnamed sources within the Chelsea squad. Though the team came close to success in the Premier League and Champions League, Grant lasted just one season in charge. He must think about that John Terry slip every day. loaded does. And laughs.
Steve Kean – Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers can probably chart the club’s fall from grace back to the moment owners Venky’s made the decision to sack Sam Allardyce and make first team coach Steve Kean, a man with no prior experience, manager.
Though he went on a 10-game winless run during his debut season, Kean did keep Rovers in the Premier League in 2011. He was then given an improved contract in November of that year despite protests from fans with the club bottom with just one win in the league. Though results did improve, the club was relegated with Kean leaving the following year.
Gary Megson – Bolton Wanderers
Megson arrived at Bolton in October 2007, after the club failed to land Steve Bruce, Chris Coleman or Graeme Souness and set about turning the club into an uninspired relegation-battling side.
By January they had sold Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea and, despite reaching the last 16 of the UEFA Cup for the first time Bolton’s history, fielded a weakened side so they could focus on an upcoming relegation battle with Wigan, which they ended up losing 1-0 to a 10-man Latics team.
Though Megson did go on to keep the team in the Premier League for two seasons running, including a 13th place finish, a run of poor results, some drab football and a lack of support from the fans saw him relieved of his duties by December 2009.
Roy Hodgson – Liverpool
Though Kenny Dalglish applied for the vacant manager’s role, the owners thought Hodgson would be better to “steady the ship” during a turbulent time for the club in July 2010. He never convinced though, with many pointing to his issues at Inter Milan as evidence of his inability to manage a big club and big players.
Under Hodgson, the Reds endured a poor run of results that included home defeat to Northampton Town in the League Cup. Though he did enjoy some decent results – a 2-0 win over Chelsea – Hodgson’s poor start and lack of consistency saw him ousted in January 2011, with Dalglish arriving in his place.
Christian Gross – Tottenham Hotspur
Christian Gross was supposed to be Tottenham’s answer to Arsene Wenger, but the largely unknown Swiss coach endured a torrid time from the off. During his first press conference with Spurs he famously arrived late brandishing a London Underground ticket and declaring “I want this to become my ticket to the dreams.”
It ended up being his ticket to the nightmares with Tottenham losing to newly-promoted Crystal Palace in their first game under Gross, followed by a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Chelsea. Though he survived that first season in charge, defeats in two of their following three Premier League fixtures the following year saw chairman Alan Sugar terminate his contract. Gross had won just three of his last 20 games in charge.
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