Kenny Dalglish and 4 Other EPL Managers Who Should Be Sacked This Summer
Some Premier League clubs have beaten me to the punch and gotten rid of underachieving managers mid-year. But there are still a few guys hanging around the bench who need to go.
It would be too easy to pick on all the teams facing relegation. After all, Mourinho, Ferguson and Wenger could all manage the current Wolverhampton side and Wolves would still go down.
In no particular order, here are the five Premier League managers who should be sacked this summer.
Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)
Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool have managed just three wins over their last 14 Premier League matches.
For a team that had every chance of returning to the top four midway through the season, that's just not good enough.
Did I mention that two of those wins came against Wolves and Blackburn? Not exactly heady stuff.
Not only have the Reds underachieved on the field, Dalglish has made a hash of the PR campaign, as evidenced by his persistent backing for Luis Suarez in the aftermath of the forward's racism ban.
Liverpool did win the League Cup and have reached the semifinal of the FA Cup. But anticipating a wave of protest from traditionalists, I'll be brutally honest in saying that the Cup competitions don't matter.
Dalglish is a club legend. He's been afforded considerably more time than he has shown he deserves as a result of that. But this season's Liverpool plays worse football than last season's Liverpool.
That shouldn't be acceptable to ownership or supporters, and it should see Dalglish shown the door this summer.
Steve Kean (Blackburn)
The supporters have not been kind to Steve Kean from the beginning.
He seems like a nice guy who has endured some horrific levels of abuse this season.
But taking emotion out of the equation, Blackburn have been poor from August to now.
Kean recently told reporters he was confident Blackburn could avoid relegation, saying "We are convinced we have got the players (to stay up)."
Unfortunately for Kean, he's right and wrong. He has the players, but he hasn't proven that he can get enough out of them to remain in the Premier League.
The problem isn't hard to see. By goals scored, Blackburn rank eighth in the league. Not bad.
But Blackburn have conceded 70 times this season. That's more than two per game. Only Wolves have conceded as many and Wolves are, by far, the least talented team in the top flight.
Apologists could point to the departure of Phil Jones in June and Christopher Samba in February. But other weakly appointed Premier League defenses are making themselves hard to beat on a weekly basis while Kean's side ship goals by the bushel.
And that's the other thing. Blackburn are a selling club. That is not going to change. Rovers' rising star Junior Hoilett will be the next out the door.
Whoever manages Blackburn must be able to get results out of less-than-ideal parts. Even if he avoids relegation this season, Kean is not that man.
Mark Hughes (Queens Park Rangers)
In January, Queens Park Rangers had just endured their first real disappointing stretch of the season.
After a promising start to the season, they'd lost four of six and dropped to the precipice of the relegation zone.
So ownership made a change. Neil Warnock was out, Mark Hughes was in.
But whatever new-coach bounce they expected was not forthcoming.
Despite adding significant strength after coming on board (Zamora, Cisse, Diakite, Taiwo), Hughes has proven markedly unable to resurrect QPR's early-season form. In 13 games under Hughes, the team has managed only three wins.
What makes it even worse is that he hasn't even been able to manage the draws that helped buoy QPR early in the season.
Hughes has not been a victim of the fixture list, either. Losses against Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves have made the fight at the bottom of the table much more dangerous for QPR.
Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea)
Not technically a sacking since Roberto di Matteo is just the caretaker Chelsea manager, but humor me.
Andre Villas-Boas was fired because he lost the locker room.
A poor run of games had seen Chelsea drop to fifth place in the Premier League, and the Blues were in danger of crashing out of the Champions League after a 3-1 loss to Napoli in the first leg of the Round of 16.
What has Roberto di Matteo accomplished since taking over? A memorable 4-1 victory over Napoli to stay alive in the Champions League got him off on the good foot.
But stuttering league form has seen Chelsea drop another place (to sixth), and narrowly advancing past a far more vibrant Benfica in the CL quarterfinals raised more questions about the team.
Di Matteo is not a bad manager, but he doesn't have the answers for this Chelsea puzzle. If Roman Abramovich is determined to find a manager who can restore the current collection of players to their previous heights, Di Matteo (nor perhaps anyone else) is not the man for the job.
Roberto Mancini (Manchester City)
Roberto Mancini has Manchester City in second place in the Premier League.
But for a team with bench players good enough to finish in the top 10, that's not good enough.
Mancini has the players. For most of the season, he had the lead.
But his own mismanagement has gifted the title to Manchester United.
Start with his coddling of Mario Balotelli. Continue with his flip-flopping on Carlos Tevez. Finish with his seeming inability to make effective in-game adjustments.
And the Italian has the nerve to talk about needing just a few more players.
For a manager with such an extensive resume, Mancini has proven an underachiever at City. Knowing what you know now, if you were going to put one man in charge of transforming your billions into EPL and Champions League trophies, would it be Mancini?