10 Big-Name Unemployed Managers and Where They Might Go Next

Mark JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2013

10 Big-Name Unemployed Managers and Where They Might Go Next

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    Few things in football show themselves with as much regularity as the "managerial merry-go-round."

    Every now and then, a new boss will hop onto this whirring, chattering ride and another one will get off it, propelling himself into his latest challenge with a new club as he does so.

    If managers aren't careful though, they can get stuck on the ride and never escape into the arms of a new employer, only becoming linked with a job and never actually getting it. To become Alan Curbishley, in other words.

    But who are best managers out of work at the moment, and where are they likely to shoot out of the merry-go-round next?

    Here we look at potential destinations for 10 bosses who are currently checking the "help wanted" ads.

    These men can boast several European Cups, league titles and, er, a baseball cap between them, but in which dugout will they be appearing soon?

     

Roberto Di Matteo

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    A master tactician who thrives on the big stage, or a caretaker who just got lucky?

    Opinion on Roberto Di Matteo may be divided, but there is little doubt that his managerial tenure at Chelsea, where he won the FA Cup and Champions League within 11 weeks of taking over from Andre Villas-Boas on a temporary basis in 2012, deserves huge respect.

    Roman Abramovich didn't feel the same way though, and after being sacked six months after that European triumph in Munich, Di Matteo is still without a club.

     

    Where he'll go next: A young boss capable of breathing life into an older, somewhat stale squad, Di Matteo could be considered a perfect appointment for Fulham should they dispense with the under-pressure Martin Jol.

Giovanni Trapattoni

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    He’ll be 75 next year, but there has been little indication that the veteran Italian boss Giovanni Trapattoni is ready to call it a day following his parting of the ways with the Republic of Ireland in September.

    Now in his seventh decade in football as either a player or as a manager, Trapattoni of course brings with him a wealth of experience and a CV which boasts 10 league titles and the European Cup.

    Although he was recently linked with a move to struggling Lazio (Goal.com), the day-to-day grind of club management could well be beyond him now, and so he could well focus on getting a third international job following stints with Italy and the Republic.

     

    Where he’ll go next: “Il Trap” is likely to have an eye on this week’s World Cup playoffs in Africa, where defeat could spell the end for several bosses.

     

Jupp Heynckes

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    The German coach Jupp Heynckes holds the surely unwanted record of being dismissed by two clubs immediately after winning them the Champions League (in fairness, the second was a forced early retirement).

    Poor domestic form saw Real Madrid sack him despite winning the continent’s big prize in 1998, whilst 15 years later he was squeezed out by Bayern Munich despite steering them to success in the all-German final at Wembley in May.

    Pep Guardiola is the new man in at Bayern, and whilst his appointment might have overshadowed the good work that Heynckes did in Bavaria, no one who has won two Champions League titles should be unemployed for long.

     

    Where he’ll go next: At 68 years old and having achieved such a golden ending, Heynckes is on record to say that he won’t return to football as per spiegel.de, but an offer from the Bundesliga could be too tough to turn down.

Marcelo Bielsa

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    Former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa’s teams are capable of playing attractive football, although he doesn’t look like he enjoys any of it.

    In recent years, Bielsa’s odd touchline habits have been seen at both the Chile national team and Athletic Bilbao, where it was almost as entertaining to watch him as it was to watch his vibrant attacking team that reached the Europa League final in 2012.

    The 58-year-old’s contract wasn’t renewed in the summer, so football has been robbed of the presence of one of its most remarkable characters.

     

    Where he’ll go next: He's seemingly waiting for the next managerial casualty in La Liga, but don’t rule out a return to Chile should they fail to impress in the World Cup next year.

Paolo Di Canio

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    From arguing with his players to sliding on his knees in delight at St James’ Park, it certainly was an eventful 13-game spell at Sunderland for Paolo Di Canio.

    Just three wins in those 13 games were the key reason behind his sacking in September, but the Italian’s previous stint in the lower leagues with Swindon Town shows that there is managerial talent there, despite it being hidden beneath all of his bravado and bizarre tendencies.

    It seemed as though he wanted to achieve too much, too soon at Sunderland, with the raft of signings that he brought in during the summer unable to inspire them during a winless start to the season, which has already been improved upon by new boss Gus Poyet.

     

    Where he’ll go next: Is there a promotion-chasing Championship chairman brave enough? Come on, there must be? Think of the big impact that Di Canio made during his first few weeks on Wearside.

Thorsten Fink

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    The former Bayern Munich midfielder saw a promising managerial career stall when he was sacked as Hamburg boss in September following a poor start to the season.

    Previously having enjoyed great success with FC Basel in Switzerland between 2009 and 2011, during which the club picked up every domestic honour possible, Fink had been seen as a potential coaching star of the future prior to his move to Hamburg.

    But a solid start fell apart this season following a run of just four points from five games, with Fink the target of anger from supporters.

     

    Where he’ll go next: Certain to be in demand the next time there’s a suitable vacancy in the Bundesliga, Fink isn’t likely to be unemployed for long.

Guus Hiddink

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    One of the grand old figures of world football coaching, Hiddink's career has taken him around the globe, whilst he’s been respected everywhere he’s been.

    Most recently seen at the Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, he left earlier this year due to the club’s financial problems.

    He’s now waiting by the phone for his next job, and whoever decides to employ him will be getting one of the shrewdest operators in the business.

     

    Where he’ll go next: Despite being in the running for the head coach role, he failed to earn a return to Australia, which he took to the 2006 World Cup. You won’t put it past him to appear on the sidelines for one of the teams in Brazil next summer, though.

Lothar Matthaus

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    Whilst Lothar Matthaus’ playing career saw him grace the glamorous stages of Munich, Milan and New York, his efforts at a managerial career have seen him hit some of football’s backwaters.

    The former Germany midfield general has taken coaching jobs in Hungary, Israel, Brazil and Bulgaria in a varied career, with his most consistent performance coming at a Partizan Belgrade team he took into the Champions League over a decade ago.

    Having been sacked from the Bulgarian national team two years ago, he longs for a job in his homeland, but says that no one will give him one due to his links to the disliked Bayern Munich.

     

    Where he’ll go next: A newspaper or a TV station probably, to plea for another job again.

Frank Rijkaard

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    Seen by many as the man who sparked the current Barcelona juggernaut into life, Frank Rijkaard is now without a managerial role following his termination as Saudi Arabia boss earlier this year.

    Currently taking on an ambassadorial role at a new Florida academy (mvasports.com), the Dutchman will be determined to get back into the managerial game soon following a career which included two La Liga titles and a Champions League at Barcelona.

    He would have a lot to offer a European club looking to give him a seat back at the top table, and his return would be welcomed by many.

     

    Where he’ll go next: A Champions League club who underachieve in this season’s competition and are searching for a man with experience of winning it.

     

Tony Pulis

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    The baseball cap, the shouting, the long throws. Who else is missing Tony Pulis from this season’s Premier League? Oh, OK then.

    The distinctive former Stoke City boss departed this summer to make way for Mark Hughes, and whilst it is easy to make fun of his methods, what you can’t deny is that he did well to keep his side away from the relegation zone in five seasons in the top flight.

    Managers of his type might be a dying breed, but he won’t go away quietly.

     

    Where he’ll go next: A Championship club determined to earn promotion, and not caring how they do it.