Top 10 Worst Managerial Reigns in English Football History
It would seem at this point in English football that we find many managers seemingly becoming undeservedly fired for doing a job many consider to be satisfactory. It seems to be due to itchy trigger fingers in the boardroom. Managers such as Chris Hughton and Sam Allerdyce faced the axe earlier in the season, while managers like Avram Grant got the backing from the boardroom.
Here are 10 managers who didn't have a great time in English football and were the conductors of the worst orchestras in England.
I would, at this point, like to say how awful Ian Dowie is as a manager in every league. There, I said it.
10. Ossie Ardiles (Newcastle United F.C)
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Ardiles in an Ordeal-es
March 1991-February 1992
Osvaldo Ardiles promised to bring "samba" football to Tyneside but it became more like shamble football. He lasted just 12 months as Newcastle's first foreign manager with the club rooted at the bottom of the table. His successor, Kevin Keegan, was able to save the team from relegation to Division 2.
9. Alan Ball (Manchester City F.C)
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June 1995-August 1996
Ball led City to just one win and eight defeats in their opening 12 league games in the 1995-96 season. Later on, they were relegated probably because Ball sold City's regular goalscorer Paul Walsh. Many of the fans felt the appointment was more due to the relationship that Ball had with the City chairman.
Ball mostly blamed the club's misfortune on him being forced to sell the club's best players because of financial problems, forcing him to leave three games into the next season in the lower leagues.
8. Jacques Santini (Tottenham Hotspur F.C)
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June 2004-November 2004
It was supposed to be a new dynamic era for Spurs, much like the Spurs we see today. Surprisingly, I felt that Santini did an okay job at Spurs, but after just 13 games in charge of the club with five wins, four losses and four draws under his belt, he left due to "personal reasons."
It was widely reported that Santini's departure was due to an internal conflict with Sporting Director Frank Arnesen.
7. Ian Holloway (Leicester City F.C)
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November 2007-May 2008
As much as it pains me to enter Ian Holloway into this collection of bad managers and their teams, he is here. Despite Holloway proving this season and last season to be one of the best managers in the England, he is here for his work of the past.
Holloway's dynamic character won him many friends in the Midlands, but his managerial record did not. Leicester City were relegated during the 2007-2008 season with an unimpressive nine wins out of 32 games. Leicester were relegated to the third tier of English football that season.
6. Bryan Gunn (Norwich City F.C)
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January 2009- August 2009
Well, Bryan Gunn, "Let's be 'avin ya." It has to be said that after a Facebook page was created for Bryan Gunn by his daughter, Melissa, the Norwich fans didn't know what they were getting themselves into. Gunn was hired off the back of this Facebook group, gaining 2,000 members. I can only assume he was thought to be some sort of bald Jesus for the Canaries, but Carrow Road was not as kind to Gunn as he had been to himself with the head wax that morning.
It may have been obvious that Gunn had shot a blank when they were relegated and found themselves chirping to the tune of a 7-1 drubbing in their League One opener against Colchester the next season. After this, his job was put into question, and he was promptly sacked and replaced ironically by Colchester manager Paul Lambert.
5. Peter Reid (Coventry City F.C)
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Sky Blues, Sky News: Reid Leaves, Fans Peeved
May 2004-January 2005
Peter Reid's entrance to Coventry City was not a silent introduction by any means. He arrived with something of a fanfare behind him. He introduced himself to the Sky Blues fans with a declaration stating he would get the Blues back to the Premier League, "where they belonged."
He left with the club sitting 20th in the Championship.
I'm sure Coventry fans would have been able to find fans of Reid's former clubs so they had shoulders to cry on.
4. Ian Dowie (Any Club He Has Ever Managed; This Time It's Charlton)
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"Do you have ID with you?" "No, It Left Me." "What's Your Name?" "Charlton Athletic."
May 2006- November 2006
I honestly don't think that any manager has had as many short-term jobs as Ian Dowie. But for now, it will be Charlton to talk about.
Dowie arrived at Charlton behind what was an extremely successful reign by Alan Curbishley, but was given more money to spend on players than previous managers were given.
His job was to keep the team in the Premier League, but despite League Cup success (getting to the quarterfinal counts as success for him), Dowie could not steer the Latics from the relegation zone, and this led to Dowie and Charlton parting company after just 15 games. Needless to say, Dowie was linked to another job directly after, but I can't put him in the list twice now.
3. Paul Jewell (Derby County)
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*Insert Jewell Pun*
November 2007-December 2008
Paul Jewell's job was simple: Save Derby from relegation. He was hired to save Derby County from what seemed inevitable after Derby's poor start to the season.
In the 2007-2008 season, the Rams under Jewell's guidance finished with the lowest-ever points total for a Premier League team, finishing with just 11 points.
The next season in the Championship sadly did not fare any better for Jewell, leaving the club languishing in 18th place in December 2008.
2. Michael Knighton (Carlisle)
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Delusions of Grandeur in Football?! Never!
September 1997-December 1998
He is on this list because he is clearly someone who thought too much of himself and wasn't a very good manager.
Carlisle had a dreadful start to the 1997-1998 season.
Knighton dismissed manager Mervyn Day and took over the management and coaching of the team himself. It wasn't as great a move as he thought, as The Cumbrians were relegated to Division Three. And the next season, they were able to stay within the confines of the English Division by a thread under his questionable leadership.
1. Brian Clough (Leeds United)
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The Damned United
July 1974-December 1974
Let's set the scene. It's 1974. Don Revie makes Leeds United into the most powerful club in British Football, and leaves to take the England job. Brian Clough waits in the wings to take over a team that he claimed did not have the correct attitude, thus leading him to alienate star players such as Bremner and Giles. Probably not a great plan.
He wanted to forge this team into his own and told the players to disregard any medals they had previously won, as he saw what they had earned as unfairly won with gamesmanship. This plan proved largely unsuccessful, as this seemed to make the players forget how to win at all.
Leeds went on to win only one game out of their opening six, and when Clough left the team on the 12th of September, the club was fourth from the bottom. Clough left after just 44 days in charge at Elland Road. Scene ends, curtains close and Michael Sheen waits.
Clough may have been the "Best Manager England Never Had" but his reign at Leeds was of such great distinction and had such an infamous nature that he is the owner of quite possibly the worst reign in British Football management history.