9 Managers Who Joined the Wrong Club at the Wrong Time

West Ham’s decision to hire David Moyes in the wake of Slaven Bilic’s sacking this week and the downtrodden Scot’s decision to accept the offer have already left many feeling rather sceptical about the potential success of such a union.

Moyes hasn’t inherited a good situation in east London, with the Hammers embroiled in an early Premier League relegation battle. In fact, none of his last three roles prior to West Ham have been a good fit, suggesting that his standing has been affected by circumstance, but also that he has a bad eye for picking a job.

Here’s a look at nine managers who have chosen the wrong job at the wrong time…

9. Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace)

Crystal Palace was the wrong job for Frank de Boer and certainly not the one he needed to repair the damage to his reputation inflicted by a failed spell at Inter Milan.

De Boer had won multiple Eredivisie titles with Ajax, a club that has long been drilled in technical football and that consistently has some of the best young players anywhere in the world. But the Palace team he inherited in 2017 had been fighting relegation the previous season and were not able to adapt to the new boss’ way of thinking.

8. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Cardiff)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to accept an offer from Cardiff in 2014 looked rather questionable at the time and was definitely the wrong choice in hindsight.

The retired Norwegian international had enjoyed a strong coaching career up to that point, first as Manchester United reserve team boss and later at former club Molde. But Cardiff were struggling in the Premier League and Solskjaer had to brave working under owner Vincent Tan.

7. Remi Garde (Aston Villa)

Prior to taking over an Aston Villa side already destined for Premier League relegation barring some kind of miracle, Remi Garde’s only managerial experience had come during a three-year stint in charge of Lyon between 2011 and 2014.

The Frenchman arrived at Villa Park in November 2015 and had largely worked as a television pundit in the year between quitting Lyon and moving to England, where he had previously been at Arsenal as a player. It was no surprise when left after just over four months.

6. Rene Meulensteen (Fulham)

Rene Meulensteen was used to the best of the best in terms of talent and facilities having spent many years working as a coach for Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. But the Dutchman inherited a dire situation when he branched out on his own at Fulham in 2013/14.

Credited with a huge role in Cristiano Ronaldo’s development, he was unable to steady the ship left rocking by fellow countryman Martin Jol. Fulham were relegated and it was two years before Meulensteen took the management plunge again, heading to Israel.

5. Roy Hodgson (Liverpool)

The greatest successes of Roy Hodgson’s lengthy managerial career have come during his days working in Scandinavia and continental Europe, and in helping smaller Premier League clubs punch above their weight, notably at Fulham.

At Liverpool, he struggled to deliver under the weight of different expectations and a great deal more pressure after taking over in the summer of 2010. As such, Hodgson lasted just half a season at Anfield and returned to what he does best by taking over West Brom.

4. Kevin Keegan (Newcastle, 2nd spell)

After coming close to winning the Premier League title during his first spell in charge, Kevin Keegan returned to Newcastle midway through the 2007/08 campaign.

That first half season was a tough one for the Magpies, with investment expected in the summer. But tensions between the manager and the ownership had developed, with Keegan publicly criticising the board for failing to back him and bringing in players without his approval.

3. Andre Villas-Boas (Chelsea)

Formerly an assistant coach to Jose Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, Andre Villas-Boas has been a manager in his own right for just one season before getting the call from Chelsea to take over from Carlo Ancelotti in 2011.

Villas-Boas’ sole season had been a stunning one, winning a league, cup and Europa League treble with Porto. But, still a few months shy of his 34th birthday, he had nowhere near enough experience to handle a club the size of Chelsea and was sacked after nine months.

2. Rafa Benitez (Inter Milan, Real Madrid)

Rafa Benitez’s final season at Liverpool was a disappointing one that saw the Reds go from challenging for the Premier League title a year earlier to finishing 7th and missing out on the Champions League altogether.

From there he took on Inter Milan, a team that had just won a treble, unprecedented for an Italian club at that time, under Jose Mourinho, and was sacked after only four months.

After somewhat restoring his reputation at Napoli, Benitez accepted the call from boyhood club Real Madrid. It seemed to be a case of heart ruling head, as the coach who had built a career on pragmatic tactics wasn’t popular with fans and lasted only slightly longer than at Inter.

1. David Moyes (Man Utd, Real Sociedad, Sunderland)

From being a three-time LMA Manager of the Year during an excellent 11-year spell with Everton, David Moyes has made a series of poor career moves that have all but destroyed his once strong and proud reputation.

The Scot could never have turned down Manchester United in 2013, but it was a huge challenge that required significant squad rebuilding, made even tougher after changes at boardroom level ensured the club suffered a bad first transfer window.

After being sacked by United, Moyes chose to go abroad, combining the difficulties of learning a new language and football culture with the existing challenge of putting his failed Old Trafford chapter behind him when he took over at Real Sociedad.

After Spain, it was almost a whole year before Moyes was back in football in July 2016, opting to manage a Sunderland side that had been consistently fighting relegation for several seasons. He won just six league games and the Black Cats finally did succumb to the drop.

Unfortunately, new club West Ham doesn’t look like a much better choice from Moyes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *