New era in management : Managers, victims of their own success?

February 25, 2017 7:41 am

“Champion of England and FIFA manager of the year. Sacked. Keep smiling amico, nobody can delete the history you wrote”, read a post on Jose Mourinho’s Instagram account after reigning English Champions, Leicester City, announced that they have relieved first team boss, Claudio Ranieri, of his duties. This sacking is yet another testament to an era which is increasingly becoming stringent for managers, to the point of being greatly unfair. Not even the grandest kinds of laurels can guarantee security at the top job. The fact that 4 out of the last 5 Premier League winning managers have been sacked is one of the many evidences that lends traction to this statement. The likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger seem highly incongruous in these times. Here’s a look at those managers, who many feel, deserved better for what they had given to their respective clubs:

Harry Redknapp (Tottenham Hotspur):

When Harry Redknapp succeeded Juande Ramos at White Hart Lane in 2008, the club was enduring a dismal time on the pitch – 2 points from 8 games and lying in the relegation zone. Redknapp turned the tide around though, ensuring that Spurs finished in the top half of the table that season. The next year, Spurs qualified for the Champions League for the first time ever, at the end of a tremendous season. Narrowly missing out on the fourth place in the Premier League table and heavy speculation linking the veteran manager with the then vacant post of England coach, saw Redknapp getting the axe in 2012. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, was apparently disappointed with the team’s implosion at the end of the season, and decided to terminate Redknapp’s contract even after the Englishman’s four good seasons at the North London club.

Vicente Del Bosque (Real Madrid):

Real Madrid have a history of changing managers at regular intervals. Though, winning two La Ligas, two Champions League, a UEFA supercup, a Spanish supercup and an Intercontinental cup should be reason enough for the upper echelons of a football club to keep hold of the man who’s bringing such kind of success. But, this wasn’t the case with Vicente Del Bosque. After having led the Los Blancos to arguably their most successful period in the modern-day game, Del Bosque was sacked by Real Madrid in 2003, right after he won the 29th La Liga title for Madrid, much to the bewilderment of the footballing fraternity.

According to various reports, the board believed that the Real Madrid’s success had little to do with Del Bosque’s tactical acumen and more with the quality of the players that were being transferred into the club. Club President, Florentino Pérez said in an interview with BBC Sport, “Del Bosque was showing signs of exhaustion. I want to be sincere about this – our belief is that he was not the right coach for the future.”

Louis van Gaal (Bayern Munich):

Louis van Gaal, widely known as one of the most tactically sound coaches in modern football, was appointed by Bayern Munich at the start of the 2009-10 season, as a successor to Jurgen Klinsmann. The Dutchamn enjoyed a terrific first season, leading Bayern to victories in the Bundesliga and the German cup, apart from missing out on a treble, which was denied by his would-be Manchester United successor, Jose Mourinho, in the Champions League final against Inter Milan.

The following season was a complete opposite of the first for Van Gaal, as his side constantly struggled to even get into the Champions League spots. The Bavarian giants released a statement midway through the season that they would be cancelling the former Barcelona manager’s contract at the end of the season, and subsequently sacked him one month prior to the season’s end, with Bayern sitting at the fourth position, one place off the Champions League qualifying spots.

Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea):

Credits-Chelsea FC / Press Association Images

If an award for being the most insecure destinations for football managers ever becomes a reality, Chelsea would be clear favourites to clinch the title – in the last 21 years, the London club have had 17 different managers, a phenomenon which has proliferated ever since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club. But out of all these managers, none was more undeserving to be sacked than Carlo Ancelotti.

The current Bayern Munich manager was reportedly Sir Alex Ferguson’s first choice as his successor at Manchester United, which speaks volumes of the Italian’s footballing acumen. Appointed by Chelsea to satisfy the cravings of free flowing football at Stamford Bridge, Ancelotti delivered a juggernaut. He brought out the best of the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, as Chelsea scored a record 103 goals that season, which was the first instance of a club crossing the 100-goal mark in the history of the Premier League, enroute to winning the  English title and the league cup, Chelsea’s first ever double. Despite finishing second the next season, Ancelotti was informed of his sacking after Chelsea’s last league fixture, a decision which is widely considered to be the most gut-wrenchingly unfair one.


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