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7 high-profile managers who saw appointments go horribly wrong in short order

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jan 2024

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Wayne Rooney has been sacked as manager of Birmingham after just 83 days.

The former England captain oversaw just two wins in 15 games as Blues went from sixth to 20th in the Championship.

Here, the PA news agency looks at seven other high-profile managers who saw appointments go horribly wrong in short order.

Claudio Ranieri – Fulham – 106 days
(November 14, 2018 – February 28, 2019)

Former Chelsea boss Ranieri returned to west London in November 2018 boasting a resume that included Leicester’s famous Premier League title, the Coppa Italia with Fiorentina and the Copa del Rey with Valencia. His first match in charge was a dramatic 3-2 win over Southampton to end a two-month winless league run, but it was one of only three victories in 17 games in charge before he was sacked.

Tony Adams – Portsmouth – 106 days
(October 28, 2008 – February 8, 2009)

Former England captain Adams stepped up from his role as an assistant at Pompey after Harry Redknapp left for Tottenham in October 2008, but the ex-Wycombe boss lasted only three-and-a-half months. Adams took only 10 points from 16 league games in charge and his win percentage of 18.2 across all competitions remains the lowest of any manager in the club’s history.

Bob Bradley – Swansea – 85 days
(October 3, 2016 – December 27, 2016)

Bradley’s appointment in south Wales brought much intrigue as the man who had enjoyed great success with the United States became the first American boss in the Premier League. But he was always up against it, with the supporters’ trust – who held a 21 per cent stake in the club – immediately issuing a statement criticising his appointment. They proved to be right as Bradley’s 11 games in charge delivered only eight points and the Swans conceded three or more goals eight times.

Frank De Boer – Crystal Palace – 77 days
(June 26, 2017 – September 11, 2017)

Former Netherlands star De Boer was an eye-catching appointment at Selhurst Park as he promised to usher in a new possession-based strategy in south London. But after going through the pre-season, De Boer lasted just four league games, none of which brought so much as a goal or a point, before being replaced by Roy Hodgson.

Brian Clough – Leeds – 44 days
(July 22, 1974 – September 12, 1974)

After Don Revie led Leeds to the league title in the 1973/74 season, he left for England and was, stunningly, replaced by his most-outspoken critic. Clough had previously called Leeds “dirty” and even called for their demotion, and he did little more to endear himself during six abrasive weeks in which he alienated the club’s players and won only one of six games. Clough’s revenge for his dismissal was to join Nottingham Forest a few months later, going on to win two European Cups.

Alex McLeish – Nottingham Forest – 40 days
(December 27, 2012 – February 5, 2013)

Former Scotland boss McLeish made his name north of the border, twice winning the title with Rangers after guiding Hibernian to promotion as champions in 1999. But in England, spells with Birmingham and Aston Villa had already gone sour before a dismal 40 days in charge of Forest, where McLeish won only one of seven games before a fallout with chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi.

Steve Coppell – Manchester City – 33 days
(October 6, 1996 – November 8, 1996)

Former Manchester United winger Coppell pitched up on the other side of town in October 1996 to take charge at Maine Road. This was an age when City were in a state of perpetual chaos, with chairmanship changing hands three times in short order and the club bouncing between divisions. Results were not Coppell’s downfall – he won two and drew one of his six games – but after just a month he left citing stress, soon returning to Crystal Palace.

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