Ill-fated Appointments

The ten worst Premier League managers of all time

Remember Blackburn, things could have been a lot worse

Egil Olsen

When Paul Ince became the sixth manager to pack his bags this season, Blackburn chairman John Williams cited the “onforgiving environment” of the Premier League as a reason for his departure. With this in mind, The Spoiler has considered the ten managers to whom the top flight has been thoroughly unforgiving – lets hop new Rovers boss Sam Allardyce doesn’t make it on the shortlist any time soon…

Christian Gross – Tottenham (December 1997 – September 1998)
The signs weren’t brilliant when Spurs lost 6-1 to Chelsea in his first game at White Hart Lane. They teetered with relegation in his first season, after which Alan Sugar sent him packing. He managed a total of nine wins in 27 games.

Iain Dowie – Charlton (May – November 2006)
Succeeding Curbs, Dowie didn’t have the easiest act to follow at Chartlon, but faithfully backed in the transfer market following his appointment. While Curbishley was given 15 years at Charlton, his successor was given just 15 games. After 8 losses and 3 draws, Dowie was shown the door with Charlton facing a Premiership relegation battle. Fast forward two years and they are now facing an epic Championship relegation battle.

Alain Perrin – Portsmouth (April – November 2005)
Perrin achieved only four wins in 20 league games for Pompey, including two in the 2005-2006 season which left his team lying in 17th place. He was sacked in November after eight months at the helm.

Mike Walker – Everton (January 1994 – November 1994)
Life with Walker at the helm was never boring. Having got Everton into relegation trouble in his first season, he saved them on the final day of the season as the Toffees came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Wimbledon. After 12 matches without a win and his club bottom of the league, he was sacked the following season after ten months in charge. His replacement Joe Royle showed their poor position wasn’t down to the caliber of players available, as he led them to an FA Cup win in his first season.

Egil Olsen – Wimbledon (June 1999 – May 2000)
Olsen was hired on the back of his achievements as Norway manager including topping a 1994 World Cup qualifying group, which included Holland and England. He even let them to number two in the FIFA World Rankings at one point. His time in charge of the Wimbledon helm wasn’t so smooth sailing however. The welly-wearing Norweigan’s long ball tactics were despised by fans and players alike, and he was sacked just before Wimbledon were relegated after 15 years in the top flight. Vinnie Jones – who never player under Olsen – said the only thing he regretted about the manager’s departure was, “I never got a chance to chin him”.

Brian Kidd – Blackburn (December 1998 – November 1999)
Following a successful spell as Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United, Brian Kidd went into management at Blackburn Rovers in 1998 (just four years after they won the league) and the club were relegated in his first year. Eleven months after taking over, and with Blackburn 19th in Division One, Kidd was sacked. Since his first – and only – job as first team manager, he has gone back to his assistant duties with a spell at Leeds United (in the year they were relegated) and a spell at Sheffield United, who were also relegated during his tenure.

Sammy Lee – Bolton (April – October 2007)
Yet another assistant who couldn’t cut the management mustard. Lee lasted just 14 games before departing by ‘mutual consent’, leaving Bolton in 19th place. His final game was a loss to Chelsea last year, which may have been excusable had he not dropped club captain Kevin Nolan and fans favourite Gary Speed for the fixture. Somebody didn’t learn from Ruud Gullit’s fate-sealing decision to drop Alan Shearer at Newcastle…

Steve Wigley – Southampton (August 2004 – December 2004)
Wigley managed just one win in 14 matches before getting the sack. Probably not the most inspired appointment by chairman Rupurt Lowe considering his previous furor in management came with non league Aldershot Town. Cynical Saints supporters claimed Wigley was only brought in to do such a bad job as to ease the pain of Lowe’s apparent plans to bring back vilified Glenn Hoddle.

Les Reed – Charlton (November 2006 – December 2006)
If Paul Ince still complains of only having 17 games in charge of Blackburn he should have some sympathy for Reed who was only given seven in charge of Charlton – making him the shortest serving manager in Premiership history. The Charlton fans didn’t give Reed any sympathy, however, because he was crap. Five losses in seven games, including a League Cup defeat to League Two side Wycombe Wanderers sealed his fate – on Christmas Eve. Season’s Greetings to Les, who hasn’t returned to management since.

Howard Wilkinson – Sunderland (October 2002 – March 2003)
Oh Wilko. Sacked after 13 defeats in 20 league games with Sunderland. They were bottom of the table when Mick McCarthy came in to finish the job off, and Sunderland finished the season with 19 points – the worst ever total at the time.

[Research: Danny Harris]

1 response so far
  • Swiss Bloke // December 18, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    It’s funny to see Christian Gross on every worst Premier League managers list.

    Back here in Switzerland he is the godfather of all Gaffers. The Swiss Fergie…

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