Football Managers Out of Work

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard during the training session at Cobham Training Ground. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 26, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit: John Walton/PA Wire

Are the natives getting restless at your club?

Let’s face it, in the fickle world of football, most managers are never more than a bad month away from the sack.

If you’re looking for inspiration for where your club should turn next, you’re in the right place, as the Marathonbet blog looks at the best managers out of work right now…

Out Of Work Managers | The A-Listers

LUCIEN FAVRE

While his time at Borussia Dortmund ended in rather brutal fashion in December 2020, Favre remains one of the brightest minds in the game, and his body of work should make him a racing certainty to be interviewed by any ambitious Premier League outfit – with Newcastle reportedly just one club that sounded him out after parting ways with Steve Bruce.

Out Of Work Managers Favre

A Favre appointment could have echoes of Ralph Hasenhüttl should he arrive in English football, given the Saints boss was prematurely written off by many after his time at RB Leipzig ended on a sour note.

If anything, the Frenchman boasts a better CV than the Southampton boss, with his adventurous tactical style winning both admirers and honours at Zurich and Dortmund.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE

While it’s hard to feel sorry for a man with a trophy cabinet and honours list as extensive as Zidane, it does seem the Frenchman is still viewed with scepticism in some quarters over how his approach and tactics would work away from his beloved Real Madrid.

Nevertheless, you don’t get much more A-List stardust for your buck than the 49-year-old. A move to France or Italy looks most likely in the long term, but an extended break was probably timely given the notorious demands placed on any manager in Madrid. PSG could beckon next.

ERNESTO VALVERDE

The 57-year-old fell foul of the powers-that-be at Barca at the start of the year, but given the chaos that has ensued since Valverde left Camp Nou, the Spaniard’s image may have been rehabilitated should any high-profile vacancies arise over the coming months.

Photo: EFE/ Toni Albir

With two La Liga titles under his belt plus a track record of success in a foreign country (three titles with Olympiakos), Valverde has a CV he can rightly be proud of, and his good grasp of English ticks a big box for any potential Premier League suitors.

ANDREA PIRLO

He’s a playing icon, but can he cut it as a manager? The early indications suggest Pirlo may need to revise his expectations downwards for his next role after a massive misfire of a season with his treasured Juve. However, given his status in the game as a stylish operator both on and off the pitch, you’d expect at least one commercially-savvy chairman to give him a second shot.

It’s not as if he’s uncommitted to life in the dugout either, having received his UEFA Pro Licence prior to stepping up from Juventus U23s. The Juve move probably came too soon in his fledgling managerial career, but that black spot in his CV will need rectifying swiftly if he’s going to enjoy as much success off the pitch as he did on it.

PAULO FONSECA

We’ve seen all sorts of first when it comes to Premier League managers over the years, but Fonseca would be the first-ever Mozambique-born manager in the English top flight if the former Roma manager’s next move does come in the EPL.

He’s repeatedly been linked with Premier League jobs in the past, and he would be a plum candidate for any club outside the top six given the versatility of his CV, managing Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto all before the age of 50.

RUDI GARCIA

With Ligue 1-winning pedigree and a spell in Italy under his belt, Garcia has all the continental credentials required to tempt any Premier League club exploring an ambitious leftfield appointment.

Rudi Garcia next club

At 57 years old, Garcia would be a late developer as a first-time EPL manager, but he has been a model of consistency in his managerial career, with over 50%-win ratios at Lille, Roma and Lyon.

That’s not a record to be disregarded at if any mid-range EPL teams want to swerve the usual candidates for a more exotic name.  

Premier League Contenders – Current Out Of Work Managers

Premier League panic tends to set in quicker in the age of rolling news and social media.

As always, there is a decent crop of experienced names waiting by the phone for the right opportunity, as well as a few intriguing names spying a first stint in English football.

This lot for starters…

ROY HODGSON

Roy Hodgson

While Hodgson’s exit from Crystal Palace was painted as a step towards retirement for the 74-year-old, the veteran boss wasn’t exactly equivocal about officially calling time on his six-decade spell in management. The former Eagles boss has one of the most eclectic CVs going so you wouldn’t entirely rule out another short-term spell abroad or in international management, while if a firefighter is needed by any club, there are few better candidates.

FRANK LAMPARD

Sarri’s immediate successor is also back on the market after his surprise exit from Chelsea in early January 2021.

A poor run of form throughout the winter of 2020/21 put paid to Lampard’s short-lived reign at the club where he made his name, but he’s rumoured to be fired up for a return to the dugout having explored a number of options since his departure from the Blues.

A mixed picture from his time at both Derby and Chelsea makes it an interesting question as to where Lampard currently sits in the managerial food chain.

Frank Lampard next clubChelsea manager Frank Lampard after the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London.

Will he wait around on the punditry circuit for another Premier League opportunity, or does he need to get his hands back dirty at Championship level?

He might need a promotion or trophy on his CV if he wants a long-term return to a top end Premier League club.

BRUNO LABBADIA

Could one of the Bundesliga’s most experienced operators fancy a change of scenery for his next move?

Labbadia has never managed outside German football but is the consummate safe pair of hands in a division where he has been handed the reins of clubs including Hertha, Wolfsburg, Hamburger SV, VfB Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen. A German Big Sam, if you like.

Given he’s seen and done it all in that division, a spell abroad might be the logical next step, and he’s previously been tentatively linked with Genoa in recent times. 

The moment might just be right for Labbadia to take the leap outside his homeland.

DIEGO MARTINEZ

Now, here’s a left-field name who could soon be coming to a Premier League club near you.

Martinez ticks all the boxes to be a daring left-field appointment for any top-level English side trading in their manager in the coming months.

He’s young, has almost 500 games as a manager under his belt, and boasts a track record of success having first guided Granada to promotion to the Spanish Primera before taking them all the way to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

With Martinez making the surprise decision to leave the club on a high in the summer of 2021, it seems more than likely his ambitions could lie outside of Spanish football as he seeks a fresh challenge.

PACO LÓPEZ

After years of maintaining a low profile coaching various ‘B’ and ‘C’ sides in the Spanish lower leagues, López’s diligent managerial career was finally rewarded with a high-profile gig in 2018 as he was entrusted with maintaining Levante’s status in the Primera.

Over 147 games, he was mostly successful in that mission as the Granotas successfully consolidated for three seasons in a row under his stewardship, with the 54-year-old also guiding his side to a first ever Copa Del Rey semi-final.

A poor start to the 2021/22 season saw the Levante board press the panic button as López was relieved of his duties in October, but his spell should go down as a qualified success. A solid three-year stint at any European top flight club is a track record not to be sniffed at for any chairman casting the net a little wider for their next appointment

Out-of-Work Managers: Championship & EFL Contenders

DANIEL FARKE

After the most brutal of exits from Norwich City – one in the wake of his first EPL win of the season – will Farke follow in the footsteps of compatriot David Wagner and take a time out from English football?

The German is in a difficult bind as he chews over this next role, having already proven his worth in the Championship two times over while failing to prove his worth at Premier League level.

Farke’s up-and-down CV may give some more ambitious second tier clubs pause for thought should any vacancies arrive down the line, which may make a return to his native Germany or elsewhere on the continent the most tempting option for now as he seeks a fresh challenge. 

ALEX NEIL

Timing is everything in football.

There’s probably a part of Alex Neil that wishes he had put loyalty aside to join West Brom in April 2019 after his solid four-year spell with Preston North End ultimately turned stale in 2020/21.

Given Preston’s budget limitations, the Scotsman was always likely to fall foul of raised expectations at the Lilywhites after keeping them comfortably upper mid-table for most of his spell at Deepdale.

Things ultimately did unravel as he parted company with the club following a difficult to start to 2021 which saw his charges win just one of his last nine games, leaving North End nowhere fast in 16th place.

Smart suitors should overlook those last few months and look at his career in the round. Neil’s a manager with five years of mostly solid work in the second tier – including a league title – and he’s just turned 40. 

TONY PULIS

The Welsh firefighter is back on the market after a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 46-day stint with Sheffield Wednesday.

A behind-the-scenes fall-out saw Pulis make a hasty departure from the Owls before he had a chance to reshape his relegation-threatened squad in the January transfer window.

Out of work Tony PulisTony Pulis during a Carabao Cup, Quarter Final match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.

He may well jump at the chance to prove a point to his former employers at another posting after leaving South Yorkshire with just one win from his 10 matches.

Expect plenty of owners looking at their bottom lines to overlook that ill-fated career move should survival expert Pulis put himself forward for a return to the dugout.

CHRIS HUGHTON

OK, he might have failed at Nottingham Forest, but it’s probably easier to list which managers haven’t over the last decade.

Is it too soon to write off a manager who, Forest aside, boasts one of the best records around at Championship level?

Successes at Newcastle and Brighton suggest Hughton surely still has something to offer despite his first major setback in the second tier, with the veteran boss winning just 14 of his 53 games in charge of the Tricky Trees.

Given memories of his unhappy stint at Forest may linger for some time, Hughton’s best short-term bet may be to re-invent himself as a specialist firefighter in the mould of Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis if he is to make a quickfire return to an EFL dugout.

NEIL LENNON

The Northern Irishman is back doing the media rounds after a disappointing end to his second spell with Celtic and, unsurprisingly, seems keen on a new project well away from the Scottish Premiership.

A surprise move into Israeli football has been touted, while Lennon may also feel he has unfinished business in the EFL after battling financial constraints during a fraught 18-month spell with Bolton Wanderers.

MARK HUGHES

Sparky has probably run out of chances in the Premier League after his spell as the unlikely saviour of Southampton proved short-lived three years ago.

That said, the Welshman is less uninspiring than his reputation sometimes leads fans to believe. It’s  easily forgotten that he did guide Stoke City to a third ninth place finish in a row only just over four years ago.

GARRY MONK

A familiar face in many an EFL dugout over the last decade, Monk’s appointment is unlikely to be met with overriding enthusiasm wherever he lands next in the Football League, but the 42-year-old can point to a CV that mostly marks him out as a safe pair of hands at Championship level.

That said, Monk may need to tread carefully before accepting his next assignment, with behind-the-scenes chaos badly impacting his chances of success at both Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday.

After a lengthy sabbatical following his sacking from the Owls, Monk will surely be itching for a return to the front-line and could get the ring from any owner looking to make a risk-averse – if not overly imaginative – appointment.

NEIL WARNOCK

Is it finally time up for Warnock after 1,556 games following his departure from Middlesbrough?

He’s had more retirements than Elton John has had farewell tours, so we’ll take any suggestion that Warnock might call time on his illustrious 35-year management career with a pinch of salt, even at the age of 73.

The Yorkshireman has already proved with Rotherham in 2016 that he’s not afraid to take on a short-term salvage operation.

Expect any Championship chairmen looking nervously at their balance sheets to be making discreet enquiries come the spring should Warnock be prepared to don his favourite firefighting suit for old time’s sake.

PAUL LAMBERT

Will Lambert have to look at a return north of the border for his next move?

He might struggle to find a role in English football that meets his requirements after a dreary two-and-a-half-year spell at Ipswich where most matches featured the word ‘nil’.

Paul Lambert

That pragmatism might serve a club looking for a firefighter well, but the defensively-minded Scotsman might have to wait until the next ‘sacking season’ before his safety-first approach gets another fair hearing. 

His long-time links to Celtic mean he’s never far from the discussion when it comes to vacancies in the Scottish Premiership, and that could be a natural next move for a manager seeking a radical second act to a career in danger of stalling.

UWE RÖSLER

The former Man City striker may well be scouting around for another assignment in English football having enjoyed mixed spells with Brentford, Wigan, Leeds and Fleetwood during a nomadic managerial career.

It’s one that recently saw him return to his native Germany for the first time for an 18-month stint with Fortuna Düsseldorf. Having left that post back in June 2021, Rosler’s none-too-shabby win percentage of 44.8% and immediate availability could see a few chairmen put the feelers out should any interesting EFL vacancies arise in the near future.   

SOL CAMPBELL

Will it be third time lucky for the former England international?

So far Campbell has been forced to fight fires for two cash-strapped clubs in the form of Macclesfield Town and Southend Utd, acquitting himself well at both in challenging circumstances.

The former Arsenal and Spurs man probably deserves the chance to take on a more settled outfit, but this being the EFL, he may have to take another rescue job to get back in the dugout if he wants to return in the near future.

Aitor KarankaAlex McLeishAndrea PirloAndré Villas-BoasAndriy ShevchenkoBilly DaviesBruno LabbadiaChris BeechChris HughtonClaude PuelDaniel FarkeDiego MartínezErnesto ValverdeEusebio Di FrancescoFabio CannavaroFatih TerimFrank de BoerFrank LampardFrankie McAvoyGarry MonkGennaro GattusoGraham WestleyGus PoyetHayden MullinsHeiko HerrlichHernán CrespoIan HollowayJack RossJaap StamJavi GraciaJesse MarschJoachim LöwJon Dahl TomassonJonathan WoodgateJorge JesusJürgen KlinsmannLuca GottiLucien FavreLuiz Felipe ScolariMark HughesMark van BommelMarko NikolićMarkus SchoppMartin AllenMichael FlynnMichelMick McCarthyNeil HarrisNeil LennonNeil WarnockNigel AdkinsNigel WorthingtonNiko KovačNuno Espírito SantoOle Gunnar SolskjaerPaco LópezPaul ClementPaul CookPaul DickovPaul LambertPaulo FonsecaPep ClotetPhil BrownPhillip CocuQuique SetiénRafa BenitezRoberto Di MatteoRonald KoemanRoy HodgsonRudi GarciaSabri LamouchiSam AllardyceSimon GraysonSlaviša JokanovićSlaven BilićSol CampbellSteve BruceSteve EvansTommy WrightTony PulisUwe RöslerVítor PereiraVladimir IvićZinedine Zidane

*List correct at time of writing but subject to continual change.

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Author: Paula Allen