Ferguson’s retirement caps a crazy season on the Premier League managerial merry-go-round
It is almost impossible to believe that come June 1, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be the fifth longest serving manager currently working in the Premier League!
Rodgers will have been in the Anfield hot seat for one year but given the nature of the modern Premier League, he has overtaken 15 rivals in the space of 12 months. It has clearly been another crazy season on the Premier League managerial merry-go-round, with a number of gaffers left out-of-work with the stakes of success or the price of failure in the top flight at an all-time high.
One or two clubs in particular have hit the headlines this season when it comes to managerial movements with Chelsea being chief among them.
The Blues started the season as the European champions under Roberto Di Matteo, but the popular Italian was given the boot from Stamford Bridge back in November after a tough start to the season.
Roman Abramovich was quick to install the unpopular Rafa Benitez as the ‘interim manager’ until the end of the season, ensuring Chelsea will be welcoming their third boss in less than a year this summer.
West London was a bad place to be a manager in the Premier League during 2012/2013 with plenty of movement just three miles down the road at QPR. Rangers started the Premier League season with Mark Hughes in charge but he was replaced by Harry Redknapp in December with the team struggling at the foot of the table. Redknapp did oversee a slight upturn in the club’s fortunes but it wasn’t enough to save the club from relegation and it will be interesting to see how they fare in the Championship next season… and whether Harry will be in charge!
One of the more surprising managerial shake-ups came down on the south coast in January when Southampton manager Nigel Adkins was shown the door. The Saints were in good shape but Adkins was sacked in favour of the unknown Mauricio Pochettino, much to the dismay of the fans and the media. Pochettino has since gone on to do a good job at St Mary’s to calm the critics, while Adkins was back in the game quickly, taking over at Reading following the sacking of Brian McDermott in March.
There was also some movement in the north-east back in March when Martin O’Neill was replaced as Sunderland boss by Paolo Di Canio. It proved to be the right decision as the Italian saved the Black Cats from relegation but next season will be nothing, if not interesting under the Italian at the Stadium of Light.
More recently we have seen Roberto Mancini given the sack as Man City boss exactly a year after he brought the Premier League title to the Etihad. It appears that the former Inter Milan boss has paid the price for being unpopular with the players. Whoever takes charge at City next season will be expected to add some more silverware to the trophy cabinet.
However, all of those moves seemingly paled into insignificance compared to the seismic shift in events at Old Trafford over the last few weeks. Sir Alex Ferguson finally announced his retirement as Man United manager after he had led them to a 13th Premier League title. David Moyes was quickly announced as his successor after 11 years at Everton and he will be under plenty of pressure next season as he looks to follow a legend of the sport.
That has, of course, opened up an intriguing vacancy at Goodison Park which is sure to attract plenty of interest following the stellar work of Moyes up in the blue half of Liverpool. The latest rumour is that it is Roberto Martinez who is inline to replace Moyes after the Spaniard handed in his notice at the DW Stadium following a bittersweet month in which the Latics won the FA Cup only to be relegated days later.
Also searching for a new manager since the season’s conclusion is Stoke City, who are seeking a replacement for Tony Pulis. He was axed after seven years in charge at the Britannia Stadium.
It has well and truly been a crazy season on the Premier League Sack Race with the role of football manager more cut throat than ever before. There is just as much pressure to avoid relegation, as there is to qualify for the Champions League, meaning that a few dodgy results on the bounce could lead to a Manager picking up the dreaded P45.
For a full low-down on all the managerial causalities across all four divisions, check out thesackrace.com who have been number crunching to workout how effective each managerial change has been over the past 12 months.