It’s safe to say things aren’t going to plan for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
After 13 games, Manchester United has their worst start to a Premier League campaign, ever. To make matters worse, the Special One had arrived at Old Trafford on a sea of hope and optimism.
Mourinho still has time to turn things around but positivity surrounding an appointment doesn’t always translate to results on the pitch. Here are nine other Premier League managers that failed to deliver, at least in one role, despite serious enthusiasm at the time of their arrivals.
David Moyes. Manchester United
Before the Special One, Manchester United appointed the Chosen One following the recommendation of Sir Alex Ferguson. It’s fair to say things didn’t quite go to plan.
Essentially, David Moyes is now barometer of any perceived failure at Old Trafford. At least his current job is going well. Oh...
Ron Atkinson. Nottingham Forest
In fairness to Ron Atkinson, Nottingham Forest were already destined for relegation when he took charge of the rock bottom Reds in January 1999. However, the City Ground faithful could have at least expected the former Manchester United boss to rebuild a sense of pride.
Instead, Atkinson started the job by climbing into the wrong dug-out. That set the tone for his short stint, which also included an 8-1 loss to Manchester United, relegation, and Pierre van Hooijdonk suggesting that the manager was more like Rowan Atkinson.
Felix Magath. Fulham
Felix Magath arrived at Craven Cottage with a fairly solid reputation and was supposed to be the club’s secret weapon for survival. However, a return of 12 points from 12 games confirmed Fulham’s relegation.
But it was the madness on the training field, epitomised by the story of Brede Hangeland and cheese (seriously, look it up), that truly underlines the ridiculous nature of the appointment.
Avram Grant. West Ham United
Given the financial problems at Fratton Park, Avram Grant couldn’t be judged too harshly for relegating Portsmouth in 2009-10, especially as he led them to the FA Cup final. Having also taken Chelsea to the Champions League final in 2008, he arrived at Upton Park amidst a sense of optimism.
Within a couple of months, however, the man who resembles Baron Silas Greenback from Danger Mouse had been cast in the role of club villain. West Ham were relegated and he was duly sacked.
Sam Allardyce. Newcastle United
Sam Allardyce’s work at Bolton is arguably one of the most underrated of any Premier League manager and, following his move to a much bigger club in Newcastle, it appeared that the Toon Army would soon be back fighting for European qualification.
Like many before him, Big Sam didn’t last very long at St James’ Park, and was sacked in January following three straight league defeats and a cup draw with Stoke. After such optimism, his short stint had ended on whimper.
Christian Gross. Tottenham Hotspur
Christian Gross was a bit of an unknown identity when he rocked up at White Hart Lane in November 1997, but his success in Switzerland suggested that he could be a success. He wasn’t.
The media immediately mocked the Swiss coach after he waved a train ticket stating it could be the ticket to his dreams. Instead, it opened a nine-month nightmare that ended just two games into the following season.
Andre Villas-Boas. Chelsea
Roman Abramovich forked out a record €15m euro to land AVB and, on paper, it wasn’t hard to see why. A young, energetic, and highly successful manager who had made his name at Porto - sound familiar?
Following his sacking in March, Chelsea went on to win the Champions League under caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo. Unfortunately for AVB, his part in that success is largely forgotten.
Alan Ball. Manchester City
Despite unease from some sections of the Maine Road crowd, Alan Ball arrived to Manchester having worked wonders with Southampton. Sadly, the youngest member of England’s heroic 1966 squad couldn’t bring that success to the Citizens.
The 1995-96 season, Ball’s first season in charge, saw City lose their top flight status for the first time in seven years. The manager resigned three games into the following campaign. A legend for England but no so much for City.
Roberto Martinez. Everton
After leading Wigan to an unlikely FA Cup triumph, albeit at the expense of Premier League football, many fans expected Roberto Martinez to achieve great things at Goodison Park.
Things started pretty well as the Toffees finished fifth in his Martinez’s first season. However, following two years of regression, the Spaniard had no defence when losing job. No defence: a pretty solid summary of his team on the pitch also.
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With the way things are going, there could be another two or three current Premier League managers on that list before we know it.