The English Premier League (2013-2014) Managers: The Ones Who Got Sacked
A record ten managers left their posts before the end of the 2013-2014 English Premier League season.
We did not see the handwriting on the wall.
Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement as Manchester United manager after 26years in charge, the longest of any serving manager in English League history.
Jose Mourinho returned to the Premier League and his beloved Chelsea amidst funfair. Manuel Pellegrini took over at heavy-spenders, Manchester City and, for the first time in a long while, Arsene Wenger spent big-money on a single signing by snatching Mesuit Ozil from Real Madrid.
As fans of the EPL, we knew we were in for an adventurous ride.
Little did we know though, that more managerial heads than ever were in for the chopping blocks.
Sir Alex retired on the back of a successful campaign. Man United had won the league comfortably and SAF just had to jolt us out of our dreamy trance. Frankly, his rest had been long deserved.
David Moyes’ contract at Everton came to an end and he announced that he would not be renewing it. We sensed something was fishy.
And how right we were, as Sir Alex Ferguson named him afterwards as his desired successor. The Chosen One was born.
Ferguson prayed the fans to support the new manager, yet many were not convinced of his choice.
Roberto Martinez, was the darling of many Wigan fans, but he had shown his loyalty for so long and won them the FA Cup. It was time he moved on to higher calling after Wigan got relegated.
Everton saw him as the ideal man to replace the departed Moyes and how capable he has proven to be.
Tony Pulis and Stoke City parted ways by mutual consent. Having guided the Potters to the FA Cup Final and European football, his departure was quite unceremonious.
Fast-becoming-journey-man, Mark Hughes was appointed as the man to take Stoke City from the wilderness of long balls to the paradise of possession football.
Rafa Benitez may have been the Chelsea board’s choice but he was far from being loved by the Blues’ fans. It was always going to be temporary appointment and many fans rejoiced as he exited the Stamford Bridge doors.
More happy moments came on for Chelsea fans as the Special One, Jose Mourinho’s second coming was confirmed.
All of these departures and arrivals happened during pre-season.
It should have warned us of more to come.
New Season Fever
Barely a month into the new season, Paolo Di Canio got the boot up his ass from Sunderland. It was quite easy to forget that he had saved the Black Cats from relegation by the skins of his manhood. But in fairness, he had only been able to manage 3 wins in 13 games in charge.
Gus Poyet was handed his job a fortnight later.
Tony Pulis had done enough to earn respect across the country and it did not take long before Crystal Palace offered him Ian Holloway’s job. Holloway’s best efforts had left Palace in relegation muddy waters. It was only proper that he would agree to quit by mutual consent.
How Martin Jol managed to keep his job with Fulham till December, I will never understand. There had been a good bet on him to lose it much earlier. But Fulham’s decision-makers continued to wow fans and haters alike by opting for Manchester United castaway, Rene Meulensteen.
Rene’s contract was cancelled by February, though, and his mandate was given to former Bayern Munich manager, Felix Magath. But the harm had already been done and Fulham would go on to be relegated.
Steve Clarke had enjoyed a curvy-turvy time at the helm of affairs at West Bromwich Albion but by December, his job was up for grabs and ex Real Betis handler, Pepe Mel was the man to seize it with both hands.
Two more managers were to lose their jobs in December. Tottenham Hotspurs lost their patience with big-spending but little-achieving Andre Villas-Boas. Tim Sherwood was promoted to the Spurs’ hotseat.
Malky Mackay was the second man. Malky had held and wielded the magic wand enroute to Cardiff City’s promotion to the Premier League. But less than 6months in the new terrain, he was adjudged to have lost his magic. Man United’s old boy, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, was drafted in instead.
New Year Chops
By the time he left, Rene’s Fulham were exactly where he had met them, 20th on the table. Felix Magath had a tough task to prevent the Cottagers from getting the drop.
Chris Hughton hung in the deep end of things till early April but that was as far as Norwich City’s patience could let them. They had to let go of their darling manager who seemed to have lost the clue as to how to get them out of the bottom three. Neil Adams came in to steady the sinking ship.
The Turn Around
The twist, though, was far from being over. And it just had to end with the name it had started with: David Moyes.
He was Sir Alex Ferguson’s favourite tactician, the Chosen One, and had signed a six-year contract with Manchester United. It seemed like a pact made in heaven.
But after he lead the club to their worst ever start to a Premier League season, the pressure began. United supporters, opposing fans, journalists, and critics heaped the misery on ‘Dithering Dave’. Defeats at Old Trafford became common place. United were knocked out of the FA Cup and the Champions League.
‘Chosen One’ turned to ‘Wrong One- Moyes Out’. United were 7th in the league and could take no more. Unsurprisingly, David Moyes was sacked on April 22, 2014.
Moyes had been in charge of United for only 10 months, which is the third shortest in United history and the shortest in 82 years.
He was replaced momentarily by Ryan Giggs and, on a permanent basis, by Louis Van Gaal.