Sacked Premier League Managers

Sacked Managers in the Premier League

There are always causalities in a Premier League season, so we are going to keep a rolling tally of all the sacked managers for this season (and beyond).

Sacked Managers (2019-2020 Premier League season):

Arsenal:

Unai Emery was relieved of coaching duties on November 29, 2019, with the club in eighth place.

Unai Emery was the handpicked successor to one of the longest-serving Premier League managers, Arsene Wenger. In Emery’s first season with the club, he guided the team to a UEFA Europa League Finals in 2019 (where they lost to Chelsea) as well as a fourth-place finish in the Premier League. Emery was a graduate of Real Sociedad’s youth system but barely broke into the first team (five appearances). Most of his playing career was in the Spanish second division where he spent nearly eight years. During the final year of his career, he suffered a gruesome knee injury that forced early retirement. However, it also gave him his first managerial opportunity at the same club he from which he retired.

He led Lorca Deportiva to an immediate promotion and fell only five points short of another in the following season. After this success, Emery moved to Almeria where he was successful immediately guiding the second-tier side to its first-ever promotion to La Liga. The next season would have them finish in eighth-place place. After his success as a manager at Almeria and Lorca, he was brought in to fill the Valencia managerial vacancy (previously held by Ronald Koeman) that had secured a tenth-place finish. Emery would guide the club to a sixth-place finish followed by three consecutive third-place finishes, guaranteeing Europa League and Champions League berths, respectively.

Emery dealt with Valencia’s final issues and still was successful despite having to sell David Silva and David Villa. Emery would leave the club after the completion of the 2011-2012 season. He began the shortest managerial in May stint of his career; six months with Spartak Moscow lasting only until the 25th of November.  In January he was announced as the manager of Sevilla. In his first season, he would defeat Benfica on penalties in the Europa League final and guide the team to a fifth-place finish. In the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, his side would finish outside the automatic qualifying positions for the Champions League by finishing fifth and seventh, respectively. By winning the Europa League, they earned a Champions League place.

Not long after this, he was appointed as manager of PSG where he would finish second and first in Ligue One. However, the premier league manager would see his side exit the Champions League at the Round of 16 both years. In the 2016-2017, Emery would feel a historic defeat after leading 4-0 over Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League where the side would exit the competition. The 47-year-old Premier League manager was born in the Basque country in Hondarribia, Spain and holds Spanish nationality.

Everton:

Marco Silva was removed from managerial duties December 5, 2019.

Marco Silva began his youth career at Cova de Piedade before moving to Beleneses where he would make his way onto the pitch for the side only once. He would conclude a fifteen-year playing career with six years at Estoril. Marco Silva began his coaching career at 34-years old after retiring from Estoril at right back. His first venture into management was with Estoril where he was appointed the director of football. Not long after he joined the club’s backroom staff, he was promoted to the manager upon the departure of the existing manager.

Upon his appointment to club management, he guided the club back to the top tier after almost ten years away, on the first ask. During the next season in the Portuguese Premier League, they secured a fifth-place finish which tied the club record while also earning a first-ever place in the Europa League. In his final season with Estoril, he guided them to a fourth-place finish before ending his tenure as manager. In his next managerial stop, he signed a four-year contract with Sporting, although he would only see out one year. He led the team to a third-place finish and won the Portuguese cup. Not long after, he was sacked for not wearing the club’s suit.

In July of 2015, Silva was appointed by Olympiacos in Greece whom Silva guided to a Super League with several games in hand. Despite his success, it would be the only season he spent with Olympiacos as he resigned for “personal reasons” in June of 2016. Midway through the Premier League season, Silva was appointed by Hull City with the club in the last place. Despite buoyant results and a reasonable effort, Silva was unable to help the club retain its Premier League status. He would resign shortly after the club was relegated with six points (and goal difference) between them and safety.

Watford appointed him to be their manager for the 2017-2018 season and had a promising start to the season which had him other the microscope for other clubs (read: Everton). His team’s form had a massive drop which led the club to file charges that Everton was “tampering” with their manager and risked long-term problems for the club. He was dismissed mid-June because of the drop in form. Although he wouldn’t be appointed until the end of May 2018, he was said to be the odds on favorite for the next manager of Everton.

Silva was appointed to lead the Everton first team in May, and eventually, Everton and his former employer would agree on a compensation package nearing £4M. In his first year with Everton, Silva led the squad to a midtable, eighth-place finish only three points from continental competition. The 41-year old manager comes to the Premier League having been born in Lisbon, Portugal. He is one of two Portuguese Premier League managers currently coaching in the top division.

Tottenham Hotspur:

Pochettino was relieved of duties November 19, 2019 with the club in fourteenth place.

Mauricio Pochettino is the only of the Premier League managers to hail from Argentina. Pochettino began his playing career at Newell’s Old Boys where he would break into the first team in 1989 (at 16) and play until 1994, racking up over 150 appearances. In 1994, he would move to Espanyol to accompany their first season back in La Liga. He would spend more than six years with the club, before moving in January 2001 to Paris Saint-Germain FC. During his two years in Paris, he would accrue 70 league appearances.

After the 2003 season, he would move to Bordeaux in France where he would make only a handful of appearances for the club. He would be loaned (and eventually transfer) back to Espanyol where he would approach 60 more appearances for the La Liga side and end his playing career. After a couple of years unemployed, Mauricio Pochettino would be offered the managerial position for Espanyol. He would take over in January 2009 as the third manager of the season with the team in a bottom three position. In a vast improvement of the team’s fortunes, Pochettino managed to get the team up to a tenth place finish in La Liga. Pochettino continued the 2009-2010 season with another comfortable midtable position, with a finish in eleventh place.

In the 2010-2011 season, Pochettino further improved the side’s fortunes with an eighth-place finish.  The 2011-2012 was not nearly as good as the previous ones, and he ended up with the club in twentieth place, wherein the manager decreed insufficient transfer spending. The ultimate result was the club and Pochettino ending the contract by mutual consent. Pochettino was announced as the Southampton manager in January 2013, when he took over for Nigel Adkins with the club in fifteenth place. Although Pochettino was only able to increase the club’s place by one position, the club was safe from relegation. For the 2013-2014 season, however, Pochettino was able to bring the club to its best finish in nearly ten years by finishing in eighth place.

Pochettino’s work with Southampton earned him an offer of further employment with Tottenham Hotspur, and in May 2014 he was appointed as head coach. In his first full season, 2014-2015, with the club, he was able to earn a fifth-place finish in the Premier League with a finals appearance in the League Cup. During this first season, he brought several academy prospects including Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Eric Dier. All of which would feature prominently for the side for future years. In the 2015-2016 season, under Pochettino’s leadership, Tottenham continued to improve its position with a third-place finish.

The improvements would continue in the 2016-2017 season where the team would make the round of 32 in the Europa League, a semifinal in the FA Cup and a second-place finish in the Premier League. The 2017-2018 season Tottenham fell to third position in the Premier League; however, they reached the semifinals of the FA Cup again, while advancing to the Round of 16 in the Champions League. In 2018-2019, Tottenham moved one position down again, but also reached the semifinals in the EFL Cup and a runner up position in the Champions League. The 47-year old manager was born in Murphy, Argentina.

 

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Watford:

Managerial Change #1

Javi Gracia is one of the three Spanish Premier League managers currently in the Premier League. Gracia began his professional career as a defensive midfielder with Athletic Bilbao in 1989, and he would earn 100 appearances in the three years he spent with the first team. In 1992 he would transfer to Lleida and would be a part of a Championship-winning side, earning a promotion to the top flight for the first time in four decades. In 1993, he would move to Valladolid where he would spend two years until 1995 making more than sixty appearances. After finishing just outside of the top half and adding an FA Cup Finals appearance, Gracia became the first sacked manager of the season.

In 1995 he would move to Real Sociedad, and we would make more than one hundred appearances before he would make a move in 1999 to Villarreal. He would amass eighty more appearances over the three years he would spend with them; however, playing time would become more scarce. In 2003, he would move to the second division with Córdoba until May 2004 when he would hang up his boots after a fifteen-year career.

Gracia’s first opportunity in management was with the Villareal youth side, where he would spend only a year with the side. He would later join Pontevedra in for both the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons. The team to a first and second place in the Segunda Division (Tier 3), although they were unable to win promotion in the playoff. In the 2008-2009 season with Cadiz, Gracia was able to gain promotion for the first time in his managerial career. His team finished first in group four and won the playoff by beating Real Unión and Cartagena. Gracia would only make it halfway through 2009-2010 before being fired and the team eventually settling into twentieth place and being relegated.

In 2010, Gracia would return to Villareal to coach the B team which Gracia was able to keep safe from relegation by five points. In June 2011, Gracia would move to Greece where he would manage Olympiacos Volou for a short time. This would be followed by a more extended stint at Kerkyra, but ultimately, Gracia would return to Spain.

In June 2012, he would take over Almeria which he would subsequently lead to a second-place finish in the second tier returning them to La Liga. However, he was unable to agree to terms with the promoted side and would leave in June 2013. Shortly after that, he was appointed to Osasuna although Gracia failed to guide the team to safety, finishing in eighteenth place and being relegated. Gracia’s Osasuna team was only 1 point (and two goals) away from safety.

In 2014, Gracia was appointed to the managerial position at Malaga CF, where he would spend two seasons with the club. He led the club to a ninth and eighth-place finish in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 season, respectively. Gracia moved to Russia before the 2016-2017 season where he was appointed to FC Rubin Kazan. However, the season would be lacking, and ultimately he would depart after mutual termination of his contract due to a ninth-place finish.

In January of 2018, Gracia would take over the newly-vacated managerial position at Watford after Marco Silva left for Everton. Gracia ended the season in the fourteenth position in the Premier League, although he would finish his first full season, 2018-2019, with a three-position improvement ending in eleventh. He also led the team to an FA Cup runner up position losing out to eventual Premier League Champions, Manchester City. The 49-year old manager was born in Pamplona, Spain.

Gracia’s tenure with the club ended with Watford in last place in the Premier League. His team has failed to secure a win in their last eight games (including the end of last season) and secured a solitary point. Watford finished the 2017-2018 season in eleventh place, but after substantial spending over the summer and nothing to show for it, they opted to make him the first sacked manager of the season. You can read about his replacement on our Premier League Managers page.

Managerial Change #2: 

Quique Sanchez Flores replaces the former Watford manager to remain the third Spanish manager in the Premier League. Flores spent the first ten years of his 13-year playing career with Valencia whom he helped win promotion back to La Liga. After Valencia’s return to La Liga. Flores would be their preferred choice at right-back and the club would finish better than eighth each year while he remained with them. Upon the completion of the 1993-1994 season, Florez would move to Real Madrid where we would remain for two seasons (adding a La Liga title to his achievements in the first season) before moving to Real Zaragoza where he would end his playing career.

Flores would begin his managerial career with the Real Madrid youth team in 2001. After three successful seasons, he would be hired to manage the Getafe first team, and he had success in guiding the club to a 13th-placed finish. He would also guide the side to being the only one of the three recent promotees to avoid relegation, however, the club would be unable to retain his services as his former club Valencia would appoint him as their manager. In his first season with Valencia, Flores would guide the club to a third-place finish in La Liga and a return to the Champions League. The following season would begin with expectations but numerous injuries would temper them, it would also bring to light internal struggles between Flores and the sporting director. Despite the difficulties, they would end the season in fourth place with a Champions League elimination in the Semi-Final round to runner up Arsenal. The conclusion of the season would see the sporting director replaced prior to beginning the 2007-2008 season, although Flores would not make it through the month of October as manager.

After a short break, Flores would be appointed to manage Benfica at the conclusion of the 2007-2008 season, where he would remain for only one year, despite a third-place league finish and being victorious in the Portuguese League Cup. Nearly a full year later Flores would be appointed to manage Atletico Madrid where despite managing only a ninth-place league finish, they reached the finals in two competitions. Atletico would defeat Fulham in the Europa League Finals although they would lose the Copa del Rey to Sevilla. Despite these successes, after frequent issues with at least one player, Flores would resign before the end of the season. Flores next stint in management would be in the United Arab Emirates where he would join Al Ahli in November, although he would remain only through the conclusion of the season.

Only a short time later, Flores would return to the United Arab Emirates to coach Al Ain, although he would only manage from the end of September through mid-March before being dismissed. Flores would return to Getafe after a break, although he would not remain even two months with the club explaining his decision to leave as personal and stemming from “situations that… did not make [him] happy“. Three months later, Flores would begin his first stint at Watford amidst a twelve-month period that would see five managers through the gates. In his first season with Watford, he would lead them to one of their best finishes in recent history (mid-table) and was eliminated in the FA Cup Semi-Finals. Despite these successes, the board announced that Flores would depart at the conclusion of the season with fans and pundits alike wondering how they were not retaining his services.

Shortly after his departure from Watford, Flores would be appointed to lead Espanyol in June 2016. In his first season, 2016-2017, with Espanyol, he would narrowly miss out on continental qualification by finishing eighth (only the top seven qualify) in La Liga although it would better the prior season finish by five places. The following season would be a much different scenario for Flores and the club, which would ultimately lead to him being dismissed with the club in 16th place in April 2018. His next move would be to China where on Christmas Day he was announced as the manager for Shanghai Shenhua, who he would lead to a seventh-place finish in the Chinese Super League. However, this too would only be short-lived as he would depart the following June.

West Ham:

 

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West Ham United:

Manuel Pellegrini is the only Chilean currently a part of the Premier League managers. He spent the entirety of his thirteen-year playing career (1973-1986) with Universidad de Chile where he played center back and earned 450 appearances for the club team. His managerial experience began with the club he spent his whole professional career with. However, the opening season was less than desirable, with the team relegated from the Chilean top flight after finishing fifteenth (out of sixteen teams). 1989 would see the side climb back into the Chilean top flight after just one year by winning the South Division of the Chilean second tier.

In 1990, Pellegrini would guide the side to a fifth-place finish in the side’s first season after their promotion from the second tier. In his second season in 1991, the side’s form would dip slightly down to ninth in the top flight. In his final year 1992, Pelligrini would only manage a twelfth place finish in the top flight. He would then depart the team to take over O’Higgins for the 1993 season, who would actually drop one position under Pellegrini from sixth in the top flight down to seventh. After only one season, Pelligrini would move in 1993 to Universidad Católica where he would secure a second-place finish in the league, but he would also capture the 1994 Copa Interamericana. In the 1995 season, Pelligrini again secured a second-place finish and this time, the 1995 Chilean cup.

Pellegrini would have no position from the conclusion of the 1995 Chilean season until the beginning of the 1998 season where he was appointed again to manage Palestino. Pellegrini was unable to improve on the results prior season where they finished tenth. However, his contract would be bought out by Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito in the Ecuadorian top flight. Pellegrini would finish his first season 1999 in first but falling in the Championship playoffs. In 2000, Pellegrini’s second season would see the side finish in second also falling in the Championship playoffs.

In 2001, Pellegrini would join San Lorenzo de Almagro in Argentina. He would lead the team to the Copa Mercosur (the precursor to Copa Sudamericana) and a first-place finish in the Argentine top flight. Pellegrini would leave San Lorenzo to go to River Plate where he would secure a second place in 2002, his first full season with the club. In his next season with the Argentine club, he would win the Torneo Clausura (the second or “closing” half) in 2003.

He would resign from River Plata at this time to move to Spain where in July 2004 he would assume the role of manager at Villarreal CF. In Pellegrini’s first season with the club the 2004-2005 season, he would guide them to a third-place finish in La Liga and secure a place in the Champions League. In the 2005-2006 season, the club’s domestic place would drop from third to seventh, but the team would make it through to the semifinals of the Champions League. In 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons, the club would finish fifth and second place, respectively. In the 2008-2009 season, which would prove to be Pellegrini’s last with Villarreal he would lead them to a fifth-place finish.

Real Madrid would trigger the €4M clause to allow him to accept the managerial position at Real Madrid. Pellegrini would only serve one season with the club after some disappointing losses, including a Copa del Rey loss to a third-tier club. Pellegrini would fall short of the first place in La Liga, which had been the expectation. However, he would achieve a club record points haul of 96 (later eclipsed by his successor). However, in spite of the record, he was dismissed, and Real Madrid would hire his successor in Jose Mourinho.

In November 2010, Pellegrini would be appointed to a position leading Málaga after Jesualdo Ferriera was sacked. Pelligrini assumed control with the club in twentieth place but was able to lead the team to eleventh place. Pellegrini would build on the prior team substantially where he would guide the 2011-2012 rendition of the club to a fourth-place finish and a place in the Champions League.  In the 2012-2013 which would prove to be Pellegrini’s final season with Málaga, he secured a sixth-place finish while reaching the quarterfinals of both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. In light of serious financial problems which would preclude the team from competing in the Champions League, Pellegrini would announce that he would leave the club.

Not long after Pellegrini left Málaga, he was approached to become the next manager of Manchester City. In his first season (2013-2014) he would lead City to a domestic double where they would win both the Premier League and the EFL League Cup. The next season would not be quite as good to Manchester City with them finishing second in the 2014-2015 Premier League and knocked out of both domestic cups at the fourth round. In what would become his final season with Manchester City, the team’s form dropped to fourth place in the 2015-2016, although the team would win the EFL League Cup for the second time in Pellegrini’s tenure as well as a semifinal appearance in the Champions League.

In February 2016, the club confirmed it would not be renewing Pellegrini’s contract and that Pep Guardiola would be his replacement. Pellegrini would move to China for the 2016-2018 seasons where he would manage the Hebei China Fortune side, which would attain a seventh and a fourth-place finish in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 respectively. After this time he would leave China to return to the Premier League where he would be announced as the manager for West Ham United in May 2018. Under Pellegrini, the team secured a tenth place finish in the 2018-2019 Premier League. The 65-year old manager was born in Santiago, Chile.

Manuel Pellegrini was fired from West Ham with the club in 17th place.