Being a football manager can be quite testing to say the least. It's not a kind atmosphere at all. With the level of scrutiny that goes into every single game these days, managers perhaps have it the toughest. After all, if things go south, it's the managers who lose their jobs first.
In this extremely competitive world that's obsessed with immediate results, even the most successful managers can find life to be too unpredictable. There is a feeling that a sacking is not too far away at any point in time. All it takes is a run of bad results and for public opinion to turn against them.
Some managers also go on long sabbaticals after earning a great deal of success or after a grueling stint.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five of the best managers without a job at the moment (January 2023).
#5 Joachim Low
Joachim Low led the German national team to World Cup glory in 2014. His all-dominating German side were virtually unstoppable during that time. Low was in charge of Die Mannschaft for 198 games over 15 years. It is the longest for an international coach in Europe.
However, Low's stint as the head coach of the European powerhouse ended with a Round of 16 loss to England at Euro 2020. Low has since stayed retired until now but he was linked with the Newcastle United and Stuttgart jobs.
#4 Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez has a pretty impressive resumé and is a manager that is not afraid to take on a challenge. He has managed European heavyweights like Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Everton.
Benitez has not garnered a lot of success of late. But his helping Newcastle United achieve promotion from the Championship to the Premier League and galvanizing a dispirited fanbase and restoring hope at Tyneside was a commendable accomplishment.
Benitez then crossed the Merseyside divide by taking up the Everton job in June 2021 much to the disdain of a large section of Evertonian supporters. After a bright start to proceedings, the Goodies' campaign derailed in December and Benitez was sacked on 16 January 2022 after a run of nine losses in 13 games.
As a manager, he has won one Champions League title, one Europa League title, two La Liga titles, one FA Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. However, the Spanish manager has now been out of work for over a year.
#3 Mauricio Pochettino
Being shown the exit door after winning the league title has to be extremely disheartening. After an inspirational stint at Tottenham Hotspur, Pochettino took a two-year break before returning to management with Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.
Despite winning the league title in the 2021-22 season, Pochettino was forced to part ways with PSG last summer. That was mainly due to the fact that he couldn't deliver in the Champions League, which led to him losing the support of the club's leadership.
Pochettino's coaching credentials are undeniable. In their final season at the old stadium at White Hart Lane (2016-17), Spurs went unbeaten at home. It was the first time they had done it in 52 years and Pochettino also led them to their first ever Champions League final in the 2018-19 season.
#2 Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel led Chelsea to Champions League glory just a few months after taking charge of the club in January 2021. A year and a half later, he was given the sack. Such is the nature of the job at Chelsea. They epitomize a trigger-hungry corporate world that treats anything less than immense success as failure.
A poor start to the 2022-23 season was all it took for Chelsea to fire Tuchel, who is easily one of the finest tacticians in the world. He has one UEFA Champions League title, two Ligue 1 titles, one DFB-Pokal, one Coupe de France, one UEFA Super Club and one FIFA Club World Cup in his trophy cabinet.
One thing is for certain and it is that Tuchel won't stay gone for too long and he is likely to return to coaching at a top club.
#1 Zinedine Zidane
Not only is Zinedine Zidane one of the greatest footballers of all but he is also one of the most successful managers in the world. He led Real Madrid to three successive Champions League titles in his first three seasons (2015-16 to 2017-18) as their manager.
He returned for a second stint in 2019 and added the La Liga title and the Supercopa de Espana title to his silverware collection. Zizou was also named the Best FIFA Men's Coach in 2017.
Every time a high-profile club's managerial position becomes vacant, Zidane is the first to be linked. He is unlikely to be without a job for much longer.