5 best unemployed managers and the right clubs for them
- A look at 5 managers who are currently out of work, and the 5 clubs that would suit their style.
- Even the best managers in the world are not safe from the sack, but new opportunities are not hard to come by.
Being a manager is one of the most complex jobs in football. Handling the different personalities of players while trying to get the best out of them isn't always easy. Add to this the pressure from the higher-ups within the club's hierarchy, as well as dealing with the unforgiving media, and you have a tough job.
A manager needs to give a club identity. When we think of Pep Guardiola, we think of that fluid tiki-taka style of football. Jurgen Kloop is synonymous with high pressing exciting football, and Sir Alex Ferguson instantly reminds us of fast-paced counter-attacking football.
Back in the day, a manager had to do it all, from scouting players to handling transfer and sponsorship. Essentially, a club was run by a manager. Nowadays, a manager is more like a head coach, responsible only for what happens on the pitch. As the role of managers has evolved over the years, their average tenure has seemed to get a lot shorter.
With owners of clubs becoming increasingly trigger-happy, it is not uncommon for even the best managers to get the sack. However, opportunities to manage other clubs are not hard to come by.
Here are the 5 best managers who are currently out of work, and the best club for them.
#5 Laurent Blanc
It's been some time since Laurent Blanc has been the manager of a club. Blanc was last seen as PSG's manager, whom he led to three consecutive league titles. He is a legend of French football, both as a player and as manager.
While many associate him with his time at PSG, it was his previous spell with Bourdeaux that brought him into the limelight. He led his side to a domestic treble in 2008, which landed him the France job. While at PSG, he oversaw his side play some of its best football as they won an unprecedented triple treble of domestic titles.
His final season was not up to scratch according to the club president, as they failed to go past the quarter-finals of the Champions League. To be fair to him, no manager since has managed to lead PSG past that stage in the competition.
He is the kind of manager who can come into a side that is almost ready to compete at the highest level, but is not quite there yet.
Ideal Club: Olympique Lyon
While Lyon boast of stars like Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembele and Houssem Aouar, they still finished 7th, and will be looking around to see if someone can take them back to the Champions League. Blanc, with his knowledge and understanding of the French league, would be a good fit.
Marcelinho is one of the few managers in world football at the moment who has managed to use a 4-4-2 formation and be successful with it. He shot to prominence during his spell at Villareal as he took them from the second division to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
A tactically astute manager, he knows how to get the best out of players. Last season with Valencia, he managed to win the Copa del Rey, beating Barcelona in the final. Surprisingly, he got sacked just three matches into the current campaign.
His profile and ability to work on a small budget would make him perfect for any mid-table club from the top 5 leagues.
Ideal Club: West Ham
West Ham have a really good squad on paper. Haller, Anderson, Diop and Fornals- all the ingredients are there for them to at least be pushing for a Europa League spot. With all due respect to David Moyes, he is just not the man to do it. Marcelinho would an inspired signing who can help the club reach where they aspire to be.
#3 Unai Emery
Before becoming something of a laughing stock at Arsenal, Unai Emery had quite a CV for a manager. 3 consecutive Europa League titles with Sevilla and 7 more trophies with PSG were enough to convince the Gunners that he was the right man to lead them.
While he may not be the best at handling huge egos, he can certainly fine-tune a team to make them exceed expectations. He is very meticulous in his training methods, and when the club as a whole buys into his philosophy, good things happen.
High-pressure attacking football is what Emery made a name for himself for. Even at Arsenal, there were signs of this, but the leaky defence ruined all the hard work the attack did. A club that is ready to fully accept and believe in his brand of football would be the right fit for him.
Ideal Club: Napoli
Napoli have had a very turbulent season, with the club president Aurelio de Laurentiis having a very public falling out with the players. Many key players like Koulibaly and Allan are expected to be sold in the summer. As good as Gattuso is, a club like Napoli needs a higher quality manager to be in contention for the Serie A once again.
Emery would be a great fit for the club. If they make the right signings to replace the outgoing players, Napoli could give the likes of Juventus, Inter and Lazio a real run for their money.
#2 Massimiliano Allegri
For everything Max Allegri has achieved, he doesn't get the respect he deserves. With 6 Serie A titles, 4 Cups and 3 Italian Supercups, as well as two Champions League finals, it is safe to say that he is a very successful manager.
While it has been close to 18 months since he has had a job, he will be ready to take a top job sooner rather than later. Allegri's sides are built on an airtight defence. During his spell as Juventus manager, the side on average conceded only 25 league goals per season.
His fine-tuning also managed to get the best out of ageing stars like Buffon, Barzagli, Evra, Pirlo, Tevez and Dani Alves. His sides may not always have been the best to watch, but they always got the job done.
Ideal Club: Atletico Madrid
This is surely a very controversial pick given everything Diego Simeone has achieved at Atletico Madrid, but perhaps he has taken the club as far as he can. It is time for him to hand over the reins to someone else.
The signs are not great. They are currently 6th in LaLiga, and while they managed to get past Liverpool in the Champions League, that could be labelled a one-off. Liverpool could have put five past them if they had been more clinical.
Rather than dragging his feet, Simeone should allow the club to grow further, and Allegri could be the man to do it. He knows how to operate with a defensive team, and could get the best out of them. Atletico and Allegri are a match made in heaven.
#1 Mauricio Pochettino
The meteoric rise of Mauricio Pochettino in the world of management is nothing short of a fairy tale. The rise of Tottenham Hotspur to one of Premier League's elite can be attributed to this man. What Pochettino achieved with the club considering the lack of resources he had is nothing short of remarkable.
Although he never won a trophy with the side, he took the club from being a mid-table side to the Champions League final. It has been close to six months now since he was sacked, and has been linked with every job in the world. Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG and now Newcastle, he's been linked to them all.
Ever since the news of the Saudi take-over of Newcastle broke, he has been said to be at the top of their list. However, it is highly unlikely that he takes the job even if he is offered top dollar for it. It would be a step down for him, and he has already undertaken a rebuilding project. Doing it all over again doesn't seem exciting.
Ideal Club: Manchester United
While Pochettino himself is arguably among the top 3 managers in the world, most of the jobs at the very elite clubs are already taken. Although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed a new contract, United haven't produced enough results to keep the Norwegian's job safe.
Pochettino is the kind of personality United need to return to being a club looking to win every competition they compete in. They already have a pretty good squad, and a couple of signings is all they would need. Pochettino could finally be the man to step into Sir Alex Ferguson's shoes.