Blame it on the Boss: What Were The Worst Managerial Appointments of the Season?
May 25, 2016
There is a tendency in top flight football to blame the manager, while players escape even the worst performances without too much criticism.
While this may seem unfair, the are two crucial things to keep in mind. The first is that managers are paid to protect their players and shoulder the burden of pressure at all times. Secondly to this, we must remember that there are also instances where managers are so inept that they are worthy of the criticism that comes their way.
With this in mind, here are three of the worst and least successful managerial appointments from the 2015/16 season…
Steve McClaren (Newcastle United)
To say that Steve McClaren has experienced high and lows during his managerial career is an extreme understatement. From the highs of winning the Eredivisie with FC Twente and lifting the Carling Cup with Middlesbrough to failing to qualify for the European Championships in 2008, McClaren has become something of a figure of fun for those of a less charitable disposition.
With this in mind, McClaren’s pre-season appointment as the manager of Newcastle United offered him an opportunity to redeem his reputation. He fell some way short of this goal, however, failing to lead the Magpies out of the drop zone and seeming to lack the respect of his players. Sadly, Newcastle replaced McClaren too late to save their Premier League status, while one of England’s more affable coaches has lost another opportunity to fulfil his potential.
Remi Garde (Aston Villa)
There have been few Premier League campaigns more inept that this season’s effort by Aston Villa, as the club were relegated with one of the lowest points totals in history. Perhaps the most bewildering passage of the season came under the stewardship of Remi Garde, who replaced Tim Sherwood after a less than auspicious start to the season.
Despite minimal experience managing Lyon, the sole reason for Garde’s appointment seemed to be his knowledge of French players (as Villa had signed a large number of relatively unknown stars from Ligue 1 during the previous summer). This led to a short and disastrous reign, during which Garde cut an often disinterested figure and managed to win just two out of 20 games.
Guus Hiddink (Chelsea)
Despite all of his experience and quality, the appointment of Dutchman Guus Hiddink as a replacement for Jose Mourinho seemed extremely uninspired at best. While Hiddink was able to inspire Chelsea during his first period in charge, he struggled to lift the Blues out their malaise and could only lead them to a trophyless, 10th place finish that scarcely warranted a managerial change.
While the Blues obviously wanted to appoint Antonio Conte in time for next season, the failure to appoint an imaginative and hungry interim-manager cost them this time around.