Aakash Rao
5 min readOct 29, 2021

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Worst Managerial appointments/spells of the decade: Sieving out the most incompetent managers of the past ten years – part 1

It is safe to say that managers have the worst job security out of all jobs, with many managers often messing up big time before being sacked. These managers often never recover after these horrendous spells, and even if they do, that spell will always be pointed out to discredit their prowess as a manager. So, let’s take a look at the worst, utterly disgusting managerial appointments/spells of the last ten years.

1) Quique Setien – FC Barcelona

To start off this list, let us take a look at an utter disaster of a spell. This spell was so bad, I don’t think any top club would dare to touch him with a ten-foot pole now. Setien is a decent manager, but at Barca he was just out of his depth. Sure, he had a 64% win rate, but all of those wins were scrappy wins mainly produced by Barca’s former talisman Leo Messi. The style of football was hardly up to Barca standards too, with his football reminding me of Alan Pardew rather than Pep Guardiola. And finally, the cherry on the top of the disaster cake that was Setien’s spell at Barca, the 8–2 loss against Bayern Munich. The funny thing is, Arturo Vidal suggested before the game that Bayern would struggle as Barca wasn’t just some Bundesliga side, and that Barcelona was the best side in the world. Well, both claims were slam dunked into the bin as Bayern utterly demolished and took apart Setien’s Barca’s side. Well, as expected, Setien took the fall and became a meme soon after. What a terrible spell.

2)Alan Pardew – West Bromwich Albion

This section will be a short one, just like Pardew’s spell at the Hawthorns. Four months was all it took for the West Brom owners to decide that maybe he wasn’t better than Tony Pulis. Believe me, he wasn’t. Going from Pulis to Pardew is like trading a wooden chair for a wooden chair with fancy edges. It’s the same thing. Well, Pardew’s spell at West Brom was as terrible as it gets, with his team having a 14.3% win rate. That’s right, it’s not a typo. 14.3%. His style of football was VERY inattractive, and there weren’t any results on the pitch either. He won ONE out of his last 11 matches in charge, which is pathetic for a team fighting relegation. The ship hadn’t sunk yet, but instead of trying to get it out of the storm, Pardew sunk it. To sum up, just an utterly dreadful spell.

3)David Moyes – Manchester United

This one is a bit personal, given that literally all Man United fans ( including me) are burning from the inside seeing David Moyes is succeeding at WEST HAM after his disastrous spell at Old Trafford. I’m happy for the man, but why couldn’t he have shown this tactical nous at Manchester United? I’ll tell you why. He was severely out of his depth and comfort zone. He had managed Everton for 11 years, and then was asked to replace arguably the best manager in history, and continue to win things despite our ageing squad. Having him oversee this rebuild while continuing to win things was expecting too much. He just didn’t know what to do. His spell at the club lasted just 10 months of his 6 year contract, and honestly he would have been grateful for the chance to escape Old Trafford with a large pay-off. That was how bad his time at Man United was. He played unattractive football, made Manchester United finish out of the top 4 after a VERY long time, and set the stage for one of the most rapid declines of a football club I’ve ever seen. Let’s just say it’s better to forget he was even here and move on.

4) Paul Jewell– Derby County

Paul Jewell is arguably one of the WORST managers in the HISTORY of football, if not THE worst manager in history. His Derby County side were as unprofessional and unorganised as a Sunday League team. A win rate of 20.7% isn’t the worst I’ve seen, but he’s still known as the manager in charge of the Derby team who set the lowest point record EVER in the PL. 12 points. That’s all. 12 points, out of a possible 114. I know it’s impossible to win all your games, but the least I’d expect of any team is 20. Well, Derby couldn’t even meet that, as they had a leaky defence and a blunt attack. The midfield wasn’t any better, and all that happened when Derby were on the pitch was chaos. All this reflects on Jewell’s ability to manager, which looked non-existent throughout that spell. He was rightfully sacked after relegation. Terrible team, and a terrible managerial spell for Jewell.

5) Gary Neville – Valencia

Gary Neville is a great pundit, I love his views on the sport he played for so long, but he’s clearly a walking mess waiting to happen in the dugout. I bet his former players still have nightmares from that spell. Bless him, he tried his best, but he clearly was clueless as a manager. They conceded 38 goals in 28 matches, hardly a defensive masterclass, and he had a win rate of 35%. Not bad, but still a bit of a letdown given he was managed by Sir Alex Ferguson. You would have thought he would have learned at least something from the man. He didn’t. And even if he did win ten matches, his team‘s style of football was quite painful to watch. It was literally all vibes, no tactics. Hardly what you’d expect from such a smart player and pundit.

6)David Moyes (again) – Sunderland

This spell was even more dreadful than the first one I mentioned, as Moyes got RELEGATED for the first time in his managerial career. He went from managing the best club in the world to getting relegated with Sunderland in the span of 3 years. How in the world he’s managed to turn his career around with West Ham after that will always remain a mystery for me. The Scotsman tried his best to keep the Black cats up, but his spell at the club was just a huge mess. Dreadful transfer business, old-fashioned,useless tactics, a lowly win rate of 18.3%, this spell had the lot. It was just a terrible appointment, and no matter what Moyes did, he was helpless in stopping their relegation. A truly horrible and disastrous spell for a manager to go through.

So, that’s all for the first segment of this article. I’ve gone through 6 utterly disappointing, totally pathetic managerial spells in the past decade. Stay tuned for the next part, as we will go through another list of truly terrible managerial spells. Till my next article, adios!

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Aakash Rao

An avid Manchester United fan and football/music blogger!