Football: It’s A Cruel Game

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Tony Adams might not have been the best man for the Portsmouth job and probably did deserve to get the boot to be honest, but his dismissal did get me thinking. There have been quite a few managers axed over recent years that probably didn’t deserve it based so I’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of managers who have been, in my humble opinion anyway, unfairly dismissed by their employers.

Jose Mourinho – Chelsea, 2004-2007

This really was a shocker. He might have spent more money at his time in Chelsea than Paris Hilton on a shopping spree but Mourinho did not fail to deliver. In his three season’s at Stamford Bridge the self proclaimed ‘special one’ won five trophies, including all of the main three domestic competitions. Chelsea decided to sack him, probably due to a strained relationship with owner Roman Abramovic. His style of play might not have been the most attractive the Premier League has ever seen but there is no doubting the effectiveness of it. Mourinho is also one of the very few managers to have got the better of Manchester United more often than not, which is no mean feat. Mourinho now looks set to win his first Serie A with Inter Milan, without him Chelsea are fourth in the league and seem to have lost the title already.

Sam Allardyce – Newcastle United, 2007-2008

Big things were expected of Big Sam when he moved to Tyneside but alas it wasn’t to be. He achieved great things at Bolton, steering them not once but twice towards UEFA cup qualification. Some people thought he could create a similar kind of dynasty at Newcastle though but after Mike Ashley took over as owner his position became a bit wobbly to say the least. He was sacked in January of his first season in charge and replaced by Kevin Keegan, a move some cynics have suggested which was made to give Ashley instant popularity amongst the Toon faithful.

Chris Coleman – Fulham, 2003-2007

This really was a mental bit of business from Mr Al fayed. Since taking charge in 2003 Coleman repeatedly saw his best players sold and given very little money to replace them. Despite this he kept his Fulham side competing in the Premier League and they often finished well clear of danger. He was then replaced by Lawrie Sanchez who quickly started to buy a load of Northern Irish players and nearly got the cottagers relegated. Roy Hodgson is now in charge at Craven Cottage and he’s doing a decent job so it didn’t end to badly for Fulham in the end but it could have been a whole lot worse if they had dropped into the Championship.

Avram Grant – Chelsea, 2007-2008

Chelsea again? Yep, Mr Abramovic just loves to sack people and Grant makes the list. When he took over at Chelsea they were way off the pace in the Premier League yet he managed to guide them to second at the end of the season and they only lost out on the very last day after being held at home by Bolton while Manchester United beat Wigan to win by just two points. To top it all he took the club to their first ever Champions League final and was with in a whisker of getting his hands on the trophy only to see John Terry and Nicolas Anelka miss from the spot to hand Manchester United the title after winning on penalties. Grant was replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari – who has also been sacked by Abramovic now.

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