The Top 10 Worst Managers in Premier League History

For every Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, there are ten managers who fail to deliver results in England. Not every team can win the Premiership or qualify for Europe each season, and these managers have all failed miserably in the Premiership. It could be that they dragged their team towards relegation, signed the wrong players, or just couldn’t even win a game in the Premiership at all.

Obviously there are many more managers that could be on this list, but each manager is being judged by their performances at ONE club, not their entire career. Here, in no particular order, are the ten worst managers in the Premiership era:

Christian Gross

(Tottenham, December 1997-September 1998)

Lost 6-1 to Chelsea in his first home game in charge, and brought Spurs to the brink of relegation in his first season. Alan Sugar used his popular catchphrase “You’re Fired!” to Gross just 3 games into the 1998-99 season. Managed nine wins in 27 games at Tottenham.

Paul Hart

(Portsmouth, February-November 2009)

Tony Adams started the decline at Portsmouth, Hart just helped it along further. You can argue he had limited resources as basically the whole team was sold, but in his first few months in charge, Hart still had the likes of Crouch, Krancjar, Distin and Sol Campbell at the club. Led Pompey to the worst start in Premiership history by losing their first seven games this season, before being sacked in November. Has since gone on to spend just a month in charge of QPR and is now at Crystal Palace.

Tony Adams

(Portsmouth, October 2008-February 2009)

It was all going so well. Pompey had just won the FA Cup five months earlier, and when Harry Redknapp left for Spurs, Adams just had to carry on what he and Redknapp started. Four months, 10 points and 16 games later, Adams was out of a job.

Alain Perrin

(Portsmouth, April-November 2005)

After managing in France with Marseille, Perrin was expected to succeed in England. It didn’t happen: 4 wins in 20 league games and with Portsmouth 17th in the Premiership, Perrin was sacked and Harry Redknapp resumed the reigns at Fratton Park.

Egil Olsen

(Wimbledon, June 1999-May 2000)

After achieving great success with the Norwegian national team, Olsen went to manage the Crazy Gang. His long-ball tactics were despised by fans, and under his guidance, Wimbledon were relegated from the Premiership for the first time in 15 years. Vinnie Jones (who never played under Olsen) said his biggest regret about the Norwegian’s departure was, “I never got a chance to chin him.”

Sammy Lee

(Bolton, April-October 2007)

After a highly successful partnership with “Big Sam” Allardyce at Bolton, “Little Sam” took over when his mate took charge at Newcastle. But Lee couldn’t cut it in management: winning one out of 11 games and leaving Bolton in 19th place in the league. Now back as a number 2, serving under Rafa Benitez at Liverpool.

Paul Jewell

(Derby, November 2007-December 2008)

After doing well at Wigan, Jewell was appointed as boss of Derby after the departure of Billy Davies. Yes, Derby were hopeless that season, but if your team finishes with 11 points (a new Premiership record) and doesn’t even win a game in the Premiership when you are in charge (Derby’s only win that year was under Davies), then that says something about your management skills.

Graeme Souness

(Newcastle, 2004-February 2006)

Excellent at Blackburn, atrocious at Newcastle. In Souness’ reign as Newcastle boss, the club finished 14th in the Premiership in his first season in charge, and were 15th in the table when Souness was sacked in 2006. Souness had a number of falling outs with players, including Craig Bellamy, Jermaine Jenas and Laurent Robert, as well as spending big money on flops like Albert Luque, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Michael Owen. Injuries to key players affected his success at Newcastle, but Souness’ unpopularity with the fans cost him in the end.

Paul Ince

(Blackburn, June-December 2008)

Became the first black British manager in the history of the Premiership, when Blackburn employed him after a successful stint with MK Dons. Ince was tipped for big things with Blackburn, but never really got the chance to make things work. After 177 days and 3 wins in 17 games, Ince was given the boot by Blackburn.

Howard Wilkinson

(Sunderland, October 2002-March 2003)

Wilkinson was supposed to be an experienced manager who would help Sunderland achieve safety in the Premiership. What happened was 13 defeats in 20 games for Wilko, who was sacked in March 2003, and let Mick McCarthy come in and finish the job. That season, Sunderland finished with the worst points total in Premiership history with 19, which stood until Derby were kind enough to take that record off them.

The Next 5: Iain Dowie (Charlton, May-November 2006) Brian Kidd (Blackburn, December 1998-November 1999), Peter Reid (Leeds, March-November 2003), Steve Wigley (Southampton, August-December 2004), Les Reed (Charlton, November-December 2006)

Are there any other managers that deserve a place on this list?

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