Football’s Managerial Merry-Go-Round

Football’s Managerial Merry-Go-Round

As the European football season draws to a close, which managers are leaving for greener pastures? Which coaches are staying put? And who’ll be brought back in from the cold?

Carlo Ancelotti

In the world of Real Madrid this season has been disastrous. They were knocked out of the Champions League semi-final and finished second in La Liga to their biggest rivals, for Los Blancos it doesn’t get more humiliating.

A few weeks ago everyone was fairly certain that the Italian coach with the fish hook eyebrow would be leaving. This morning the news was confirmed by the club’s president Florentino Pérez. Even winning a Champions League final in his first year wasn’t enough to save Ancelotti. So who’s in the running to replace him?

First name that pops to mind is Jurgen Klopp. He didn’t have the most successful first six months of the season, laying in the relegation zone for a substantial period, brought on mainly by long-term injuries to key players. However he’s proved he can motivate players, he’s tactically astute, and most importantly for Madrid, he’s demonstrated that he can win trophies against a giant rival.

The sometimes manic German does seem very different to the laid back Italian, but isn’t it always the case that clubs tend to replace managers that are the complete opposite ie. Ancelotti taking over from Jose Mourinho.

Rumours have also been flying around Rafa Benitez returning to Spain. This speculation has angered Real fans, leading to Madridistas to whine that “maybe we should have kept Carlo”.

Lastly, the dark horse in the running for the Madrid job is a little known coach from west London named Sam Allardici. He’s long expressed a desire to work at a ‘big club’, maybe this season if the hammers let him go, he’ll finally get his wish.

Jurgen Klopp

As Klopp’s days at Borussia Dortmund are over, football pundits and fans are fascinated to know where this neurotic yet controlled German coach will end up next season.

As discussed before Real Madrid are definitely sniffing around. Reports surfaced a few weeks ago that Klopp was in talks with Turkish club Fenerbache. Most commentators say that this move is unlikely to happen. Even the man himself said in a press conference: “Don’t believe every dumbass on Twitter!”

It’s been no secret that he’s expressed an interest to work in the premier league, who for though? Manchester City, Arsenal, or Liverpool. Arsenal seems very dubious, unless Arsene Wenger springs a Alex Ferguson type surprise retirement at this end of the season. It’s always been suggested that Klopp’s high-tempo pressing style could really suit Arsenal (excluding Ozil of course).

That leaves two clubs, Man City could have been a very possible destination a month or two ago, however rumours from Maine Road suggest that Manuel Pellegrini will be spared for one more year,  to enable City to finally try and snap up Pep Guardiola from Bayern Munich, after his contract runs out with the German giants.

Does John Henry have the balls to sack Brendan ‘Mr Incrdible’ Rodgers? After 3 years at Anfield, having spent £216 million on players and winning absolutely nothing, is his time up? He’s essentially in the same position he was when he took over. His best season happened to coincide with having one of the most gifted footballers in the world in his team. Ever since Suarez’s £75 million move to Barcelona, things haven’t been rosy.

He’s made some good signings at Liverpool, Emre Can £10 million, Philippe Coutinho £8.5 million, and Daniel Sturridge (when he’s fit) for £12 million. However, this season was derailed by his appalling summer signings. Lazar Markovic £20 million, Adam Lallana £25 million, Dejan Lovern £20 million, and worst of all Mario Balotelli for £16 million. Granted Liverpool’s transfers are decided by a committee, but it seems unlikely that if Rodgers categorically didn’t want a player, that he would arrive.

If you spend over £200 million, show little or no progress, and win zero trophies, is it unreasonable to replace Rodgers with Klopp?

Bayern Munich

It looks like Pep Guardiola will remain for one more year at Bayern. What we all want to know is, will he finally arrive in England to face-off against his old nemesis Jose Mourinho in 12 months time?

Paris Saint-Germain

Things didn’t look good for Laurent Blanc this season, however he’s turned it around. He won Ligue 1 and got knocked out by an amazing Barca side in the Champions League, so it’s looking good for Blanc to remain at PSG.

Barcelona

Continuing with the theme of a rocky first six months, Luis Enrique eventually mended his relationship with Messi, finally stopped tinkering with his team, put Suarez up front, Naymar on the left and Messi on the right and lo and behold everything’s been blissful. Though it didn’t help Enrique’s status as boss when Suarez told the press that, the tactical position move of Suarez up front was Messi’s idea.

Manchester United

No matter how many drunken speeches Louis Van Gaal gives, he’s staying at Old Trafford next year. With a full season under his belt, he’s evaluated his squad and will need to strengthen for next season. There are a lot of names on the chopping block, Falcao, Van Persie, and Jones. Rumours are the Dutchman wants Bastian Schweinsteiger (who’s been a long-term target for Utd) from Bayern and crucially will Van Gaal be able to keep the white wolf from stealing his prized goalkeeper David De Gea?