Football management is becoming an increasingly fickle business, with little to no guarantee of work security for those in the industry. Long gone are the days when the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and David Moyes had all kept their jobs in the Premier League for more than a decade simultaneously.
Because of this revolving-door nature of the work nowadays, you will almost always find a number of top managers who are out of work at any particular time. We take a look at four successful and experienced managers who are currently unemployed, and where their next prospects likely lie.
Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane might not have worked as a manager for a very long time, but his trophy-per-season ratio definitely makes him one of the most successful in history. In two and a half years at the helm of the world’s biggest football club, he won three successive Champions League trophies, one La Liga title, one King’s Cup, one Spanish Super Cup, two FIFA World Club Cups and two UEFA Super Cup trophies.
Zidane has in recent months been linked with the manager’s job at Manchester United, as José Mourinho continues to struggle with player unrest and poor on-the-pitch performances. The 46-year old Frenchman has also been rumoured to be a target for Juventus, one of the clubs he also represented as a player.
Antonio Conte’s record of success in his jobs at various teams makes him a very attractive proposition for any top club (or country) looking to hire a world-class coach. His last job at Chelsea ended in strife, but he still managed to win an FA Cup despite enduring a rather difficult season. He will, however, be remembered for his first season at Stamford Bridge, when he led the Blues to the Premier League title and yet another FA Cup final.
All this added to his success at Juventus and Italy, his two previous high profile jobs. Conte is currently being linked with a move to Real, where he would replace the struggling Julen Lopetegui, were the Spaniard to be sacked.
Arsène Wenger’s final years as Arsenal manager were marred by discontent among the fans and perceived mediocrity in the playing squad and style. Nonetheless, his name will always appear whenever the history books are consulted for the best managers of all time.
Wenger arrived in England in 1996 as a relative unknown, having managed at Monaco and in the Japanese League. It did not take too long, though, until the world was aware of the Frenchman and his then-revolutionary ideas and tactics. He introduced a sleek and attractive style of football to the Premier League and won numerous honours while at it.
At 68-years of age now, it is still unclear whether Wenger would want to resume life in the dugout. He is however said to have numerous work offers from around the world. Paris St. Germain have reportedly offered him a directorial role, while Bayern Munich are said to be considering the possibility of hiring him as a replacement for beleaguered manager Niko Kovač.
Leonardo Jardim was fired at Monaco last week, following a disastrous start to the season for the club. With only one win in 11 games in all competitions, the axe fell on the otherwise successful coach and he has since been replaced by managerial novice Thierry Henry. Like others on this list, Jardim’s list of achievements at his club will not entirely be forgotten simply as a consequence of his disastrous finish.
Under his watch, Monaco wrestled the Ligue 1 crown from PSG in 2017. This was no mean feat, considering the gap in wealth between the Parisians and other clubs in the division. He also reached the Champions League semi-final in the same year.
Jardim’s greatest legacy will perhaps be his ability to nurture and develop young players such as Benjamin Mendy, Fabinho, Bernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappé. The fact that these were all sold by the club to a great extent also absolves him of some of the responsibility for the team’s downfall. It surely will not be long until the 44-year old finds another job.