10 managers we want to see return during the 2022/23 season
As has been custom over the years when looking ahead to a new season, here at The Sack Race we’ve once again pieced together 10 managers that we want to see back in the dugout next term (2022/23).
This isn’t simply a list of the 10 best available-for-hire managers right now, but instead encompasses a mixture of high-profile bosses, EFL faces, and those who have recently operated in Europe.
Here we go, in no particular order...
1. Marcelo Bielsa
Adored throughout the footballing landscape, Marcelo Bielsa’s managerial stamp on the game will long be evident even after he puts away the tactics board. For a couple of weeks in June it looked like the ex-Leeds boss was on the cusp of a sensational return to Athletic Bilbao. It was not to be, as the club instead appointed another former boss in Ernesto Valverde.
Given his eagerness to return to Bilbao we’re guessing retirement isn’t on Bielsa’s mind yet though. The 66-year-old - who has undergone a slight transformation - has ventured from Argentina to Mexico, Chile, Spain, France, Italy, and England, so his next move is anyone’s guess…Germany perhaps?
2. Mauricio Pochettino
Arguably the most high-profile coach located in the Job Centre this summer, Mauricio Pochettino’s signature is up for grabs after leaving PSG. A return to the Premier League is surely top of his wishlist but he may have to wait a while until a tempting position crops up. Possibly Chelsea if things turn sour for Thomas Tuchel? Or maybe even an ambitious and mega-rich Newcastle if Eddie Howe has a wobble?
It’s also worth keeping an eye on the situation at Real Madrid, who Poch has long been linked with. Everything is sunshine and rainbows there at the moment after Carlo Ancelotti’s stunning double success, however history tells us the narrative can change quickly at the Bernabeu.
3. Sean Dyche
That smile, that laugh, that sense of humour. Oh Sean Dyche we miss you big time.
If anyone deserved a break it’s you following that memorable eight-year tenure at Burnley, yet we bet he'll soon be itching to get back to business in the dugout.
Dyche will - and has already - been linked with a number of Championship posts and will continue to be as-and-when vacancies pop up next season. However, the 51-year-old will likely have his sights set on a top-flight return, so keep your eye on the next Premier League manager to leave market.
4. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
It’s all gone a little bit quiet in regards to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he left Old Trafford back in November. The Norwegian was the recipient of much criticism during his three-year spell in charge of Man Utd, however despite his shortcomings in various sectors there were many positives. He promoted youth, changed the culture, conjured-up that record-breaking away run, and was a model professional.
It was recently reported that Solskjaer previously rejected approaches from several clubs, but is now ready for his next challenge. So watch this space.
5. Carlos Corberan
Shellshocked Huddersfield fans will still be trying to digest Carlos Corberan’s abrupt decision to leave the club just three weeks before the new season.
It’s transpired that he didn’t leave for another job - as was initially assumed - however, it surely won’t be long until the talented Spaniard is snapped up. The job he did with the Terriers last season was superb. He elevated a team that had only just avoided the drop in his first term right up to 3rd in 2021/22, where they heartbreakingly got pipped to promotion in the play-off final.
Huddersfield's loss will be another club's gain in the near future.
6. Marco Rose
Unfortunately for Marco Rose, Borussia Dortmund decided to cut short his tenure in May after just one season following his switch from Borussia Mönchengladbach last summer. The German finished runners-up to Julian Nagelsmann's Bayern Munich - respectable given Bayern’s Bundesliga dominance - but appeared to pay the price for disappointing cup results, both domestic and in Europe.
The decision appeared a tad harsh from some quarters but it can’t be denied that Dortmund frustrated and underwhelmed at various points throughout the season. It shouldn’t hinder Rose’s reputation much though, he can still look back on impressive spells at Gladbach and Red Bull Salzburg, and we’re sure it won’t be long until he makes his comeback.
7. Xabi Alonso
Strictly speaking, Xabi Alonso has never held a senior position in management. He did, however, spend three invaluable years in charge of Real Sociedad’s reserve team during which he won a league title, but suffered relegation last season; it can be a double edged sword in charge of a B team as part of his role in developing players is they then move up to the first team.
The Spaniard, who was briefly linked with a move to Gladbach last year, will have learnt a lot from the experience and will now be eyeing up a first-team post. We’ll be watching his next move with interest.
Marcelino achieved a fair bit during 18 months at Athletic Bilbao. He won the Basque club the Spanish Super Cup after one month in charge, made the final again last season, and twice finished runner-up in the Copa del Rey, a competition he previously won with Valencia. Bilbao finished 10th and then 8th in his full season.
Since venturing into management back in 1997 he’s solely coached in Spain with the likes of Valencia, Racing Santander, Sevilla, and Villarreal; leading the latter to three top-6 La Liga finishes and the Europa League semi-finals. In the past he has reportedly caught the attention of Spurs, Arsenal and Everton, now given his availability he will surely be snapped up soon, albeit most likely by a club in his homeland.
9. David Artell
Over the course of his lengthy 5+ year tenure at Crewe, David Artell became one of the longest-serving managers in the EFL, led the club into League One, and produced and developed a host of talented young players who were sold on. It must be said that Artell’s final campaign (21/22) was a pretty miserable one, which ended in relegation and a mutual parting of ways, however he will always be fondly remembered at Gresty Road.
Linked with AFC Wimbledon at the start of the summer, Artell’s work with young players, coaching credentials, and ability to squeeze the maximum out of resources makes him an attractive option for any lower-level EFL club next season. To discover more about his management style, check out our video above.
10. Jorge Sampaoli
Jorge Sampaoli is surprisingly jobless right now after he parted ways with Marseille at the start of July, reportedly due to frustrations with the club’s transfer policy. It was a big blow for fans who saw Sampaoli propel Marseille to 2nd and direct qualification into the Champions League.
Sampaoli is known for his passion, attack-minded philosophy, and adaptability who has been managing since the early 1990s. His most high-profile jobs have been at the helm of Argentina and Chile - winning the Copa America with the latter - while at club level he’s managed the likes of Sevilla, Brazilian side Santos FC, and Universidad de Chile.
Bonus: Neil Warnock
Come back for one more time Neil, go on, please.