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Where are they now? The fate of the last 20 managers to leave the Premier League

Sackrace

There have already been five managerial departures in the Premier League this season, all within the space of five chaotic weeks. That’s more than the entirety of the 2020/21 campaign (four).

Below we’ve taken a look at the fate of the last 20 permanent managers to leave their respective Premier League posts, starting with the most recent exit: Dean Smith.

We’ll look at why each boss left - via the sack, contract expiration, or other means - and what job (if applicable) they waltzed into next.

Note: Includes managers who left in the summer after being relegated from the Premier League - e.g. Scott Parker - and managers who have since returned to the Premier League.

Next Premier League Manager To Leave Odds

1. Dean Smith

Sacked by Aston Villa on 7th November 2021

Sacked by Aston Villa one week, appointed by Norwich the next. 

Most managers would understandably be keen for a little breather after losing their job, especially if it was at their boyhood club. Not Dean Smith. The Englishman has not only hurled himself straight back into the fire, he’s taken charge of a club - Norwich City - that are rock-bottom of the table with just one win to their name this season.

It means that since entering into the managerial arena with Walsall in 2011, Smith has only had one week where he’s not managed. Given his profile in the game, an appointment of Frank Lampard may well have generated more buzz at Carrow Road, but Smith definitely looks to be the correct appointment, given that he’s significantly improved every club he’s been at.

But, can he keep the Canaries up? It’s a huge task.

Norwich Relegation Odds: Can Dean Smith keep Norwich in the Premier League?

Dean Smith has been officially confirmed as the new manager of Norwich City, just eight days after being sacked by Aston Villa.  The 50-year-old, who has penned a two-and-a-half year deal with the Canaries, will take charge of…

2. Daniel Farke

Sacked by Norwich City on 6th November 2021

Not too many managers are sacked straight after a win, but that’s the cruel nature of football.

While the decision definitely seemed harsh on Daniel Farke considering that he’d just claimed those elusive three points, in the long-term it’s arguably the right call by Norwich, who won only six of their 49 Premier League matches under the German.

Farke’s Premier League struggles probably rules him out of a return to England’s top-flight, but his Championship record his absolutely superb: two titles in three seasons, complete with some sublime football. He’d be an excellent appointment for a second-tier club with promotion ambitions. Don’t rule out a return to Germany either for the ex-Dortmund coach.

Farke Out, Smith In
Farke Out, Smith In

3. Nuno Santo

Sacked by Tottenham on 1st November 2021

Flying high at the summit with three wins from three in August, Nuno Santo came crashing back down to earth two months later when he was handed his P45 by Daniel Levy after all of 10 Premier League matches (five wins, five defeats).

Nuno, who did an excellent job at Wolves, never seemed the right fit for Tottenham who swiftly appointed the manager they originally wanted in the summer: Antonio Conte.

Nuno was instantly linked with Newcastle, however the club opted for Eddie Howe, while subsequent openings at Aston Villa and Norwich have quickly been filled. A future Premier League return is likely, although the latest rumours suggest the Portuguese coach could switch to Ligue 1.

4. Steve Bruce

Sacked by Newcastle on 20th October 2021

Steve Bruce was under immense pressure from the day he took charge of his boyhood club. There were many supporters who simply never wanted him in the job, while he was always going to be fighting to escape the shadow of Rafa Benitez.

He lasted longer than anyone expected, registering respectable 13th and 12th place finishes with a pretty mediocre squad, before the new billionaire owners came in and orchestrated a change following a winless start to the current campaign. He at least got to oversee his 1000th match in management, and a reported £8m was reportedly dropped into his bank account.

The veteran boss boasts four Championship promotions on his CV, and after taking a deserved breather following a challenging few years, that’s the division where we expect to see Bruce return.

5. Xisco Munoz

Sacked by Watford on 3rd October 2021

Watford, shock, kick-started this season’s Sack Race at the start of October when they lost faith in young boss Xisco Munoz just seven games into the season. At the time the promotion-winning Spaniard had collected more points than the likes of Southampton, Leeds, and Crystal Palace with Watford in 14th, however the club stated: “The Board feels recent performances strongly indicate a negative trend at a time when team cohesion should be visibly improving.”

So out he went and in came a manager at the opposite end of his career: veteran Premier League title-winner Claudio Ranieri.

Munoz, a popular and likeable manager, refused to let the disappointment engulf him as he stormed back into management three weeks later with Spanish second-tier side Huesca.

Xisco Munoz was the first casualty of the 2021/22 Premier League season
Xisco Munoz was the first casualty of the 2021/22 Premier League season

6. Scott Parker

Left Fulham for Bournemouth on 28th June 2021

Scott Parker has already had quite the journey in management so far! Two relegations and a promotion are listed on his CV, and another promotion could follow come the end of the season.

After he failed to keep Fulham in the Premier League last term, Parker - who had been linked with Spurs - opted to join the club’s Championship promotion rivals Bournemouth and up until recently he was the only EFL manager yet to lose a game.

At the time of writing, the Cherries are flying high at the top of the division and look a decent bet to return to the top-flight.

7. Carlo Ancelotti

Left Everton for Real Madrid on 1st June 2021

Carlo Ancelotti arrived at Everton in late 2019 amid much fanfare. The Toffees had managed to attract a three-time Champions League-winning manager over to Goodison Park. The place was buzzing.

Everton finished the 2019/20 season in 12th, followed by 10th last term in his first - and now only -full season, but hopes were still high that given time Ancelotti could work his magic and get the club challenging for the European spots.

Then, BANG. In a flash, he had returned to Real Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti_300777

8. Sam Allardyce

Left West Brom due to relegation release clause on 23rd May

Given his ‘never been relegated’ status as a manager, Sam Allardyce’s appointment at West Brom was supposed to invigorate the club following a tough start. He took a while to get going and when he did, it was too late.

Despite the drop down to the Championship, West Brom were keen for Big Sam to stay, however he didn’t want to commit himself and left after the Premier League campaign ended.

No manager has overseen more Premier League clubs than Allardyce - a whopping eight - and while he’s now finally been relegated, you get the feeling this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the former England boss.

9. Nuno Santo

Left Wolves by mutual consent on 23rd May

Nuno left Wolves at the end of last season following four transformative years, during which he propelled the club back into the Premier League after winning the Championship title, then delivered back-to-back 7th place finishes and a Europa League quarter-final.

His final campaign didn’t quite go to plan, but it was still a surprise when the club revealed they had parted ways. He’s since had a brief return to the Premier League with Spurs (scroll up to No.3).

10. Roy Hodgson

Contract expired at Crystal Palace on 23rd May

Roy Hodgson picked boyhood club Crystal Palace up after the shambles of the 77-day spell of Frank de Boer, then proceeded to restore pride and took his side to mid-table finishes.

He may be 73 - the oldest Premier League manager ever - but Hodgson hinted that we may see him back in management: ​​"I really am stepping away from football for a while, but who knows what the future will be? It is a never-say-never moment.”

Roy Hodgson_114522

11. Jose Mourinho

Sacked by Tottenham on 19th April

Tensions had been simmering for a while but it was still a surprise to many when Daniel Levy sacked Jose Mourinho a week before the League Cup final. The box-office boss had been appointed to win trophies so the timing was a bit off on that one. 

However, results had been average, performances had dipped, and Spurs had developed a strange knack of throwing away points from winning positions - something Mou was unable to solve.

Spurs then infamously endured a lengthy and chaotic search for a new boss, Nuno Santo, who they then sacked after all of 10 league games.

Mourinho would return to Italy with Roma in the summer. He enjoyed a superb start, although he’s currently struggling for wins following a blip.

12. Chris Wilder

Left Sheffield United by mutual consent on 13th March

Chris Wilder did an extraordinary job at his beloved Sheffield United, whom he led from League One to 9th in the Premier League, where he confused a host of top managers with his innovative tactics.

His second Premier League season was pretty rotten. Club and boss eventually parted ways in March - Wilder has since said it was his decision to leave - and the Blades would go on to suffer relegation.

After some time out, Wilder - who had been linked with numerous jobs - returned to the dugout in November with Championship side Middlesbrough.

Chris Wilder: From Blade to Boro
Chris Wilder: From Blade to Boro

13. Frank Lampard

Sacked by Chelsea on 25th January

It’s already been 10 months since Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard

On one hand the decision seemed a little bit rash, but this is Chelsea and you can’t argue with the outcome given that Thomas Tuchel then took the club from 9th to 4th, an FA Cup final, and Champions League glory. The Blues are also now leading the 2021/22 title race.

Lampard has been linked with a plethora of posts; Newcastle, Norwich, and Rangers to mention just a few of late. It’s impossible to predict when and where he’ll return but the Premier League looks the best bet, failing that then an ambitious Championship side.

14. Slaven Bilic

Sacked by West Brom on 16th December 2020

We now turn back the managerial pages to 2020 when Slaven Bilic, rather harshly, became the first victim of the 2020/21 Premier League Sack Race.

New boys West Brom may have had a difficult start to the season but they’d just come away from Man City with a deserved 1-1 draw, only for Bilic to be given the boot on the bus home. Savage.

Within three weeks the Croatian had returned to management with Chinese side Beijing Guoan.

15. Eddie Howe

Left Bournemouth by mutual consent on 1st August 2020

Made the difficult decision to leave Bournemouth for a second time after their relegation down to the Championship.

Eddie Howe has spent the last 15 months being linked with the majority of Premier League and Championship jobs - plus Celtic and England U21s too - then finally made his eagerly anticipated return with Newcastle earlier this month (November).

It’s great to see him back in work, and it will be interesting to see what he can conjure up at a so-far lifeless Toon!

Eddie Howe is now back on the touchline with Newcastle
Eddie Howe is now back on the touchline with Newcastle

16. Nigel Pearson

Sacked by Watford on 19th July 2020

Nigel Pearson will undoubtedly still feel hard done by this one after he was sacked by Watford with just two games to go. The Hornets were three points above the relegation zone.

But, yeah, you probably know by now that after sacking Pearson they lost both their games and were relegated. Shocker.

Pearson returned to the touchline in February (2021) with Bristol City.

17. Manuel Pellegrini

Sacked by West Ham on 28th December 2019

The former Premier League title winner returned to these shores with West Ham in the summer of 2018 but lasted only 18 months in the dugout.

Manuel Pellegrini was then replaced by the manager that he replaced, David Moyes, who has gone on to have an absolute stunner.

Meanwhile, Pellegrini returned to Spain with Real Betis in July 2020.

18. Marco Silva

Sacked by Everton on 5th December 2019

A 5-2 demolition at the hands of Liverpool proved to be the final straw for the Everton hierarchy, who subsequently sacked Marco Silva with the club stuck in the relegation zone.

It seemingly took a while for the Portuguese coach to recover from his tenure but the smartly-dressed boss now seems to have got a sprinkling of his managerial mojo back following a decent start to life at Championship side Fulham.

Marco Silva is rediscovering his managerial mojo at Fulham
Marco Silva is rediscovering his managerial mojo at Fulham

19. Quique Sánchez Flores

Sacked by Watford on 1st December 2019

Watford, again!

Quique Sánchez Flores returned for a second spell in September 2019 following the early exit of Javi Gracia.

It didn’t last long with Watford sacking Quique after a return of two wins from 12 matches.

The dashing Spaniard recently took up his first job since leaving Vicarage Road, returning to another one of his former clubs in October 2021: Getafe.

20. Unai Emery

Sacked by Arsenal on 29th November 2019

Chosen as the successor to Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery was sacked after 18 months following a seven game winless run.

The Spaniard has bounced back in style with Villarreal, beating former club Arsenal then Man Utd en-route to winning the Europa League for the FOURTH time! 

Just recently he emerged as the red-hot favourite for the Newcastle job after he was identified as their No.1 pick, however he opted to stay loyal to The Yellow Submarine.

Unai Emery: How to bounce back in style
Unai Emery: How to bounce back in style
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