Cross-continental coaching casualties means managerial merry-go-round
Just pause for breath. Bank Holiday Monday saw Carlo Ancelotti, Steve McClaren and Nigel Clough all lose their jobs following respective fine margin failures.
Welcome to the modern world of football management. Those three men have more in common than just a P45 winging its way to them too.
Three-time Champions League winner Ancelotti once again found himself the victim of a ruthless chairman following a trophyless second season at one of Europe’s elite.
A sense of deja vu may have swept over the Italian coach some four years on from a rumoured summary Chelsea dismissal in the corridors of Goodison Park.
This time it was Real Madrid dispensing with Ancelotti’s services, though in all honesty he probably shouldn’t have seen this sacking as eyebrow-raising.
If ever there is compelling evidence that there’s no room for sentiment in football, then it’s from the Bernabeu hierarchy. Ancelotti steered Real to La Decima, that historic 10th European Cup crown just 12 months ago.
Like Los Blancos predecessors Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini, the former AC Milan and PSG boss recorded a win ratio in the Spanish capital in excess of 70 per cent. It is not stats, however, but trophies which interest Florentino Perez.
Real’s insatiably ambitious president is strongly rumoured to be going for another ex-Chelsea coach in outgoing Napoli manager Rafa Benitez to replace Ancelotti.
For what it’s worth, the Spaniard last coached in his native land over a decade ago, but did break the El Clasico duopoly on La Liga while in charge of Valencia. A return to Real for Benitez would see his managerial career come full-circle, having started out in charge of the Bernabeu youth and reserve teams.
Departing Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is planning a six-month sabbatical following the DFB Pokal final, but will be in-demand. Another Real alternative is Bernabeu icon Zinedine Zidane, who is currently doing Benitez’s old job with the youngsters.
Ancelotti’s assistant Paul Clement, meanwhile, is now at a career crossroads and strongly tipped to strike out on his own by taking the reins at Derby County.
Steve McClaren’s prospects looked bleak from the moment his holiday was cut short for crisis talks with Rams chief executive Sam Rush last week. Just a year ago, Derby were one game away from the Premier League, but lost in the 2014 Championship play-off final to QPR and then contrived to miss out on the top six this season altogether.
There may be a swift return to management for McClaren, however, as nearly-relegated club and top-flight final day survivors Newcastle United can now court him without the need to negotiate compensation with County.
Pride Park predecessor Clough was also axed from Sheffield United following his failure to get the big budget Blades up from League One. Ex-Brentford boss Mark Warburton, a similar play-off semi-final struggler from a division higher; Nigel Adkins, most recently at Reading, and Phil Parkinson, who has really made waves at Yorkshire rivals Bradford City, are all in the running to take over at Bramall Lane.
And finally, Roberto Di Matteo’s resignation from Bundesliga outfit Schalke has resulted in his odds of becoming Sam Allardyce’s successor at West Ham United tumble to 5/1 (from 8/1) joint second favourite, behind ex-Hammers player Slaven Bilic.