No Premier League managers have lost their jobs yet in the 2020-21 season, but given how impatient clubs tend to be these days it is probably a matter of time. It only takes a few bad results in a row for the speculation in the media to start up with clubs inevitably believing the grass will be greener on the other side with another boss in charge. Some coaches are simply not cut out for life in the Premier League and suffered through historically bad spells before being put out of their misery. Here are five of the very worst managers in the history of the Premier League.
Paul Jewell (Derby County)
We have to start with Paul Jewell, whose win ratio during a spell at Derby County stands at an unsurpassed zero per cent. Yes, he failed to win a game before he resigned from the Rams.
Jewell had earned the job after fine work with Wigan Athletic but he was unable to turn around Derby’s fortunes after the departure of Billy Davies – another candidate for this list.
Their relegation was confirmed before April had even begun as Derby finished the season with 11 points – no club has ever amassed fewer in a Premier League season – and though Jewell later led them to the League Cup semi-finals his reputation was shot.
Since leaving Derby in 2008, Jewell has only been employed once more as a manager and he failed to make a positive impact during a spell of almost two years with Ipswich Town.
Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace)
Like Jewell, Frank de Boer failed to win a Premier League game at Crystal Palace but he was only given four games to do so after the Eagles made an awful start to the 2017-18 season.
De Boer’s side did not score a league goal during his short reign and Jose Mourinho later slated De Boer as “the worst manager in the history of the Premier League”, so he has to make his list.
It was curious that De Boer failed so spectacularly at Selhurst Park, given that he had won four consecutive Eredivisie titles in charge of Ajax to add to the five he won as a player there. De Boer somewhat rebuilt his reputation with a switch to MLS, winning the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup with Atlanta United.
But eyebrows were raised around the football world when the Dutchman was recently appointed as the new coach of the Netherlands, replacing Ronald Koeman in the role.
Terry Connor (Wolves)
Promoting from within often looks a desperate move and Terry Connor’s appointment at Wolves towards the end of the 2012-13 season proved nothing short of a disaster.
Wolves were 18th when Connor took charge so they still had a chance of avoiding relegation to the Championship and a 2–2 draw at Newcastle United was a decent start for the new boss. His side then lost seven games in a row in the Premier League, with Connor appearing to be tactically clueless and completely out of his depth.
Wolves eventually finished bottom of the table with Connor having failed to taste victory, so it is not a surprise he has not been given another chance as a manager since being stood down.
Connor has since worked under Mick McCarthy with both Ipswich Town and Republic of Ireland.
Slavisa Jokanovic (Fulham)
It is fair to say Slavisa Jokanovic had unfinished business with the Premier League. The Serbian had previously led Watford to promotion from the Championship only to fail to agree terms with the club on a new contract and leaving his job before the season started.
Jokanovic got a second chance in the 2018-19 season after steering Fulham out of the second tier but his time in the big time did not last long. A run of seven games without a win saw the Cottagers rock bottom of the league and Jokanovic was promptly sacked with Claudio Ranieri appointed as his replacement.
Jokanovic is now in Qatar with Al-Gharafa – will he get a third go in the Premier League? Unlikely, as he is remembered as one of the worst Premier League managers in recent history.
Remi Garde (Aston Villa)
Rounding off our list of the worst managers in Premier League history is Remi Garde, who managed a win ratio of just 10 per cent during his spell at the club.
Garde came to Villa Park with a good reputation after winning the Coupe de France and Trophee des Champions in his first managerial role at Lyon, where he spent much of his playing career. But the Frenchman struggled to get to grips with the demands of the Premier League with only two wins collected – against Norwich City and Crystal Palace – before he was fired.
Villa were bottom of the league when Garde arrived and were still rock bottom when he left, so at least he can try to argue they did not get any worse when he was in the hot seat.
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