What managers have been sacked this season?

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • Updated: 13 May 2022 13:47 CEST
  • 12 min read
FT Desk Updated: 13 May 2022 13:47 CEST 12 min read
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Man Utd, 2020-21

European football is a high-pressure sporting arena and, as such, football managers are often sacked on a regular basis across the continent's top leagues as clubs try everything they can to achieve success.

Indeed, the next manager to be sacked is an integral part of football transfer news, with the impact of a coaching change often profound both on and off the field.

As the climax of the season approaches, desperate clubs may make desperate moves in a bid to secure survival - or in some rare cases, even success. The managerial merry-go-round is such that a manager can go at almost any time if the stakes are high enough.

Burnley became one of those desperate teams when they sacked long-standing manager Sean Dyche and his coaching team in mid-April as they battled against relegation from the Premier League.

Having been in charge at Turf Moor for a decade, the decision to fire Dyche, who had previously led the club into Europe, was a surprising one and represented one last throw of the dice to keep the club in the top flight.

Watford became the first Premier League team to sack two managers this season, with Claudio Ranieri dismissed after a miserable 3-0 defeat against Norwich in January. Roy Hodgson was brought out of retirement to be his replacement but failed to keep them in the Premier League.

They had previously made Xisco Munoz the first manager of the campaign to lose his job in England back in October, meaning Ranieri barely lasted three months.

Just eight days prior to the Italian's sacking, Everton had ditched Rafael Benitez as clubs around Europe became increasingly jumpy as the season reached a crucial juncture.

By the midway point of the campaign, numerous head coaches had already lost their positions.

Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is undoubtedly the most high profile to go, with the Norwegian having been replaced, in the interim by Ralf Rangnick. Erik ten Hag has since been announced as the permanent Man Utd boss.

Marcelo Bielsa lost his job at Leeds and was replaced by Jesse Marsch, who himself had already been sacked this season.

Germany recorded their highest-profile departure when RB Leipzig boss Marsch left the club officially by "mutual consent".

In Spain, meanwhile, Ronald Koeman was given the axe after a dreadful start to the season at Barcelona. Xavi has successfully steadied the ship at Camp Nou since, and although he looks to have guided them to Champions League football, his numbers aren't all that impressive.

Ligue 1's highest-profile casualty to date is Niko Kovac, who was fired by Monaco after a slow start to the season.

The most recent sacking was in Serie A. Venezia boss Paolo Zanetti lost his job with the team almost cut adrift at the bottom of the league.

Below, we run through all the managers in Europe’s top five leagues who have left their posts this campaign.

Sacked/departed Premier League managers in 2021-22

  • Xisco Munoz (Watford) – October 3, 2021
  • Steve Bruce (Newcastle) – October 20, 2021
  • Nuno Espirito Santo (Tottenham) – November 1, 2021
  • Daniel Farke (Norwich City) – November 6, 2021
  • Dean Smith (Aston Villa) – November 7, 2021
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United) - November 21, 2021
  • Rafa Benitez (Everton) - January 16, 2022
  • Claudio Ranieri (Watford) - January 24, 2022
  • Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds) - February 27, 2022
  • Sean Dyche (Burnley) - April 15, 2022
  • Watford boss Xisco Munoz, who led the club to promotion from the Championship in 2020/21, was the first Premier League manager of the season to be sacked.

    Claudio Ranieri replaced sacked Watford coach Xisco Munoz

    Claudio Ranieri replaced sacked Watford coach Xisco Munoz

    He was dismissed just seven games into the new campaign with the club sitting in 15th position. Xisco was replaced by veteran Italian coach Claudio Ranieri, who famously led Leicester to the Premier League title in 2015/16. The Italian, too, was quickly moved on after failing to bring about a quick turnaround in the club's fortunes.

    Roy Hodgson is now in charge but Watford's decision to chop and change appears to have backfired as they were relegated to the Championship. It is a drop that the former England boss is unlikely to survive given the club's record.

    The second manager to be sacked in the Premier League came as no surprise to anyone. Bruce was sacked by Newcastle following their Saudi-led takeover on October 20.

    WHAT IS THE PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE?

    Bruce spent two years as Newcastle boss but the new owners, the richest in world football, were naturally looking for a more high-profile manager.

    This decision has been rather more fruitful than Watford's calls. Eddie Howe has done a wonderful job with the Magpies, guiding them not just to safety - but comfortably so. Howe deserves recognition as one of the managers of the year.

    Nuno was the third Premier League boss to be fired, lasting just 10 games as Tottenham boss before being shown the door on November 1.

    The Portuguese had left Wolves at the end of last season before joining Spurs, but failed to impress at Spurs and was given his marching orders with the Lilywhites eighth in the league at the time. He was replaced by Conte.

    Shortly after Spurs made a managerial change, so too did Norwich when they sacked Daniel Farke on Saturday, November 6. Oddly enough, it came right after the club's first Premier League win of the season, when Farke's side beat Brentford 2-1.

    The following day, there was another Premier League managerial casualty as Aston Villa coach Dean Smith was sent packing after a poor start to the season.

    Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer departed immediately after the November transfer window closed following a stunning 4-1 loss against Watford. The Norwegian had spent much of his near three years in charge doing just enough to dodge the sack only for his luck to run out after a run of five Premier League defeats in seven games.

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

    The first manager of 2022 to be sacked in the Premier League was Rafa Benitez, who was shown the door at Everton on January 16 after going four months without a league win. He was eventually succeeded by Frank Lampard.

    Ranieri followed only eight days later, shortly after watching his Watford side hammered 3-0 by Norwich. He was replaced by Roy Hodgson.

    Leeds United were the next Premier League club to sack their manager on February 27, dismissing Marcelo Bielsa after nearly four years in charge following a poor run of games culminating in their 4-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.

    Injuries have hampered their season, but 20 goals conceded in his final five games in charge saw the Leeds board lose patience with Bielsa, sacking him with the side sitting 16th in the table and loitering dangerously close to the relegation zone. He was replaced by the America Jesse Marsch.

    In mid-April, Burnley sprang a major surprise when it was announced that Sean Dyche (below) had been sacked by the club along with his senior coaching staff.

    Sean Dyche, Burnley, 2021/22

    It would be a huge surprise if there were any more changes.

    Sacked/departed La Liga managers in 2021-22

  • Paco Lopez (Levante) – October 3, 2021
  • Michel (Getafe) – October 4, 2021
  • Ronald Koeman (Barcelona) – October 27, 2021
  • Fran Escriba (Elche) - November 21, 2021
  • Javier Pereira (Levante) - November 29, 2021
  • Javier Calleja (Alaves) - December 28, 2021
  • Alvaro Cervera (Cadiz) - January 11, 2022
  • Robert Moreno (Granada) - March 5, 2022
  • Luis Garcia (Mallorca) - March 22, 2022
  • Jose Luis Mendilibar (Alaves) - April 4 22, 2022
  • Vicente Moreno (Espanyol) - May 13, 2022
  • The first manager of the 2021-22 Spanish Primera Division season to be sacked was Levante coach Paco Lopez. Paco was axed after three-and-a-half years at the club with the club sitting in the relegation zone with no wins from their first eight matches of the season.

    A day later, Getafe coach Michel was also given his marching orders. The former legendary Real Madrid and Spain midfielder was in his second spell at the club as boss but lasted only eight matches with Getafe bottom of the league.

    Near the end of October, one of the biggest names in European football lost his job, when Ronald Koeman was sacked by Barcelona afer picking up just four wins from his first 10 league games of the season. He was replaced by club legend Xavi.

    Ronald Koeman was axed as Barcelona struggled to even make it into the top four

    Ronald Koeman was axed as Barcelona struggled to even make it into the top four

    Elche's Fran Escriba was sacked in November with his side 18th in the table, having been thumped 3-0 at home by Real Betis in a one-sided affair. He was then followed by Javier Pereira of Levante, who was sacked with the club sitting bottom of the table on zero wins.

    The Christmas period was not kind to Javier Calleja, who was sacked on December 28 by Deportivo Alaves, with the club struggling in the relegation places. They appointed Jose Luis Mendilibar in his place.

    Alvaro Cervera became the first La Liga coach of 2022 to be sacked as he paid the price for Cadiz being in 19th place. He was replaced by Sergio Gonzalez, the former Valladolid coach.

    At the start of March, Granada parted ways with Robert Moreno ahead of the relegation run-in, with the former Spain coach having failed to win any of his last nine matches. Ruben Torrecilla took temporary charge, but he's now been replaced by former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.

    Then, near the end of the month, Mallorca decided to part ways with their own manager, Luis Garcia. He was replaced by veteran Mexican manager Javier Aguirre.

    Jose Luis Mendilibar was sacked on 4 April with Alaves rock bottom of the table.

    Espanyol then took the decision to sack head coach Vicente Moreno with just two games left of the league season and the side sat in 13th place. Their Sporting Director will also leave in an overhaul of the club's management.

    Sacked/departed Serie A managers in 2021-22

  • Eusebio Di Francesco (Verona) – September 14, 2021
  • Leonardo Semplici (Cagliari) – September 14, 2021
  • Fabrizio Castori (Salernitana) – October 17, 2021
  • Davide Ballardini (Genoa) – November 6, 2021
  • Luca Gotti (Udinese) – December 7, 2021
  • Andriy Shevchenko (Genoa) – January 15, 2022
  • Roberto D'Aversa (Sampdoria) – January 17, 2022
  • Stefano Colantuono (Salernitana) – February 15, 2022
  • Paolo Zanetti (Venezia) - April 27, 2022
  • The first manager of the 2021-22 Serie A season to be sacked was Eusebio Di Francesco. The former Roma boss had only been appointed in the summer but was dismissed after losing his first three games of the season. Di Francesco was replaced by Igor Tudor.

    On the same day, Cagliari coach Leonardo Semplici was also sacked after taking just one point from his first three games. He lasted less than seven months in the job and was replaced by Walter Mazzarri.

    The third manager of the season to be sacked in Serie A was Fabrizio Castori, who was given his marching orders after matchday eight with Salernitana bottom of the table on four points. He was replaced by Stefano Colantuono, who himself lasted only four months in the job. Colantuono was sacked on February 15 with Salernitana still bottom of Serie A and replaced by relegation specialist Davide Nicola.

    The fourth Serie A manager to be given the chop was Genoa coach Davide Ballardini, who was sacked on November 6 and replaced by Ukraine legend Andriy Shevchenko. But Shevchenko lasted just over two months before he was sacked himself as he failed to lift Genoa up the standings. He was replaced by the German Alexander Blessin.

    Milan legend Shevchenko lasted only two months as Genoa coach

    Milan legend Shevchenko lasted only two months as Genoa coach

    In between, Luca Gotti was sacked by Udinese in December, while Roberto D'Aversa became another casualty on January 17 with his Sampdoria team struggling in 16th position. Marco Giampaolo returned to Samp in place of D'Aversa.

    Paolo Zanetti was sacked by Venezia after eight losses in a row put them within an inch of relegation. Andrea Soncin has taken temporary charge.

    Walter Mazzarri is expected to be the second Cagliari coach to be sacked this season, with the Sardinians three points above the relegation zone with three games left.

    Sacked/departed Bundesliga managers in 2021-22

  • Mark Van Bommel (Wolfsburg) – October 24, 2021
  • Pal Dardai (Hertha) – November 29, 2021
  • Jesse Marsch (RB Leipzig) - December 5, 2021
  • Tayfun Korkut (Hertha BSC) - March 13, 2021
  • Frank Kramer (Arminia Bielefeld) - April 20, 2022
  • Brought in as something of a risky move after his failed stint as manager of PSV, Mark Van Bommel got off to a good start with four wins from his first four Bundesliga games.

    However, the Wolves stumbled against mid-table oppositions, better teams in the Champions League and an eight-game spell without a win led to the Volkswagen drawing a line under this rookie head coach's time in charge of the club.

    On October 24, Van Bommel was dismissed just 13 games into his tenure at Wolfsburg. He was replaced by Florian Kohfeldt.

    Mark van Bommel was given the chop by Wolfsburg in October

    Mark van Bommel was given the chop by Wolfsburg in October

    The second manager to be sacked in the Bundesliga was Dardai, who oversaw a run of four Hertha matches without a win. He has been replaced by Tayfun Korkut.

    RB Leipzig's Jesse Marsch lost his position in early December, with his side 11th in the league and out of the Champions League.

    The Bundesliga, though, has generally been a stable home for coaches this season and there would be no further managerial changes until the middle of March, where Hertha dispensed with head coach Tayfun Korkut and brought in the experienced Felix Magath in his place.

    With the Berlin side in the relegation zone, the former Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Schalke coach will have his work cut out to save the club's season.

    The latest Bundesliga head coach to their job is Arminia Bielefeld's Frank Kramer.

    Sacked/departed Ligue 1 managers in 2021-22

  • Claude Puel (Saint-Etienne) – December 5, 2021
  • Laurent Batlles (Troyes) – December 30, 2021
  • Niko Kovac (Monaco) – January 1, 2022
  • Vladimir Petkovic (Bordeaux) – February 12, 2022
  • Remarkably, Ligue 1 had remained relatively calm compared to the rest of European football's biggest leagues, with just one manager losing his job up until around mid-December.

    However, that quickly changed when Laurent Batlles brought his two-year stint at Troyes to an end, when he resigned from his post at the club following a run of form that saw his side win just two games from 10.

    Similarly, Niko Kovac was forced to begin looking for a new job shortly after the bells, when Monaco confirmed that the former Bayern Munich head coach was no longer running the show, following a first half of the season which had seen Monaco finish the year in sixth place.

    Niko Kovac was sacked as Monaco struggled to challenge at the top of Ligue 1

    Niko Kovac was sacked as Monaco struggled to challenge at the top of Ligue 1

    Earlier in the month, Claude Puel was relinquished of his duties and put on gardening leave on December 6, after Saint-Etienne lost 5-0 to Rennes to stretch a win-less run to three games.

    Vladimir Petkovic of Bordeaux became number four when he was put on gardening leave by the club in early January, although he didn't officially leave until over a month later. He was replaced by David Guion.