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Zola, Sherwood, Pulis and other former Premier League managers rotting away on the shelf

Getting to the Premier League for a manager is hard. Staying there is even harder, and you're reputation can go even quicker than you came - as these lot have proven.

It's a job most fans seem to want, but nobody said that being a football manager woud be easy. 

Sure, it's all milk and honey when things go well, and initial success can seem to come quite easily to many. However, sustaining it is another matter.

Fail to perform for long enough, and you might just get left rotting on the shelf - just like this collection of former Premier League bosses.

Tony Pulis - Out of management since December 28, 2020

I think it would be fair to say that Tony Pulis is not for everyone. Indeed, one former owner of a Premier League club alleged that Pulis used to get one of his coaches to shave his back, and that alone was reason never to hire him.
Whether that is true or not, it is more his style of football that many struggle to accept. His Stoke team had such a reputation for being so horrible that many still wonder if Lionel Messi could have done the business against it - specifically on any rainy Wednesday night of your choosing.
Since his lengthy - and very successful - spell at Stoke, Pulis has been at Crystal Palace, West Brom, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday.
At 64, you'd like to think he has one challenge left in him, although there appear to be very few willing to take him at the moment.

Mark Hughes - Out of management since December 3, 2018

Once upon a time, Mark Hughes was forging a very impressive career for himself in management. He did very well with Wales and then stepped up to Premier League level impressively with Blackburn.

That got him the Manchester City job when he was the first manager appointed following their trajectory-altering takeover.

He failed to meet their expectations though, and a disastrous spell at QPR followed before he succeeded Pulis at Stoke. Southampton gave him another chance, and he blew that as well.
It is now more than three years since Hughes was last in the dugout, and he seems to have fallen off the managerial landscape completely.

Nigel Worthington - Out of management since October 13, 2014

Like Mark Hughes, Nigel Worthington has managed in the Premier League and internationally, yet no one has wanted to take a chance on him for years.
It wasn't always this way. In fact, back at the turn of the millennium Worthington was one of the hottest young managerial properties around.
After being appointed Norwich manager in 2000, he saved them from relegation, got them to the play-off final and then, in his third season, to the Premier League after setting a club record points tally to win the Championship.
That's when it started going wrong, though. Norwich were immediately relegated and Worthington couldn't get them out of the Championship mid-table mire the following year.
Worthington has since managed Northern Ireland and York City, the latter of which really highlights how dramatically his stock fell.

Roberto Di Matteo - Out of management since October 3, 2016

Managing in the Premier League and internationally is all well and good, but Roberto Di Matteo can boast an actual Champions League win on his CV.
After cutting his managerial teeth with MK Dons in League One, Di Matteo moved onto West Brom. He got them promoted to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He then moved on to former club Chelsea, initially as assistant manager to Andre Villas-Boas, but finished his first season at Stamford Bridge in caretaker charge. Somehow, and it is still not known entirely how it happened, he guided a very average Chelsea team to Champions League glory.

That got him the job on a permanent basis in the summer, but he didn't even make it to Christmas.
Very unremarkable spells at Schalke and Aston Villa followed, the latter of which only lasting 12 matches, and he has spent the five years since waiting for another chance that may well never come.

Ian Holloway - Out of management since December 23, 2020

Ah Ian Holloway. Everyone likes good old Ian Holloway, right? Well, not chairmen of football clubs, it seems.
Holloway managed in the Premier League after getting Blackpool promoted in 2010. His gung-ho carefree attacking football won Holloway the plaudits from neutrals, but not many points. They were relegated after one season.
He did repeat the promotion trick again with Crystal Palace in his next job, earning himself another shot at the Premier League, but the Eagles decided they would probably prefer points over plaudits and they sacked him early in the season.
Since 2014 he has managed Millwall, QPR (for a second spell) and Grimsby, but for now at least it appears he is running short on opportunities.

Garry Monk - Out of management since November 9, 2020

Garry Monk was once a Premier League interim player-manager. That's a real thing. I mean, the list of them is pretty much Monk and Attilio Lombardo, but it does happen occasionally.
He did okay too, saving Swansea from relegation and then being given the full-time job, all before his 36th birthday.
His relative success continued and he guided the Swans to eighth place in the Premier League in 2014/15 before being sacked the following year.
It was no surprise that he was a man in demand, and he did well, initially at least, at Leeds before quitting over a contractual wrangle.
Monk has since managed Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday as his once bright star continues to fade.
He has been out of work for more than a year now and the offers appear to have dried up.

Brian McDermott - Out of management since March 27, 2016

McDermott's story is actually quite inspirational in a way. He originally joined Reading as a scout as part of Alan Pardew's backroom staff and his only managerial experience at that point was at non-league Slough Town and Woking.
In 2012, though, he led Reading to the Premier League after working his way up through various roles at the club.
Things were rarely dull with McDermott in charge. Indeed, in one memorable League Cup match against Arsenal, Reading were 4-0 up after 35 minutes but ended up losing 7-5 after extra time.

He was sacked in March, but his work had been good enough to get him the job at Leeds just a month later. He failed to recreate the Reading magic though, and subsequently returned to his old employers, lasting barely six months second time around.

He has since returned to scouting while awaiting another chance in management.

Gianfranco Zola - Out of management since April 17, 2017

Zola is a name that has always, and will always, have gravitas in English football. He was one of the earliest - and best - foreign exports when the Premier League started taking off in the mid-1990s.
It was therefore no surprise to see him given a chance to manage in the Premier League, although given his Chelsea links it was perhaps a surprise that it was at West Ham.

It didn't go all that well, though, perhaps due to him not even having the required level of coaching licence. West Ham played some nice flair football, but only just survived.

After the Irons decided to go in another direction,Championship side Watford offered Zola an opportunity in 2012. He led them to a play-off final but couldn't get them promoted. The following season, with the Hornets stuck in mid-table, decided to sack him.

Spells at Calgiari and Al-Arabi followed with little success before Birmingham gave him another chance in English football. That was a disaster, with him failing to win any of his first ten matches.

Tim Sherwood - Out of management since October 25, 2015

Tim Sherwood was fun, and I won't hear anything else. He was probably less fun if he was managing your club, but he was the closest thing football had to David Brent.

Sherwood took over at Tottenham after Andre Villas-Boas departed in 2013 and was later confirmed their permanent head coach on an 18-month deal.

He got them to sixth, but his touchline antics were more enjoyable than anything. He saluted his players, literally, and Jorge Jesus danced in Sherwood's face during a clash with Benfica.
The former Blackburn captain won half of his 28 games in charge, though, which is very respectable.
Aston Villa saw something they liked and they gave him another chance in the Premier League. Again, Sherwood was okay for Villa, even guiding them to the FA Cup final for the first time in 15 years. They lost 4-0.
A nine-game winless run saw him sacked the following season and, aside from a spell as director of football at Swindon in 2017, he has patiently been waiting for another chance ever since.

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