Managers left on the shelf: Frank Lampard, Thierry Henry, Sam Allardyce and more…

Just 11 Premier League fixtures have been played but 20% of clubs in the top flight have already wielded the axe. Good news for these managers who haven't been managing for a while.

One out-of-work manager who has been linked with countless jobs is former England midfielder Frank Lampard. Since being dismissed by Chelsea in January, Lampard has made no secret of his desire to return to soccer management.

He has been rumoured to be in the running for the Aston Villa, Newcastle and Norwich roles over the past few weeks but is still on the outside looking in.

He is not alone, however. Planet Sport looks at Lampard and five other former top-tier bosses who are hoping to end their time in the managerial wilderness very soon.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard in a suit Sep21

'Super' Frank Lampard took his first steps into the managing arena after ending his playing career with MLS team New York City FC in 2017. He took the reins at Championship side Derby County, leading the Midlands team to the play-offs where they eventually lost out to Aston Villa in the final.

Following the disappointment, Lampard was appointed manager of his former club, Chelsea. In his year-and-a-half spell at the club, the Blues legend guided the Stamford Bridge club to a fourth-place finish and an FA Cup final. However, his homecoming had a sour end, with Roman Abramovich sacking his former player in January.

Lampard has since taken a break from the game, with the occasional punditry role filling his time.

He was expected to take the reins at Norwich, who recently sacked Daniel Farke, but pulled out of talks just when everyone thought it was a done deal. A relegation battle and an imminent relegation to the Championship clearly something Lampard didn't want on his CV.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry on commentary Oct21

Belgium's assistant manager Thierry Henry has not had a managerial role since the start of the year.

Henry is undoubtedly one of the best players to ever grace the Premier League, but the Frenchman is yet to dip his toe into management in the country where he made his name.

Henry retired from playing in 2014 and then spent over three years working as a pundit for Sky Sports. The former France international decided to pursue his coaching ambitions afterwards and took his qualifications. His first stint as Belgium assistant coach overlapped with his time at Sky Sports, and he worked for the Red Devils between 2016 and 2018.

He then went on to manage the club where his career started, AS Monaco. His reception was mixed, with many saying that he lacked the right experience to take on such a job. The doubters were proved right and after only 20 matches in charge and with Monaco in relegation trouble, Henry was dismissed.

Later that year he took over at MLS club Montreal Impact on a two-year contract. He led the club to the play-offs for the first time in four seasons but his time in Canada was cut short after he opted to move back to Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May 2021, the former striker returned to become Belgium assistant manager for a second time ahead of the Euros. Henry is still at Belgium and it is unclear as to whether he is actively looking for a manager's role, although after proving he is capable at Montreal, bigger clubs could come sniffing for the Arsenal icon.

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce West Brom boss May21

Unlike Lampard and Henry, Big Sam is at the other end of his managerial career. However, he is not quite ready for his pipe and slippers just yet.

Having managed 12 clubs (and a memorable one-game spell in charge of England,) Sam is one of the most experienced managers about, with a reputation for saving teams from relegation.

Allardyce's main strengths are his organisation and man-management skills, and although not a particularly fashionable 21st century manager, he knows how to get the job done.

He has taken charge of over 1,000 matches, having been involved in management since 1992.

Most recently, Allardyce was in charge of West Bromwich Albion where he was unable to work his magic. The Baggies were 19th when he took over but despite succumbing to the drop, the club were keen for Allardyce to remain at the helm for 2021/22 season. However, Allardyce decided against it.

Don't rule out a return for Big Sam sometime soon, though.

Lucien Favre

Lucien Favre Borussia Dortmund Dec20

The Swiss-born manager is yet to work in England, but has been linked with numerous Premier League roles of late.

He managed in his homeland until 2007 when he then moved to Hertha Berlin on a three-year deal. He overachieved in his first season, guiding them to fourth but, as financial problems bit, he was sacked just two months into the following season.

In 2011, he was announced as the Borussia Monchengladbach manager, where he would stay for a successful four-and-a-half years. After losing the first five games of the 2015/16 season, Favre resigned. However, it didn't take the gloss off the fantastic job he did for the club, having also developed players including Marco Reus and Granit Xhaka.

His next role was in a new country, France, with Nice. He stayed there for two years and managed a third-place finish, guaranteeing Champions League soccer and one of their best-ever Ligue 1 finishes.

He then returned to Germany with Dortmund, leaving the club after two years with his best win percentage as a manager.

Having departed Dortmund in 2020, Favre has not yet taken up another managerial role but his style of play would be interesting to see in the Premier League.

Favre was closely linked with the Newcastle job when Steve Bruce was sacked, even being odds-on favourite at one point, but the move did not materialise. Will another top flight club swoop for his services?

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew managing in the Netherlands Feb20

Having managed five top-flight clubs, including Newcastle and Crystal Palace with varying degrees of success, Pardew will be keen for another shot at the Premier League.

He managed the Magpies and Eagles for a combined period of six years between 2010 and 2016 and in that time he was awarded an eight-year deal (that only ran out last year) and got to an FA Cup final.

His latest Premier League job is best forgotten - a four-month spell in charge of West Brom in which he won just three out of 21 games.

Since November 2020, the former Premier League Manager of the Season has been working as technical director at Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia.

His last managerial job was also abroad, with ADO Den Haag, where he only managed the Dutch team for eight matches. When the season was halted due to COVID-19 Den Haag were seven points from safety.

A sixth Premier League looks a long shot but stranger things have happened - like a soccer manager headbutting an opposition player for instance.

Ernesto Valverde

Erneston Valverde Barcelona Dec19

Spanish manager Ernesto Valverde has had more success than most. This being said he has not taken charge of a team since being relieved of his Barcelona duties back in January 2020.

As a manager, the 57-year-old has won a decent haul of trophies including the Greek Super League three times, the Supercopa de Espana twice and La Liga twice.

The one-time Spain international is probably best known at his time in the Basque Country with Athletic Bilbao, where he guided the team to success in the Supercopa de Espana in his second spell as manager. They defeated Barcelona 5-1 in the final in 2015 and he departed the club in 2017.

His next club was Barcelona, where he succeeded Luis Enrique. Valverde won the league twice and added another Supercopa to his collection. However, he was sacked in January 2020 following just one win in five matches and has remained out of management since.

Valverde is still held in high regard, however, and would prove an attractive proposition for a team battling it out at the top end of the Premier League.

And when asked whether the Premier League would be an attractive option for Valverde, he said: "I wouldn't mind trying it."

READ MORE: Five talking points from the Championship weekend; Warnock out, Wilder in at Middlesbrough

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