Earliest manager departures into a Premier League season

The 2022/23 Premier League season has already claimed its first managerial victim – and it’s Scott Parker who has to trudge off before the end of August.

The former England midfielder was given the boot by the Cherries only three days after an embarrassing 9-0 defeat to Liverpool. The club insinuated a lack of respect from Parker in their statement, adding: “In order for us to keep progressing as a team and a club as a whole, it is unconditional that we are aligned in our strategy to run the club sustainably.”

Ouch. Scott’s got to walk away now, it’s over. Bournemouth haven’t been helped by a cruel start to the season, also losing to Manchester City and Arsenal after their opening day victory over Aston Villa.

But he’s not the only boss to have had his clothes chucked off the balcony and told to scram.

Here are the managers who have been let go the fewest games into a new season.

Jose Mourinho

The Special One / Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Without doubt, one of the most shocking sackings in football. Early in his fourth season at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho lost his mojo and decided to go to war. He challenged owner Roman Abramovich to back him with signings, or sack him.

Abramovich chose the latter, and after two Premier League titles in the previous three years, the Special One was the Special Gone only six matches into the 2007/08 campaign.

Paulo Di Canio

A fiery spell in Sunderland / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ah, how we miss the days when Sunderland were in the Premier League. Every season was filled with danger and relegation terror, but they almost always produced a glorious and miraculous escape – until they didn’t, obviously.

Paolo Di Canio was tasked with inspiring one of the great escapes in 2013, and he did just that, keeping the Black Cats in the top flight with a memorable Tyne-Wear derby win.

But five games into 2013/14, he was gone. Football waits for no man.

FILE PHOTO Tottenham Hotspur and Glenn Hoddle Part Company

Sacked in 2003! You’re getting sacked in 2003! / Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Not the last Tottenham Hotspur entry, that’s for sure. The football landscape was very different in 2003, and the start to the 2003/04 season saw the north Londoners hit the panic button.

Six games into the new season, Spurs dropped into the bottom three after a 3-1 defeat to Southampton, and enough was enough for the board. The blame was laid upon the shoulders of Glenn Hoddle, and he was sent packing.

Frank de Boer

“The worst manager in the history of the Premier League” / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Frank de Boer was hired by Crystal Palace on 26 June 2017. On 11 September 2017, Frank de Boer was sacked by Crystal Palace. Who better to sum up his time with the Eagles than Mr Mourinho?

“I read some quote from the worst manager in the history of the Premier League, Frank de Boer,” Mourinho said.

“He was saying that it is not good for Marcus Rashford to have a coach like me, because the most important thing for me is to win.

“If he was coached by Frank, he would learn how to lose because he lost every game.”

Javi Gracia

Another Pozzo victim / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Time to put some respect on Javi Gracia’s name, because he’s lasted the longest of any manager throughout the Pozzo era. However, having guided Watford to an FA Cup final in 2019, the coach was sacked a few months later – and only four games into the new season.

Watford then appointed Quique Sanchez Flores (who was sacked 10 games later) and ended the season relegated back to the Championship. Probably a rash call, this one.

Scott Parker's Bournemouth reign came to an abrupt end

Scott Parker’s Bournemouth reign came to an abrupt end / Visionhaus/GettyImages

The most recent entry, a 9-0 defeat at Liverpool spelled the end for Scott Parker at Bournemouth.

He had brought the Cherries back up to the Premier League from the Championship, but defeats to Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as some evident backroom tensions, saw Parker depart.

Gianluca Vialli and Ray Wilkins

Gianluca Vialli with assistant Ray Wilkins / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

It was all smelling of roses for Gianluca Vialli and Chelsea at the start of the 2000/01 campaign, as they kicked it off with a trophy – the prestigious Charity Shield.

That’s where the happy days ended, however, as fall-outs with players, poor results and utter chaos saw Vialli get the chop a handful of matches into the new season.

Graeme Souness in the Blackburn Rovers dugout

Graeme Souness left Blackburn Rovers for Newcastle / Phil Cole/GettyImages

We’re more accustomed to seeing the snarling Graeme Souness on our television screens, but back in the 2000s he was a well established Premier League manager.

He left his role with Blackburn after four years early in the 2004/05 season to join Newcastle, a decision which backfired horribly.

Howard Wilkinson's Sunderland spell went disastrously wrong

Howard Wilkinson’s Sunderland spell went disastrously wrong / Gary M. Prior/GettyImages

Leeds United went through a couple of decades of being an absolute basket case of a club, but Howard Wilkinson’s sacking was a foreshadowing of what was to come in Yorkshire.

Wilkinson was in charge of the Whites for half a decade, but his reign came to an abrupt end in 1996, when he was sacked after only five matches.

Ruud Gullit, manager of Newcastle United, in the dugout with his coaching staff

Ruud Gullit fell out a with number of people at Newcastle, namely Alan Shearer / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Newcastle might have been hoping for some similar FA Cup success to what Ruud Gullit enjoyed at Chelsea as manager, but it wasn’t to be.

They did reach the final of that competition but personal problems with club icons like Alan Shearer and Robert Lee harmed his authority and he would soon resign.

Christian Gross the manager of Spurs

The shortest serving boss / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

What a weird time in Tottenham Hotspur’s history this was. Despite boasting so little experience as a manager, Christian Gross was given the Spurs job.

He almost got them relegated in the 1997/98 campaign, but they just about stayed up. He was only given three games of the 1998/99 season however, before Spurs pulled the plug on this experiment. Madness.

Kevin Keegan looks on during Newcastle's Premier League game with West Ham

Kevin Keegan’s second spell at Newcastle ended abruptly / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

Kevin Keegan is one of a number of Newcastle managers who couldn’t make it the early summer months – Eddie Howe is safe enough for now, but it’s an interesting trend.

Keegan was gone by September, having publicly criticised Newcastle’s board and then owner Mike Ashley.

Alan Curbishley on the touchline for West Ham during a pre-season friendly

Alan Curbishley walked away from West Ham / Phil Cole/GettyImages

Where in the world is Alan Curbishley?

He’s a Charlton legend, having managed them for 15 years from 1991 to 2006, but success at West Ham was harder to come by.

He resigned over the club’s transfer dealings and won a case of constructive dismissal having not had the final say on players being signed and sold.

He hasn’t taken a full manager position since.

Bobby Robson

A legend of the game / Stu Forster/Getty Images

It was the end of an era at St James’ Park, as club legend Sir Bobby Robson was relieved of his duties in 2004, four matches into the new season.

It was a sad day for those at Newcastle United, waving goodbye to a coach who desperately wanted to return them to the top of English football. Those days now feel like a distant memory for the Magpies.

Kenny Dalglish was given the boot just 12 days into the 1998/99 season

Kenny Dalglish was given the boot just 12 days into the 1998/99 season / Getty Images/GettyImages

Kenny Dalglish’s time at Newcastle is probably as close to failure as the legendary Scot got during his playing and coaching career.

The Magpies’ transfer dealings under Dalglish were negative and Freddie Shepherd elected to get rid of him just two games into the 1998/99 season.

Peter Reid was player/manager for Manchester City

Peter Reid was player/manager for Manchester City / Getty Images/GettyImages

Manchester City have not always been the superstar-laden club they are now, and their situation was very different back in 1993.

Frustrated by neighbours Manchester United’s good start to the season and with only one point in 12 of their own, the Citizens took their anger out on Reid, sacking their manager four games into the season.

Paul Sturrock

Sturrock was in and out quickly at Southampton / Julian Herbert/GettyImages

Blink and you’ll miss it. To call Paul Sturrock’s stint at Southampton a short one would be underselling it.

He only had 13 games in charge and was ditched by mutual consent just two matches into the 2004/05 season, picking up a 3-2 win in his final act as Saints boss.


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