Jose Mourinho, Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea)
It feels like a long time ago now, but Jose Mourinho was in similar position at Chelsea last term. The Portuguese was sacked in December 2015 with his side languishing just above the relegation zone, even though it was virtually the same group of players that had finished top of the pile in May.
Having helped the Blues to win the league by eight points, the likes of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa suddenly stopped playing, while youthful new signings like Kenedy, Baba Rahman and Papy Djilobodji couldn't help arrest the slide. Before you could say 'Manchester United contract', Mourinho was fired by Chelsea for a second time.
The Blues are English football's serial sackers: they’ve gone through 10 managers since Roman Abramovich's takeover in 2003, with Mourinho and Guus Hiddink both afforded two spells on the Stamford Bridge sidelines. Even winning the club's first Champions League doesn't protect you from the sack, as Roberto Di Matteo found out in November 2012 – just six months after that incredible triumph over Bayern Munich in their own back yard.
Fabio Capello, Bernd Schuster (Real Madrid)
Real Madrid have been there too: for three years after their successful 2002/03 campaign under Vicente del Bosque, los Blancos watched Barcelona and Valencia share the La Liga title between them. Madrid tried four different managers, finishing fourth, second and second, and didn't get past the Champions League quarter-finals.
Enter Fabio Capello. The Italian, in his second stint at the Bernabeu, led the capital club to the title in 2007, just as he had 10 years previously. But 11 days after the conclusion of the campaign, Capello was sacked for playing boring football – and continuing the run of failing to progress beyond the last 16 of the Champions League (something they ultimately failed to do for six seasons running between 2004/05 and 2009/10)
Bernd Schuster was the next man through the door at Real Madrid, who began to play high-tempo, attacking football under his guidance. They won the league, too, but Schuster was sacked halfway through the next season after Barcelona opened up a nine-point lead at the top. His declaration that his team had no chance of winning the upcoming Clasico at the Camp Nou probably didn't help his chances of staying.
Laurent Blanc (PSG)
Winning the Ligue 1 crown by 31 points is apparently no insulation from a chairman's bullet, either. Last summer, Laurent Blanc was let go by PSG and replaced by Unai Emery, who boasted a better pedigree in European competition. Be careful what you wish for, though: the French giants are currently second in the standings back home and will face the mighty Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16.
Dave Mackay (Derby)
Over in the Championship, Derby have gone through a fair few bosses in recent seasons. In the early-to-mid-1970s, though, the Rams were one of the country's best sides, winning the First Division in 1972 and 1975.
Yet within 18 months of those triumphs, Derby's victorious managers were gone. First, Brian Clough resigned after a relationship breakdown with the board, then Dave Mackay was sacked in November 1976 after asking the club's hierarchy for a vote of confidence. Derby were 19th in the league and had been knocked out of the UEFA Cup, while star defender Colin Todd had asked for transfer. Mackay blasted the directors by calling them "deluded" for expecting a trophy every year; 42 years later, the East Midlanders are still waiting.
Felix Magath, Louis van Gaal, Udo Lattek (Bayern Munich)
Bayern Munich have been known to dismiss a coach or 10 – even when, like Felix Magath managed in 2005 and 2006, the man in question has won back-to-back domestic doubles. The future Fulham chief was nevertheless ditched by the ruthless Bavarians after his side collected one point in six matches in February 2007, the German's supposed disdain for tactics not exactly conducive to glory on the European stage.
In 2010, Louis van Gaal led Bayern to the Bundesliga title and the Champions League final, where they were defeated by Inter. The abrasive Dutchman fell out with club bosses the subsequent campaign, however, and was let go after Bayern slipped down to fourth place in the German top flight and exited Europe's premier competition, again at the Nerazzurri's hands. Jupp Heynckes was appointed for a third stint in charge and won both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
- ACTION REPLAY Van Gaal at Bayern: When Louis averted a crisis – then talked himself into a bitter exit
But the unluckiest Bayern manager – indeed, the unluckiest manager of all time – has to be Udo Lattek. The former striker, who had never previously coached a club side before, won three consecutive championships with Bayern after his appointment in 1970, while die Roten also became the first German team to win the European Cup.
But when Lattek told the board that things needed to change while Bayern languished 10th in the Bundesliga, his superiors agreed – and Lattek was given the boot.
Their loss. He moved to Borussia Monchengladbach, winning two more German titles and a UEFA Cup, as well as reaching the 1978 European Cup Final. He returned to Bayern in 1983, again triumphed three times in the Bundesliga and added two German Cups to his collection for good measure.
But even that wasn't enough: when Bayern lost 2-1 Porto in the 1987 European Cup Final, the players blamed Lattek, who was binned soon after. Modern football, eh?
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