Sacked after winning a trophy
Ever since Chelsea lost to Burnley on the opening day of the 2017-18 campaign, Antonio Conte has been tipped for the Stamford Bridge dumper. The Italian’s departure has long seemed inevitable, but he wouldn’t be the first manager to be sacked the season after winning a major trophy…
Laurent Blanc (PSG)
If it wasn’t already clear, the PSG board’s treatment of Blanc in 2016 confirmed the suspicion that the Champions League was the club’s priority. The former World Cup winner had just led the Parisians to a third consecutive Ligue 1 title by a margin of 31 points, but that – together with two domestic cups – wasn’t enough to spare him the chairman’s bullet after PSG failed to advance beyond the quarter-finals of Europe’s biggest competition.
Blanc must have felt even more hard done by the following season, when Unai Emery was spared the sack despite failing to win the title and also falling short on the continent.
Fabio Capello (Real Madrid)
Madrid turned to Capello after three years without a La Liga title between 2004 and 2006, with the Italian returning for his second stint at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Italian succeeding in returning the championship crown to the capital club’s trophy cabinet, but he was still sacked 11 days after the conclusion of the campaign for failing to guide los Blancos beyond the last 16 of the Champions League. Capello was also criticised for his style of football, which was considered excessively dull by those on the terraces. Six months later, he was hired by England; add your own "no trophy risk there" joke.
Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea)
After sacking Andre Villas-Boas in March 2012, Chelsea promoted his assistant, their former midfielder Di Matteo, to interim boss until the end of the season. The Italian was tasked with returning the Blues to the top four in the Premier League; although he ultimately failed to achieve that goal, the former West Brom manager took a shortcut to Roman Abramovich's good books by winning the Champions League against the odds.
Chelsea certainly rode their luck in the last four against Barcelona and in the final against Bayern Munich, but their maiden success in Europe’s foremost competition earned Di Matteo a permanent position. That's always a slightly false description at Chelsea, though, and after a poor start to the following season he was binned off in November.
Udo Lattek (Bayern Munich)
Lattek, who had never previously coached a club side before his appointment at Bayern, won three consecutive championships and guided die Roten to their first European Cup in 1974. But when Lattek told the board things needed to change after the Bavarians languished 10th in the Bundesliga the following year, his superiors agreed – and the manager was given the boot.
Lattek later returned in 1983, again triumphing three times in the Bundesliga and also adding two German Cups to his collection. Yet even that wasn't enough: when Bayern lost 2-1 Porto in the 1987 European Cup Final, Lattek got the blame and was binned soon after.
Dave Mackay (Derby)
Derby’s continued failure to win promotion to the Premier League means they 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 each of those triumphs, Derby's victorious managers were gone. First, Brian Clough resigned after a relationship breakdown with the board, then Mackay (left) was sacked in November 1976 after asking the club's hierarchy for a vote of confidence. The Scot blasted the directors, calling them "deluded" for expecting a trophy every season; 42 years later, the East Midlanders are still waiting.
Felix Magath (Bayern Munich)
Bayern Munich have long been known to dismiss a coach or 10 – even when, like 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 – “something for bad players,” apparently – not exactly conducive to glory on the European stage. He also kept his distance from the squad, reportedly refusing to speak to any of his charges for 10 days during a training camp in Dubai.
Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)
Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge for a second spell as Chelsea manager in 2013; after a third-place finish in his first season back in England, the Portuguese went on to win his third Premier League title with the Blues in 2014-15.
Mourinho seemed untouchable at that point, but by the following December he was unemployed. Having helped the Blues win the league by eight points, the likes of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa suddenly stopped playing, and their manager was fired after a 2-1 defeat by Leicester left the champions just one point above the drop zone.
Bernd Schuster (Real Madrid)
Schuster fulfilled his remit of winning the La Liga title in his debut season at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2007-08, while the Madrid hierarchy were also pleased with the high-tempo, attacking football the team played under his guidance. Less positive was a failure to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but the German still appeared to be in a strong position at the start of his second season.
Schuster, though, was sacked halfway through 2008-09 after Barcelona opened up a nine-point lead at the top of the table. His declaration that Madrid had no chance of winning the upcoming Clasico at the Camp Nou probably didn't help his chances of staying.
Louis van Gaal (Bayern Munich)
In 2010, Van Gaal led Bayern to the Bundesliga title and the Champions League Final, where they were defeated by Jose Mourinho’s 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 hands of the Nerazzurri.
At least Bayern waited a few months after their trophy success before dismissing Van Gaal: the champagne hadn’t dried on his suit after Manchester United’s 2016 FA Cup triumph when rumours began circulating that Mourinho had agreed a deal to become the Red Devils’ new manager.
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