Every Premier League Manager Sacked This Season (And How Well It Panned Out In The End...)

Published on 15 May 2023 at 20:00

The 2022/23 Premier League season has been one for the record books for a number of reasons. Whilst Erling Haaland’s sublime goalscoring form has been taking much of the headlines, it’s interesting to see that this season saw the most managerial sackings and departures in the Premier League’s 30 year history!


We’ve looked at every single managerial change to take place since the start of the campaign, and look at their shock factor, whether it was justified, and how it affected the club for the rest of the season.


Club: Bournemouth

Outgoing Manager: Scott Parker 

Replacement: Gary O’Neil


Pencilled by the majority of Premier League fans and pundits as a favourite to be relegated, Bournemouth’s season hit a horrendous low point as they were decimated 9-0 by Liverpool in August. Placed 16th in the table after just four games, not many teams could recover from such a humiliating loss, and already-low expectations had truly hit the floor. 


However, Gary O’Neil has defied expectations and has the Cherries even pushing for a spot in the Premier League mid-table. The likes of Dominic Solanke, Marcus Tavernier, and Philip Billing have helped the side comfortably escape the relegation battle, and with a strong transfer window in the Summer, could be an outsider favourite to push into the top half of the division next season. 


Scott Parker meanwhile managed to secure another job just a few months later managing Belgian giants Club Brugge…in the Champions League Round of 16, where they lost 7-1 on aggregate to Benfica, before Parker was sacked once again.


Club: Chelsea

Outgoing Manager: Thomas Tuchel

Replacement: Graham Potter


Chelsea have always had a tendency to sack a manager: during the Roman Abramovich era alone, 13 different managers found themselves in the dugout at Stamford Bridge. The last of whom was Thomas Tuchel, who managed to win the Champions League and reach the finals of both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup during his time as manager. 


Which makes it all the more surprising that less than 18 months after his UCL triumph in Porto, the club announced the dismissal of Tuchel before poaching the highly-praised Graham Potter from an in-form Brighton! 


A truly baffling decision that showed Todd Boehly had inherited Abramovich’s level of patience when he bought the club earlier in the year, Chelsea’s season soon nosedived in terms of form and on-pitch performances, even after spending nearly £300m in the Winter transfer window.


It’s interesting to see that without Tuchel’s relatively good form at the start of the season, the Blues would almost definitely be embroiled in the current relegation battle. But more on that later…

Club: Brighton & Hove Albion

Outgoing Manager: Graham Potter

Replacement: Roberto De Zerbi


Just when it all looked like Graham Potter finally had Brighton clicking and playing some truly brilliant football, along came Chelsea to snatch away the 47-year-old and leave Brighton in a rather precarious situation.


Incoming coach Roberto De Zerbi had seen his tenure at Shakhtar Donetsk abruptly ended due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and had been observed as an overachiever in Italy with Benevento and Sassuolo. 


But the Italian instead took the already-solid team Potter was building and took it to another level: with captivating performances and fantastic results, in particularly their recent 0-3 demolition of title-chasing Arsenal and run to the Semi-Finals of this season’s FA Cup, the sky’s truly the limit for the Seagulls and De Zerbi: with one hand on a European football place next season, just how will Brighton fare in this prosperous new era under the 43-year-old Italian.


Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Outgoing Manager: Bruno Lage

Replacement: Julen Lopetegui


Bruno Lage’s time in the Premier League started off strong: replacing the much beloved Nuno Espirito Santo was never going to be an easy task, but with an iron defence and dangerous counter attacking potential, Wolves under Lage should have been performing much better than they eventually did. 


That’s why it was considered a major managerial coup that Wolves were able to coax Lopetegui to join the struggling side in the Midlands. A massively beneficial signing for more than just the Spaniard’s prestige and reputation, Lopetegui was able to use his name and influence to bring talent like Pablo Sarabia to the club.


Results and performances have been mostly positive so far for the 56-year-old: he became the first Wolves manager in over 40 years to win their first game in charge of the club, boasts a 40% win rate so far in his tenure, and has Wolverhampton safely outside of the relegation battle. 


It’s a testament to the appeal of the Premier League if, within 18 months of winning the Europa League with Sevilla, Lopetegui opted to join a team battling to simply be in the Premier League mid table come the end of the season. Another Summer window similar to their spending this past January and Wolves could quietly be making their way back into the top half of the table under Lopetegui.


Club: Aston Villa

Outgoing Manager: Steven Gerrard

Replacement: Unai Emery


From one struggling club from the Midlands replacing their manager with a much-heralded, ex-Europa League winning Spaniard to the next.


The sacking of Steven Gerrard showed the Liverpool legend should never have left the Rangers job he was comfortable in. But the big talk was concerning Emery, who less than a year prior was managing in the Champions League Semi-Finals having dumped out Bayern Munich, accepting a perceived ‘downgrade’ by joining this out-of-form Aston Villa side. 


What followed is perhaps the turnaround of the season: Ollie Watkins became the most in-form striker in the country not called Erling Haaland, as Villa set a record for most consecutive games scored under a new manager: 19 in a row, as they shot astronomically up the Premier League table.


Dominant wins against the likes of Newcastle, Chelsea, and Spurs have put Villa alongside the likes of Brighton in challenging the ‘Big Six’ for their coveted European places. With a similar allure to Lopetegui, big players could very well soon be coming to Villa Park at the prospect of a European night there, and under Emery, Aston Villa soon become a staple of the Premier League top half for years to come. 


Club: Southampton

Outgoing Manager: Ralph Hassenhutl

Replacement: Nathan Jones


After surviving not just one but two different 9-0 defeats during his time at the club, it would take something truly special to see Ralph Hassenhutl get the sack at Southampton.


That ‘something truly special’ proved to be a humbling 4-1 defeat courtesy of Eddie Howe’s high-scoring Newcastle and a drop into the Premier League relegation zone.


Hassenhutl went from being the fourth longest-serving Premier League manager to the fifth sacking casualty of the campaign, and Southampton instead took a risk on a high-flying Championship manager in Nathan Jones to be the catalyst for Southampton’s survival. 


How terribly could appointing a self-perceived managerial maestro really pan out at St Mary’s…?


Club: Everton

Outgoing Manager: Frank Lampard 

Replacement: Sean Dyche


Everton’s survival towards the end of the 21/22 season came down to some heroics courtesy of Richarlison and partially thanks to some good managerial performances from Frank Lampard.


Their impending relegation this season can also be attributed to Frank Lampard however. A series of losses and baffling choices saw the ex-Derby and Chelsea manager dismissed in favour of Sean Dyche, who was making a return to the Premier League after nearly a year away.


Immediately, Dyche showed he meant business, stunning then-league leaders Arsenal 1-0 thanks to a James Tarkowski header: but this has arguably been the peak of Dyche’s Everton career so far, as an almost even distribution of wins, draws, and losses see the Toffees once more staring down the barrel of relegation.


A huge win against Brighton might just be enough to see Everton survive once more, but with a financially-crippled club like Everton not likely to back Dyche in the Summer, are they destined to dance the relegation dance season after season until they eventually go down?


Club: Leeds United

Outgoing Manager: Jesse Marsch

Replacement: Javi Gracia


At one point in the season, a relegation battle never truly looked like a possibility for Leeds United. A fantastic win against Chelsea and a famous victory at Anfield against Liverpool showcased Jesse Marsch’s capabilities as manager. Though ‘Bielsa-ball’ was still drilled into much of their squad, many fancied Leeds to settle into the Premier League mid table having just narrowly survived last season. 


Instead, a lack of consistent performances (and a tally of only four wins) saw the American unceremoniously depart from Elland Road, with ex-Watford and Valencia coach Javi Gracia instead taking the reins in February.


A mixed spell would eventually come to a harsh end for Gracia: despite accumulating more points than most of the teams around them, the 51-year-old was sacked not long after his birthday, in spite of taking Leeds out of the relegation zone and into 17th place towards the end of his stint as manager. 


In a state of performance turmoil all too similar to their last Premier League stint, it would take a truly stellar, grandiose individual (you might label it “Big”) to give Leeds hope of Premier League survival for the second straight campaign…


Club: Southampton

Outgoing Manager: Nathan Jones

Replacement: Ruben Selles


Maybe Nathan Jones doing the ‘best job in Europe’ for his stint at Luton was a bit of an exaggeration…


In a tenure that, when looked back upon with the reddest of rose-tinted glasses, was as hilarious as it was tragic, Jones failed to translate his success in the Championship to the Premier League, as disastrous performance after disastrous performance, coupled with some questionable press conference remarks and boasts, saw the 49-year-old dumped; much to the joy of the Southampton faithful.


Jones must be left regretting his missed opportunity to stay at Luton, who currently find themselves in the Championship Play-Off places as one of the favourites to get promoted. 


Replacement Ruben Selles had already served as the club’s caretaker following Hassenhutl’s dismissal, but the permanent position has proven to be a step too far even for him. The Spaniard has seen the Saints relegated with an incredibly talented squad, though perhaps no fault of his own, and one must wonder if Southampton had a chance of surviving if they stuck out with Hassenhutl or simply appointed Selles instead of Jones in the first place. 


Club: Crystal Palace

Outgoing Manager: Patrick Vieira

Replacement: Roy Hodgson


Just when you thought Roy Hodgson would finally be able to enjoy retirement after a managerial career lasting nearly 50 years, he found himself dragged back into Selhurst Park for one last run. 


After a series of poor results and performances in 2023, admittedly against much of the top half of the league, legendary midfielder Patrick Vieira was finally dismissed in favour of the returning 76-year-old Hodgson. 


Lambasted for much of his career for a boring, conservative approach to football, Hodgson has instead revitalised Crystal Palace into a free-flowing, attacking team that is, somewhat remarkably, fun to watch. 


The likes of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise in particular have shone under Hodgson, as the Eagles comfortably surpassed the much-desired 40 point safety mark, and with Hodgson himself teasing continuing in the role, could this new-and-improved Crystal Palace become a force to be reckoned with in the near-future?


Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Outgoing Manager: Antonio Conte

Replacement: Cristian Stellini


It seemed like destino for Antonio Conte to have a falling out with the notoriously frugal Spurs board, and it was indeed a fallout of nuclear proportions, even for the hot-headed Conte’s standards. 


Spurs began their 22/23 league campaign in record-setting fashion, the club’s best start to a season in the Premier League era. Combined with an on-paper easy Champions League group, and this truly looked like the season Spurs could secure some silverware in what is becoming a very dusty trophy cabinet. 


Spurs gradually began to slip away from the title race and found itself mixing with Newcastle United, before D-Day arrived: a calamitous bottle of a 3-1 lead against rock-bottom Southampton saw Conte unleash a scathing tirade of criticism towards his players and the entire club itself. 


“We are not a team. We are 11 players that go into the pitch. I see selfish players, players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart [into it]...Tottenham’s story is this. Twenty years there is the owner and they never won something but why?”


Like Jose Mourinho not long before him, the wrath of Daniel Levy saw Conte sacked for his comments and the team’s results, and as we’ll look at later, this was only the beginning of what can only be considered a mid-season collapse for Spurs…


Club: Leicester City

Outgoing Manager: Brendan Rodgers

Replacement: Dean Smith


Is it all too little, too late for Leicester City when it came to finally sacking Brendan Rodgers?


From being one game away from a European final last season, to facing the drop this season, the Northern Irishman’s number was finally up after the Foxes were beaten in stoppage time against Crystal Palace, what was then a sixth straight game without a win. 


Dean Smith has survived the Premier League drop before with Aston Villa (with a special thanks to the absence of Hawkeye technology), but with some unenviable games against Liverpool, Newcastle and West Ham to close out his campaign, Smith’s return to the Premier League looks like it’ll be a short one for both himself and the Leicester he now finds himself hoping to pull a miracle with. 


Club: Chelsea

Outgoing Manager: Graham Potter

Replacement: Frank Lampard


Prodigal son Frank Lampard returned to Chelsea following Graham Potter’s miserable spell in charge, as Todd Boehly made the second sacking of what is now becoming a tempestuous tenure as Chelsea owner.


When Jose Mourinho famously labelled Dutchman Frank de Boer as “the worst manager in Premier League history” for managing seven games and losing all seven, who knew it would take only five years for another footballing Frank to produce an almost-equally poor stint as a Premier League manager.


With six straight losses to start his second stint (including exiting the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid) and then a win away to Bournemouth before a harsh return to reality dropping points against Nottingham Forest, even the thinnest chance Frank Lampard might have had of returning to the dugout at Stamford Bridge in the Summer evaporated into air thinner than Chelsea’s credible goalscoring options. 


Mauricio Pochettino’s all-but-confirmed return to the Premier League as the next Chelsea manager will be an interesting one: with a squad full to the brim with both potential and inconsistency, can he finally be the one to deliver results the Todd Boehly wants to see?


Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Outgoing Manager: Cristian Stellini

Replacement: Ryan Mason


Conceding six goals in a Premier League game is bad. Conceding five goals in one half of a Premier League game is awful. But conceding five goals in the first 21 minutes of a game against your Champions League rivals is near inexcusable.


For Spurs, still reeling off some embarrassing results and the aforementioned departure of Antonio Conte, a point against Newcastle at St James’ Park would have been incredibly welcome. Instead, Spurs under Conte-affiliate Stellini produced one of the worst defensive performances in Premier League history.


It’s unfortunately all Stellini will be remembered for, as he was unceremoniously sacked in favour of Ryan Mason. With Spurs teetering on the edge of the European spots, things are looking to be getting a lot worse than they are better in the Lilywhite half of North London. 


Clubs: Leeds United

Outgoing Manager: Juan Gracia

Replacement: Sam Allardyce


It’s a tale as old as time. A lowly Premier League club calls upon ‘Big Sam’ to rescue them in their hour of need. 


Up until West Brom in the 2020/21 season, Allardyce’s track record of keeping teams safe in the division is near spotless, but also a testament to just how desperate Leeds United are for survival.


A remarkable ninth Premier League club for the ex-England boss, Allardyce was looking like he would receive a true baptism by fire: back-to-back games against Manchester City and Newcastle United, but strong performances (even grabbing a point against the latter) have shown there is still life in Leeds, and that maybe enlisting in Allardyce could be the ultimate gamble that pays off. 


Which managerial replacement do you think worked out the best? Which did you think panned out the worst? Let us know on social media and in the comments below, and be sure to check out the rest of HL Division Sport now!


Jaspar Shepherdson

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