SASoccerMag looks at some of the most high-profile manager sackings across the European leagues this season. By DYLAN APPOLIS.
Niko Kovac (Monaco)
Kovac arrived at Monaco in July 2020 to replace Spaniard Robert Moreno, who was sacked after only seven months. In his 18-month stint in charge of the club, Kovac led the team to a third-place finish in Ligue 1 in the 2020-21 season as well as reaching the Coupe de France final.
But after their early elimination in the Champions League last year and tensions between the 50-year-old and senior squad members, including captain Wissam Ben Yedder, Kovac was sacked at the turn of the year.
Alvaro Cervera (Cadiz)
Cervera took charge of Cadiz on 18 April 2016 as a replacement for Claudio Barragan, who was shown the door following a poor run of results. The Spaniard led Cadiz to two promotions from Segunda B to La Liga and kept them in the top flight last season, but was relieved of his duties after a poor first half of the 2021-22 season that left the Andalucia side in 19th position.
Andriy Shevchenko (Genoa)
Shevchenko was appointed in November 2021, succeeding Davide Ballardini – who only managed to win one out of his 12 games for Genoa. The Ukrainian mentor was tasked with turning the club’s fortunes around and steering them clear of the relegation zone but was sacked after he oversaw nine Serie A defeats, with only one victory in 11 games overall.
Rafa Benitez (Everton)
Benitez took the helm from former Carlo Ancelotti on 30 June 2021 after signing a three-year contract with the Toffees. The 52-year-old, however, only spent six-and-a-half months in charge of the club before he was sent packing, with Everton in 15th place. He was the fifth Everton manager to lose his job in six years.
Roberto D’Aversa (Sampdoria)
D’Aversa was appointed as the head coach of Sampdoria on 4 July 2021 as a replacement for Claudio Ranieri after signing a contract until June 2023. The German coach oversaw only seven victories, five draws and 12 defeats before being fired with three consecutive defeats to Cagliari, Napoli and Torino proving to be too much for the club’s owners to bear.
Claudio Ranieri (Watford)
Watford made the move for Ranieri in October last year, securing his services on a two-year contract following the sacking of Xisco Munoz. The Italian mentor spent just three-and-a-half months there before he was relieved of his duties after failing to turn the team’s fortunes around. He managed just two wins from 14 games and a 3-0 defeat to relegation rivals Norwich City was the final straw.
Vladimir Petkovic (Bordeaux)
Petkovic arrived at Bordeaux in July 2021 on a contract until 2024 after leading Switzerland to the quarter-finals of the Euros. The Serbian led the financially troubled club to four victories in 23 Ligue 1 matches, leaving them 19th in the league. The match that ultimately led to his downfall was the humiliating 5-0 defeat at Reims.
Stefano Colantuono (Salernitana)
Colantuono was appointed as the club’s head coach on 17 October 2021 after the departure of Fabrizio Castori with the club sitting at the bottom of the Serie A table. Colantuono was fired after barely four months in charge. He failed to improve the club’s fortunes at all, parting ways with Salernitana still last in Italy’s top division.
Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds)
Bielsa was in charge of Leeds for more than three-and-a-half years, having taken the reins in June 2018. In two seasons he took the team back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence. On the club’s return to the top-flight, Bielsa guided Leeds to a ninth-place finish but this season has proven to be more difficult. His side recorded just five wins before Bielsa paid the price for their poor form and club chairman Andrea Radrizzani confirmed his departure on 27 February.
Robert Moreno (Granada)
Moreno joined Spanish side Granda on 18 June 2021 on a two-season contract after the club decided to cut ties with former head coach Diego Martinez. The 44-year-old’s time at the La Liga outfit came to an end after a run of nine games without a win, which left them 17th place and only three points away from the relegation zone.