Football Daily | Is this the summer the managerial merry-go-round spins out of control?

Football Daily | Is this the summer the managerial merry-go-round spins out of control?


Sixth place secured after five consecutive victories, two trips to Wembley and one gifted showman given a platform he’d been denied in Manchester. Mauricio Pochettino’s first season at Chelsea ended with promise, suggesting that this mess – the club’s desire to buy every player on Big Website’s Next Generation list – could perhaps still be untangled, the Argentinian’s lemons finally working. But This Is Chelsea Football Club We’re Talking About. Logic has rarely applied at Stamford Bridge in recent years, which means Pochettino can’t switch off his phone for the holidays, his job apparently under threat.

Always on the hunt for a shiny new toy, the shopaholics at Chelsea have added Kieran McKenna to their wishlist as a potential replacement for Pochettino, the Ipswich wunderkind (in manager years) having taken the Tractor Boys back to the Premier League after consecutive promotions. Brighton, who have an actual vacancy after Roberto De Zerbi’s departure, are trying to lure the 38-year-old down south, presumably selling themselves as a club that actually like having someone stick around for at least a year. Then again, history tells us that a stint at Brighton could make McKenna even more attractive to Todd Boehly and co.

We seem set for a summer dominated not by the movement of players but of managerial moves across the continent. Jobs are now up for grabs at Bayern Munich and Juventus, two giants searching for a resurgence after domestic downturns. Meanwhile the will-he-won’t-he drama continues at Barcelona; having U-turned on his initial decision to leave the club at the end of the season, Xavi has been forced to respond to reports he could still be shown the door marked Do One by the club. Add in the uncertainty around Erik ten Hag – Manchester United have also joined the queue for McKenna, who they’ve got a history with – and a high-profile managerial merry-go-round awaits.

De Zerbi, Thomas Tuchel and Max Allegri are men fresh out of their last adventures, but will any side entice names who have been having a breather? José Mourinho must surely be itching for it four months on from leaving Roma, while Antonio Conte hasn’t worked since lobbing grenades in a press conference at his Tottenham players last year. How about Zinedine Zidane, who’s had three years off? That dashing suit-and-tie look has been missed on the sidelines. And who will have the gumption to make the boldest move of all, to ignore the Do Not Disturb hanger and wake Jürgen Klopp from his afternoon nap? David Moyes remains, too, though presumably only until West Ham ring him up for another crack at it.


“These are difficult calls, you are talking about players who are very good players who have been an important part of what we have done. With Marcus [Rashford], I feel players in the same area of the pitch have had better seasons, it’s as simple as that. Hendo has given himself every chance, the determining factor is the [knack] he picked up in the last camp, he missed five weeks and he just hasn’t been able to get to the intensity since the games since then. He is a fantastic professional and it was a difficult call to make” – Gareth Southgate explains why he axed two big names from his provisional England squad for the Euros. Hopefully Henderson’s Euros-ending knack wasn’t caused by that performative pressing at Ajax.

Jordan Henderson and Gareth SouthgateView image in fullscreen


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Further to your paean to Ian Wright (yesterday’s Football Daily), he once came into a school where I was chair of the Schools Trust. He came to visit the special needs unit which he was supporting. As he signed in, I told the receptionist look after this man, he played for the greatest football club ever. Ian smiled and then I said ‘Glasgow Celtic’. Wrighty collapsed in laughter. Great man as well as footballer” – Danny Sullivan.

I do think you missed some of the better parts of Dan Sucu’s justification for appointing Neil Lennon as the new Rapid Bucharest manager (yesterday’s News, Bits and Bobs, full email edition): ‘I am convinced that we will no longer have players who demonstrate their speed at three in the morning from the disco or on the ski slopes, or who show up to the team with extra pounds than the optimal weight. I am also convinced that next season the physical preparation, commitment and determination of our team will be at a significantly increased level compared to the season just ended.’ Just about the only thing the team might lack then appears to be, say, ability?” – Ken Muir.

Send letters to [email protected]. Today’s letter o’ the day winner is … Ken Muir, who now has the chance to win a David Squires cartoon from our print shop at the end of the week. Terms and conditions for all this can be viewed here.

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