Five Out-of-work Managers Who Deserve an Immediate Return to Management

Graham Potter


Critics of Potter will focus on his most recent spell in management at Chelsea and use it to say that he was out of his depth at a club of that scale. However, I personally believe that would be a harsh conclusion. Under the ownership of Todd Boehly, Chelsea have been all over the place in terms of their footballing strategy.


Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, Frank Lampard and now Mauricio Pochettino have been in the dugout under the new ownership and none of them have been particularly trail blazing even with big money spent. Chelsea aside, Potter has an incredible body of work when it comes to building clubs into positions of strength and arguable over achievement. 


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At Ostersunds, he won the Swedish Cup and even beat Arsenal in a Europa League knockout match while at Swansea he was able to leave the club in a better position than he inherited it before creating an exciting team at Brighton that was one of the best teams to watch in English football. That more than merits a return to management in the best future, in my opinion.


Ruud van Nistelrooy


The Dutch legend only has one season of senior management under his belt with PSV. During that campaign, he led the club to Dutch Cup and Dutch Super Cup success by defeating Ajax in both finals as well as finishing as runners up in three Eredivisie. An impressive albeit short body of work. 


Steve Cooper


Nottingham Forest went 23 years without Premier League football until Steve Cooper took the club back to the top league of English football. Not only that but he kept the club in the Premier League at the first attempt in a season that saw former champions Leicester City relegated. 


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Added to his role at Forest, he won the under 17 World Cup with the English national team and led Swansea City to the Championship playoffs in both of his seasons at the club including the playoff final of 2021. He likes to play an attacking brand of football and he will not be short of offers between now and the summer. 


Oliver Glasner


A Europa League-winning manager who led Frankfurt to that success in 2022 by beating Rangers in the final. Glasner has managed Austrian sides SV Ried, and LASK Linz as well as German sides Wolfsburg and Frankfurt.


He won promotion to the Austrian Bundesliga  with LASK and took the team into Europe for the first time in almost two decades, where they would even face Manchester United in the Europa League. He followed that up by taking Wolfsburg to the knockout stages of the Europa League in his debut season before going one step further by qualifying for the Champions League in his second season. 


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Eintracht Frankfurt then tempted him to join them and as well as winning the Europa League, they qualified for the Champions League and finished as runners up in the German Cup. He will no doubt have options across Europe’s top five leagues in time. 


Maurice Steijn 


Steijn left Ajax by mutual consent in 2023 after only a few turbulent months in charge. His time at the Dutch giants coincided with a fractured off-field structure at the club that saw Director of Football Sven Mislintat arrive and depart in an even shorter time frame than Steijn.


It was not an easy situation for him and Ajax was a job that he could not turn down after doing a stellar job with Sparta Rotterdam. The Dutchman has managed and achieved success in spells with ADO den Hag, VVV Venlo and Sparta Rotterdam. In each of these spells, he left the club in a much better position than he found them in which is the sign of a good manager. 


By: Callum McFadden / @Callum7McFadden

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / NurPhoto