In the world of football, the word ‘overrated’ is a loaded term, most commonly associated with players; whether they cost too much or show glimpses of talent which increase their overall value, football has had its fair share of overhyped individuals. Rarely does this ‘overrated’ spotlight shine on managers, some of whom are extremely lucky to be in the job they are currently in. A title win or an attractive brand of football can sometimes be blinding to the reality that managerial skills are just as exaggerated as those of players. With that said, who are football’s most overrated managers?
Luiz Felipe Scolari
Granted, Scolari can still revel in the fact that he led a Brazil side packed with superstars to World Cup glory in 2002. But rub this achievement away from his CV and what remains is a man who barely lasts a year in any job he has, a record that stretches way back to his managerial debut back in 1982. The 65-year-old has a reputation for getting the best out of his star players but thinly veiled underneath this is an incessant overreliance on those players to bail him out of sticky situations. Take this summer’s World Cup, where the former Chelsea boss presided over a criminally average (tactically and personnel wise) Selecao, only to be dragged into the semi-finals by the talents of Neymar and Thiago Silva. They met Germany and…the rest is history. Great work Big Phil.
He was seen as the next great managerial hope, after guiding Porto to an unprecedented domestic treble in 2010/2011 whilst remaining unbeaten and at only 34 years old, Villas-Boas had achieved what many managers never will. This glowing record brought him to Chelsea where in spectacular fashion, he flopped, unable to neither become the dominant voice in a divided dressing room nor impose his methods on the players. Tottenham last season provided an opportunity to start from scratch, maintain his reputation after an initial baptism of fire in England but there he was again, alienating his players and the fans until a crushing 5-0 defeat to Liverpool sealed his departure. As the Portuguese has cruelly learned, no amount of success can prepare you for the pitfalls of the Premier League. He now has the chance to rebuild his damaged credentials with Zenit St. Petersburg. Good luck to him.
The 66-year-old has shown himself to be a shrewd, accomplished (ish) coach at both domestic and international level, but after the Three Lions’ woeful 2014 World Cup and the recent appointment of Wayne Rooney as captain, quite simply, he should not be England manager. His tactics were absurdly conservative considering the youthful, raw talent he possessed – the clearest indication that he is not willing to take any real risks. England does not need a manager backward in his methods unless they are aiming for mediocrity in the coming years and with Hodgson at the helm, that is all they will get.
The Frenchman is a talented manager, having won French titles with two different teams. But perhaps his talent was a little overstated when he was named manager of the national team in 2010 with the squad in disarray after that year’s World Cup, an uneventful tenure on the pitch. Blanc maintained his reputation by taking PSG to the league title last season but in a league where PSG are the dominant side boasting some of the best players in the world, and inheriting Carlo Ancelotti’s blueprint, this is expected of him. He wasn’t even PSG’s first choice.
Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that the West Ham boss is one of the highest earning managers in world football at 2.95m, more than both Roy Hodgson and Laurent Blanc. If this doesn’t make jaw drops, nothing will. Other than establishing Bolton Wanderers as a prominent Premier League side in the mid 2000s, it is hard to decipher exactly what else Allardyce has done to warrant his reputation as one of the better English managers. Abundant criticism (particularly from Hammers fans) about his long-ball style of play probably doesn’t help his case, but for the amount of money the manager earns, the team should do a little better.