Rafa Benitez’s appointment as Chelsea’s latest short-term manager was a surprising one. Not only because he has been out of the game so long and never quite secured another job he had been in the running for, but because Chelsea fans have a particular dislike for him. It’s one of those times in football which fans question ‘did this really just happen?’. It did. In Benitez’ final few weeks in charge of Liverpool, ‘we want you to stay’ rang out around Stamford Bridge and more recently the Rafa ‘love’ has continued…lets get awkward for a minute (Rafa don’t watch!).
In honour of the warm welcome Rafa Benitez is already receiving from his, now, home support, we thought we’d look at some other managers who supporters wouldn’t even wish on their worst enemies. Actually that is exactly who they’d wish them upon
Don’t worry Chelsea fans, you’re not alone:
Steve Kean at Blackburn Rovers
Steve Kean has to be one of the most widely disliked figures with one of the worst records in the clubs history, rewarding them with relegation last season. The Kean Out campaign extended far and wide even making appearances ringside at WWE in the US. The innovative fans flew a ‘Steve Kean Out’ banner over Ewood Park when the club warned them they’d not to be allowed banners in. Kean staunchly refused to resign whilst he rocked around with a seventh dan in karate as his bessie who made sure no dodgy chickens turned up on his doorstep. The campaign’s persistence was richly rewarded this September by bringing in Kean look alike Henning Berg. They Shall Never Forget.
Roy Hodgson at Liverpool
It’s difficult to hate a man that looks like he has Werther’s original in his pockets at all times, but Liverpool fans certainly found a way. Oh yes. They were initially jaded by the appointment, thinking he wasn’t up to the task of handling such a “big club” and of course he was taking the place of the man they felt should be in charge ‘King Kenny’. Uncle Roy found it “insulting” that anyone thought he wasn’t up to the task. Roy was forced ‘by mutual consent’ to leave his position after a mere 31 games.
Hodgson: “The famous Anfield support has not really been there ever since I came here” Harsh, but fair.
Sam Allardyce at Newcastle United
Not everything Big Sam did was the worst thing the Toon Army had seen. He managed to clear out some dead wood and bring in a few decent signings, but no matter who he’s in charge of, it’s going to be Big Sam’s long ball – a technique only successful in boring the sh*t out of the support. After a third straight 1-0 defeat to bottom of the table Wigan, the 5500 strong away supporter made themselves heard with “We’re sh*t, and we’re sick of it.” Also working against him on the Geordie Shore: too much gum, not local, always with shirt on despite impressive girth.
Big Sam opted out by ‘mutual consent’ before Why Aye Man came after him in January 2008.
Avram Grant at Chelsea
Anyone following in special footsteps was never going to be a popular figure at Stamford Bridge. There were mass protests that took place as rumour spread that The Special One was being shown the door. But for the figure that could be seen lurking over Mourinho’s shoulder for weeks leading up to the dismissal, it would be particularly hard moving out of Mourinho’s shadow. Grant started well, bamboozling fans, as they scratched their heads thinking ‘did he chose the starting XI by picking names from a hat.’. With the players having to hold secret meetings that he was not invited to. Awkward much. Despite being ‘in charge’ for their first Champions League final, Grant will never be remembered fondly…even now the alternative is their very own ‘fat Spanish waiter’.
Glenn Roeder at West Ham
After ole ‘arry was given the heave ho, West Ham supporters thought it was surely time to bring in a big name. The fans had assumed Alan Curbishley would drop everything for them and ride in to Upton Park on the back o ‘One Pound Fish’ man’s back. When he didn’t, the appointment of Roeder was as underwhelming as it got. Protests were quickly organised. Relegation and disagreements with Di Canio aren’t going to help anyone’s popularity and anyone called Glenn must be Spurs. West Ham soon followed the lead of Gillingham and Watford and Roeder was sacked four games into the following season…after returning from a brain tumour. A bit callous, but this was man who took a club down that had David James, Joe Cole (when he was still good), Paolo Di Canio, Jermain Defore, and Fredi Kanoute. That’s a special kind of talent.
Gary Megson at Bolton Wanderers
Not a popular figure from day one at the Reebok, Gary Megson was never the supporters first choice to take over from the ever popular Sammy Lee. But the feeling was mutual. After a 2-2 draw with Blackburn, the manager was booed off the pitch to which he replied that the Wanderers supporters were “pathetic”. Really knew how to please a crowd did Gary. To the fans relief, he was finally put out to pasture on “gardening leave”.
During his time at The Reebok, Megson had this to say: “I liked Bolton as a club, but the fans didn’t like me, I don’t particularly like them either.”
No one likes a balding, bitter, ginger Gary.
Alex McLeish at Aston Villa
Speaking of follicly challenged men of a ginger persuasion …
It takes a brave and possibly misguided man to cross city lines and join your nearest rival, but that is exactly what Big Eck did. Not only was he aware of what it would mean, but he seemed to relish the planned protests. McLeish said he was “in pretty good company” after Wenger protests had been rumoured a little further south. He decided he’d show the supporters…on the pitch. So he showed them what it was like to lose 22 points from winning positions and to drop attendance by 9%. Big stats. With the supporters protesting through lack of ticket sales, they saw their man off in 11 months.
Mark Hughes at City… at QPR … just about everywhere now
Oh Sparky, despite Tony Fernandes’ assurances that you’re actually good at your job – the 4 points out of 36 (but let’s call it 39 with the United game looming) tell everyone otherwise. QPR supporters are now carrying banners for ‘arry to come and save us’ with an accompanying song that no doubt ends ‘la la la la’.
Hughes hang your head in shame, you couldn’t even win the race to be sacked. We do admire your resolve in refusing to resign to ensure you get the biggest pay out possible until you move onto your next victim club. We here at the Rascal are looking forward to the next club where you can unsettle the supporters.
Chelsea will be looking in one to six months …
We’d love to hear about other manager’s you’ve hated seeing at YOUR clubs and why. Was it the results? The terrible press conferences? Being ginger? We don’t discriminate against logic or reason here so get your comments in below or come visit us on Facebook or Twitter.