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Ranking the 5 best unemployed managers right now (September 2022)

2022 has been an eventful year for a number of different managers across Europe.

Carlo Ancelotti won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid while Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool played every possible match across four competitions last season. Pep Guardiola retained Manchester City’s Premier League crown while Julian Nagelsmann won his first Bundesliga title as Bayern Munich manager.

But on the other end of the spectrum, there have been multiple managers who have departed clubs in 2022. Some coaches are currently unemployed and are waiting it out to land their dream job.

On that note, let’s rank the five best managers without a job right now (September 2022).

#5 Jorge Sampaoli

Jorge Sampaoli has been quite the journeyman during his managerial career and has been coaching since he first took over the reins at FC Rosario in 1997.

Since then, Sampaoli has gone on to manage clubs like Sevilla while also coaching the men’s national teams of Chile and Argentina.

In February 2021, the Argentine became the head coach of Olympique Marseille and led them to a fifth-place finish in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign. He exceeded expectations last season by helping the French side register a second-place finish last season.

But after not being backed in the transfer market (as per the Daily Mail), Sampaoli left Marseille this summer. The 62-year-old has since been unemployed and could be on the lookout for a job at a top club, something he has never had a shot at.

His high-intensity tactics, coupled with shrewd selection choices, would be a huge asset, especially for a big club in one of Europe’s top five leagues. Although trophies cannot be guaranteed, Sampaoli can ensure an attractive playing style and boasts competitive managerial credibility.

#4 Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa is one of the few coaches in football who can bring about a new identity for a club, purely through his passion for the game.

The 67-year-old, like Sampaoli, has managed the Argentine and Chilean national teams previously. Bielsa also has the experience of coaching club outfits such as Athletic Bilbao, Olympique Marseille & LOSC Lille.

Thanks to his extensive resume, Leeds United appointed him in July 2018 hoping that he would help them find their way out of the EFL Championship.

Bielsa then went on to instill his tactics and ideology into not only the club’s senior side but also into the youth academy. The results eventually came along as Leeds were promoted to the Premier League in 2020 and managed an impressive ninth-place finish in the 2020-21 campaign.

However, the results took a turn for the worse last season, courtesy of which he was sacked earlier this year in February.

However, this now poses a brilliant opportunity for many clubs across Europe who want to inject more life into their club. Bielsa’s heavy-metal style of football and ability to instill his philosophy throughout the club is an attractive proposition.

The Argentine may not be out of a job for long given his immense credentials.

#3 Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino, despite only turning 50 this year, has already managed some top clubs in Europe.

The centre-back has had a fine playing career but his managerial accomplishments have arguably outweighed that. Pochettino came into management in 2009 when his former club RCD Espanyol decided to make him the head coach.

After three-and-a-half impressive seasons at the club, Espanyol decided to let go of him in November 2012, after a run of poor form to start the 2012-13 season. He quickly bounced back and took over the managerial reins at Southampton in January 2013.

During his 18 months at the club, Pochettino, through some sensational recruitment and tactics, brought some fantastic results to St. Mary’s Stadium. His achievements convinced Tottenham Hotspur to hand him the managerial job in 2014.

The Argentine went on to manage Spurs for five years, making them a consistent presence in the Premier League’s top four. His Tottenham side also reached the UEFA Champions League final in 2019. Pochettino’s achievements stood out as Spurs worked on a relatively small budget compared to their peers.

However, the team struggled in the aftermath of their Champions League final defeat and their form took a nosedive at the start of the 2019-20 season. The north London club eventually sacked Pochettino in November 2019.

The experienced tactician had many suitors and eventually decided to join another club he played for in Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in January 2021. The 50-year-old won his first-ever team trophy as a manager in the 2020-21 season, leading PSG to the French Cup as well as the French Super Cup.

He followed it up by winning the Ligue 1 title last season. But as is often the case with managers who take up the managerial hotseat in Paris, he was sacked due to a lack of success in the Champions League.

Regardless, Pochettino is currently one of the best available managerial options in the market.

#2 Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel’s sacking by Chelsea a couple of weeks ago shocked several fans and pundits alike because of the German’s elite coaching caliber.

The 49-year-old joined the Blues in January 2021 after his splendid coaching displays at FSV Mainz, Borussia Dortmund & PSG. Tuchel won three trophies at Stamford Bridge, including the Champions League.

But Chelsea experienced a change of ownership earlier this year after the UK Government placed sanctions on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Clearlake Capital took over the club, with Todd Boehly taking over from Abramovich.

The instability surrounding the club after a tumultuous 2022 culminated in some shocking performances on the pitch as well. Chelsea began the 2022-23 season in poor form, resulting in the new owners sacking Tuchel, despite his achievements over the last 18 months.

The German coach might not be out of a job for too long, given his resume. His tactical flexibility and ability to enable his side to perform in big games would have caught the eye of a number of top clubs.

As per Christian Falk, Tuchel was approached by Manchester United earlier this year for the managerial job, but turned it down. That also indicates that the former Borussia Dortmund boss is likely to return to the dugout at another top club sooner rather than later.

#1 Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane is arguably the most viable managerial prospect for any top European club that wishes for a change in management any time soon.

The Frenchman, after a stellar playing career, became the head coach of Real Madrid Castilla in 2014. He worked as an assistant coach for the first team before eventually taking over as their manager in January 2016.

Zidane went on to win nine trophies, including three consecutive Champions League titles. He later stepped down from the position in June 2018, before returning in the same capacity a year later in 2019.

The legendary footballer managed to win the La Liga title and the Spanish Cup during his second stint before leaving the club again in June 2021. Since then, the Frenchman has been approached by PSG (as per ESPN) & Manchester United (via Eurosport), but has remained without a managerial job.

Zidane is reportedly (Daily Mail) holding out to become the coach of the French national team. The job is likely to be available after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

His man-management methods, coupled with the know-how to win trophies, are a recipe for success, and he will be backed to improve whatever team he goes to.

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