12 out of work football managers worth employing this summer - Zidane, Gattuso, Fonseca...

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One thing you can be sure of, with the summer looming, is a raft of managerial and coaching changes across Europe.

For supporters, that is an exciting time of new possibility. It's also a scary time because you can't help but fear club owners doing stupid stuff.

However, there is an abundance of respected and decorated managers without a club right now who are very much worth having. To prove it, here are 12 of them.

Joachim Low

Joachim Low is one of those great unknowns who still comes with a huge reputation. Low is available after ending a 15-year stint as Germany boss in which he became a World Cup-winning coach.

Once upon a time he was a club manager too, and a pretty good one. He had success at Stuttgart in the late 1990s, did okay at Fenerbahce and won the Austrian title with Tirol Innsbruck.

Does a return to club coaching beckon at the age of 62? That's obviously down to him, but one suspects he won't be short on opportunities.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

How do you begin to assess the coaching career of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? How do you separate his performance from Manchester United's decline? Was he a cause of it or just another victim of it?

What even Solskjaer's biggest critics would have to accept is that, aside from a poor 30-game spell at Cardiff, he has a career win percentage of 57% across more than 400 games. Granted, more than half of those games came in Norway, but you don't remain in charge of Manchester United for more than 150 games if you have nothing to offer. Solskjaer's reputation among supporters has almost certainly taken a hit, but he has likely gained a lot of respect within the game and someone will end up getting a very good manager when he decides the time is right to return.

Ernesto Valverde

Aside from two highly successful stints in Greece at Olympiakos, Ernesto Valverde has not stepped outside of La Liga. He is a vastly experienced coach who has taken charge of Athletic Bilbao (twice), Espanyol, Villarreal, Valencia and Barcelona, winning the title twice with the latter. He was a UEFA Cup runner-up with Espanyol too. It may be the case that Valverde has no real interest in coaching away from La Liga and he feels he almost has nothing left to prove. If someone could tempt him back, though, they'd be getting a coach with a brilliant pedigree.

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane with sons Enzo, Luka, Theo and Elyaz
Zinedine Zidane with sons Enzo, Luka, Theo and Elyaz

There is no doubt that the number one candidate for any elite club looking for a new manager right now would be Zinedine Zidane.

Zidane won the lot in two very successful spells in charge of Real Madrid and the likes of Manchester United have been persistently linked with him in the past.

However, all indications are that he is waiting to see if the France job comes up after the World Cup before committing himself elsewhere.

Laurent Blanc

If the France job does come up, Zidane may face competition for it from his former Les Bleus team-mate Laurent Blanc.

Blanc has been out of work since leaving Al-Rayyan earlier this year, but that adventure in Qatar was the first failure of a fine managerial career. He's just 56 and won Ligue 1 with Bordeaux to prove he is not a mere chequebook manager.

If Blanc is still motivated to manage, and there is no reason to think he is not, you can't see him remaining out of the game for long.

Nuno Espirito Santo

Nuno Espirito Santo Aug21
Nuno Espirito Santo Aug21

Okay, so it didn't work out at Tottenham for Nuno Espirito Santo, but he's far from a spent force. And, for all we say 'it didn't work out' at Spurs, he still left with a 47% win rate.

There is, in fairness, a lack of real honours on Nuno's CV, but he has always been a supremely solid coach, and at big clubs like Porto and Valencia too.

Nuno's finest achievement has been to establish Wolves as a Premier League club as well as getting them into Europe. He's a safe pair of hands with a record of building too, so expect him to be back in football before long.

Gennaro Gattuso

Gennaro Gattuso is one of those coaches who went in at the very top because of his reputation as a player, and he has since developed a bit of a reputation as a nearly-man. In his first job at AC Milan he missed out on qualifying for the Champions League by a single point and then it happened to him again with Napoli.

His motivation to get back involved is the major question mark over Gattuso, though. Last summer he agreed to take over at Fiorentina before leaving the club after just 23 days. That was reportedly due to disagreements over transfer budgets, so if a club want to try and tempt Gattuso back into football they had better be willing to spend some money.

Rafael Benitez

Rafa Benitez Newcastle manager
Rafa Benitez Newcastle manager

Rafael Benitez is absolutely brilliant - a veritable football genius - if you ask Liverpool or Newcastle fans. Ask Everton, Real Madrid and Inter supporterss, though and they will tell you he is utterly hopeless.

There is no doubt that Benitez used to be a top coach, but those days feel a long time ago now. He might still be a good one, but his performance at Everton didn't exactly do his reputation any good.

That, though, may mean his next club are getting an extra-motivated coach desperate to repair his image and legacy, so perhaps he has one last big job in him.

Paulo Fonseca

In many ways it is surprising that Paulo Fonseca is still available. The Mozambique-born Portuguese was heavily linked with both the  Tottenham and Newcastle roles last season but failed to land either of them.

He is definitely a coach with some real pedigree, though, having won honours in Portugal with Porto and Braga and Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk. Fonseca's most recent job was at Roma, where he finished fifth. For context, that was one place higher than Jose Mourinho managed this season.

Marcelo Bielsa

Artist Irek Jasutowicz works on a new mural of Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa near Hyde Park in Leeds. The West Yorkshire club will mark their return to the Premier League after a 16-year wait with a trip to champions Liverpool on Saturday.
Artist Irek Jasutowicz works on a new mural of Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa near Hyde Park in Leeds. The West Yorkshire club will mark their return to the Premier League after a 16-year wait with a trip to champions Liverpool on Saturday.

It felt like British clubs had been frightened of Marcelo Bielsa and everything that comes with him for years before Leeds took the plunge in 2018.

In many ways it is hard to say whether his time at Elland Road proved his critics wrong or right, but ultimately he left Leeds in a much better position than in which he found them.

Does he have the desire to do it all again at 66 years old? Probably, and if he can find a club and set of supporters who can match his relentless energy, they'll be lucky to have him.

Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche is an object lesson in how statistics can be incredibly misleading in football. A career win record of 35% over nearly 500 games is unlikely to blow anyone away.

However, Dyche has been something of a victim of his own loyalty to Burnley. He was there for nearly ten years - itself a remarkable achievement in the modern era - and he worked wonders to keep them in the Premier League as long as he did. We will never know if he would have kept them up again this season too.

Burnley sacking him has liberated him from that loyalty and it's only a matter of time before he resurfaces again in football. When he does, it will be fascinating to see what he is able to achieve with, hopefully, a lot more resources.

Marco Rose

Did Marco Rose underachieve at Borussia Dortmund last season? They finished second in the Bundesliga despite having Erling Haaland up front, got knocked out of the Champions League early and then failed in the Europa League. The club directors obviously thought he did given they sacked him after just a year.

Rose certainly didn't underachieve at Borussia Monchengladbach before that though, where he got them into the Champions League and then all the way to the knockout stage. He didn't underachieve at RB Salzburg either, where he won the double. It won't be long before Rose returns to management and plenty will be happy to have him.

The article 12 out of work football managers worth employing this summer - Zidane, Gattuso, Fonseca... appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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