It’s a tough gig being a football manager.
Aside from spewing tired clichés to the press and dealing with a team full of underperforming man-children, the threat of the axe often looms larger than a levitating Grim Reaper.
For every bulletproof Alex Ferguson or Arsène Wenger, there’s some hapless bugger thrown in at the deep end who’s expected to pull a crisis club to safety with a meagre budget and a psychopathic chairman stalking his every move.
When you add in team talks that involve throwing Subbuteo pieces at a whiteboard while blasting a hairdryer over their centre forward’s quiff, it’s easy to see why these managerial morons are typically cannon fodder for cold-blooded chairmen.
Quite simply, as a career move, football management is more unstable than Paul Gascoigne riding a unicycle through a beer garden at Oktoberfest.
While it’s easy for us armchair fans to lounge around in Y-fronts and scratch our arses as we criticise beleaguered managers, years of fantasy football have actually taught us a thing or two about running a successful squad.
With that in mind, take a look at five of football’s shortest managerial stints and thank your lucky stars that, when Saturday comes, the same fate won’t befall you if you forget to tinker with your team …
LEROY ROSENIOR – TORQUAY
TIME IN CHARGE: 10 MINUTES
Poor old Leroy was in charge at Torquay for just 600 seconds, which makes him the unfortunate record holder for the shortest spell as manager EVER. To be fair, the circumstances surrounding his dismissal were outwith his control (a consortium took over the club and wanted their own man), but the regrettable Rosenior was out on his ear faster than you can cook a batch of frozen chips.
DAVE BASSETT – CRYSTAL PALACE
TIME IN CHARGE: 4 DAYS
Although Bassett – the old hound – didn’t actually sign on the dotted line during his time at Palace, it only took four days for him to do a swift u-turn and head back to his previous position at Wimbledon. The reason? Well, it was 1984 and times were much simpler, but it’s actually a little known fact that Bassett returned to Wimbledon to carry on his clandestine affair with a womble.
MARTIN LING – CAMBRIDGE UNITED
TIME IN CHARGE: 9 DAYS
We’ve all been warned about taking a position at a company where the head honcho has a reputation as a bit of a madman, but it seems Martin Ling wanted to make his own mind up. Despite his predecessor quitting due to clashes with Cambridge United’s chairman, Ling evidently thought he could tame the beast. Nine days later, however, Ling also left with his tail between his legs.
PAUL HART – QPR
TIME IN CHARGE: 28 DAYS
A manager having a heated run in with a player is nothing new, but there seems to be something in the water at Loftus Road. After a bust up with Adel Taarabat, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Jim Magilton, who was suspended after a heated exchange with Akos Buzsaky, Paul Hart was swiftly relieved of his duties by QPR’s flamboyant owner, Flavio Briatore, after just 28 days.
STEVE COPPELL – MANCHESTER CITY
TIME IN CHARGE: 33 DAYS
Portsmouth’s former Director of Football hasn’t had his troubles to seek as a manager, although his time at Maine Road probably ranks up there with the worst of them. After just six games in charge, Coppell claimed the stress of the job was too much, quickly scarpering to Crystal Palace as chief scout. To this day, Coppell’s reign is the shortest of any Manchester City manager.
Reckon you can do a better job than the boys listed above?
Prove it by registering with Premier Punt today and join a community of likeminded individuals bidding to outwit their rivals with first rate managerial ability – and, best of all, there are no bloodthirsty chairmen in sight …