From Emery magic to an internal promotion bonanza, a managerial change is a godsend
The 2022-2023 season saw many of Europe’s big clubs in the doldrums change managers in search of a saviour. While some, like Chelsea, have seen their results drop further with each change of manager, others have managed to climb up the table. Here’s a look at some of the most notable managerial appointments in each league.
Aston Villa’s ‘Emery Magic’ relegation battle takes them to Europe
Aston Villa started the season ambitiously. With the likes of Diego Carlos and Roberto Firmino adding depth to the squad, they hoped to make the leap to the top flight. However, the start of the season did not go as expected. With just two wins, three draws, and six defeats in 11 English Premier League (EPL) games, the team dropped to 17th place. Only three points separated them from the bottom of the table. Unable to wait any longer, the Villa hierarchy took action and sacked Steven Gerrard.메이저놀이터
After a painstaking search for their next manager, Villa decided to bring in Unai Emery from Villarreal. The club paid a €6 million release clause to bring Emery in during the season, a move that proved to be worth every penny. Villa were 16th in the table at the time of Emery’s appointment, with one win under the acting manager since Gerrard’s departure. After 10 games under Emery, the gap between them and the bottom of the table was 10 points and they were 11th. With 15 games remaining, they were seventh. With 15 wins from 25 league games under Emery, Villa qualified for the UEFA Europa Conference next season.
Mendilibar defends the title of ‘King of the Europa League’
After finishing fourth in the Spanish La Liga ‘top three’ in each of the previous three seasons, Sevilla struggled this season. With just one win in the first seven rounds of the season, they slipped to 17th place. A draw and two defeats in their first three UEFA Champions League (UCL) matches also made it difficult for coach Julen Lopetegui to keep his job. He was replaced by Jorge Sampaoli, who had managed Sevilla six years earlier, but the Sampaoli regime was short-lived. After climbing to mid-table and falling back to 14th, Sevilla made another coaching change in March.
He was succeeded by José Luis Mendilibar, who has a long history in the Spanish game. Mendilibar’s previous two teams had both been relegated, so there was some anxiety, but he steadied the ship with just two defeats in 17 games.
The highlight was the UEFA Europa League. He led Sevilla to the final, beating formidable opponents Manchester United and Juventus. In the final, they defeated Mourinho’s ‘unbeaten in European finals’ AS Roma to win their seventh Europa League trophy. Sevilla are pushing to extend Mendilibar’s contract, which expires at the end of the season.
Leipzig’s quick decisions lead to back-to-back Pokal titles and a place in the UCL
RB Leipzig made a quick change at the start of the season, sacking Domenic Tedesco just a month into the new campaign after he led them to the 2021-2022 DFB-Pokal, the first major trophy in the club’s history, around three months ago. The club had lost four of eight matches, including cup competitions. He was succeeded by Marco Reus, a former Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund coach.
He immediately changed the tone. In his first game, he beat his former club Dortmund 3-0. They lost their next two games, but then went unbeaten in their next 18 matches. A seven-match unbeaten streak at the end of the season saw Leipzig finish third in the Bundesliga. They then defeated Eintracht Frankfurt in the Pokal final on 4 April to lift the Pokal trophy for the second consecutive season.
From hell to heaven, Dejakarian
Michel Dejakarian started the season in charge of Stade Brestois but was quickly relieved of his duties. With one win, three draws and six defeats in 10 games, the club was bottom of the table, and for good reason. He took a break for a while and found a new job in February. The family came to the rescue. Montpellier HSC, the club where Dezakarian spent the last 12 years of his career and where he led from 2017 to 2021, offered him the job.
Ironically, Dezakarian’s return to Montpellier was against his former club Brestois. Dejakarian started his time in Montpellier with a 3-0 win over Brescia and successfully played the role of firebrand. After 22 games, six wins, two draws and 14 defeats, with 20 points, and just two points above the relegation zone, Montpellier finished the season in 12th place after 16 games, nine wins, three draws and four defeats, with 30 points, under Dezakarian. Meanwhile, Dezakarian’s former club Brestua finished 14th.
Monza’s first successful Serie A season with an internally promoted coach
Monza, managed by long-time AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, were promoted to Serie A for the first time in their history this season. The club made an aggressive transfer window for their first season in Serie A, bringing in more than 20 semi-professional players, and made a strong start. By the fifth round, they had scored just two goals and conceded 13, and had lost five in a row. After a 1-1 draw against fellow promoted side Lecce in round six, Monza decided to change coaches.
High-profile names such as Claudio Ranieri were initially considered, but when he was unavailable, Raffaele Palladino, who had been coaching the youth team, was handed the reins, and in his first game in charge of the first team, Palladino made a mistake. A win over Juventus was the first Serie A victory in Monza’s history.
The game against Juventus was just the beginning. Monza finished the season in 11th place with 14 wins in 32 league games under Palladino. After a remarkable debut season in charge, Palladino was linked with Juventus and other clubs, but he remained loyal to Monza by extending his contract.