In around four months time the world's longest-serving national team coach, Joachim Low, will be available for hire for the first time in decades.
When Low last operated as manager of a club side, at Austria Wien in 2004, Sven Goran Eriksson was managing England while closer to his homeland Werder Bremen were set to be crowned German champions under Thomas Schaaf.
In other words, it was a long time ago.
Low’s success in charge of the German national team is well known. He won the World Cup in 2014 and the Confederations Cup a few years later. In total he took his country to the semi-final stage of four other major tournaments, which included a runners-up spot at Euro 2008.
Low was incredibly consistent over a long period at such a high level; at the time of writing he’s accumulated a 63% win rate, extremely impressive considering it’s been over a 15-year period.
How has Low fared at club level?
In contrast to his gargantuan 15-year tenure in charge of Germany, at club level Low’s only managed over 40 games in one of his six jobs.
In the late 1990s Low carded back-to-back 4th place finishes during two seasons at Stuttgart, whom he won the DFB-Pokal and took to a League Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final - the latter was a defeat to Gianluca Vialli’s Chelsea.
- Euro 2008: 2nd— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) March 9, 2021
- World Cup 2010: 3rd
- Euro 2012: 3rd
- World Cup 2014: 🏆
- Euro 2016: 4th
- World Cup 2018: Group Stage
BREAKING: World Cup winner Joachim Löw will step down from his position in charge of the German national team after this summer's #Euro2020 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/lXz88RQaFw
He then spent a single season at Fenerbahce - they finished 3rd in the Turkish league - followed by a six-month stint containing one win at Karlsruher. There was an even briefer two-and-a-half-month spell back in Turkey at Adanaspor where he failed to win a single game.
Low enjoyed more success, at first, in Austria where he led Tirol Innsbruck to the title but left Austria Wien before the conclusion of his first season (March), although they were in top spot.
He’s been with the German national set-up ever since, first as an assistant to Jürgen Klinsmann, before he moved into the top job in 2006.
Where will he manage next?
Low, with good reason, would previously have expected to land a big European job should he have been interested in a return to club football. Yet, whether he still has the star power to attract a top club is debatable.
A return to Germany or Austria appear the most likely options; Borussia Monchengladbach are looking for a replacement for Marco Rose.
It would be interesting if Real Madrid, with whom he’s been linked with in the past, opted to part ways with Zinedine Zidane this summer; Low is currently a 20/1 shot.
Meanwhile, he’s an 80/1 outsider to replace Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, in the unlikely scenario that the Argentine vacates his post.
What about the Premier League?
We know that Low’s fellow countryman Jurgen Klopp isn’t leaving Liverpool anytime soon. The same goes for Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the Manchester clubs.
Chelsea, you simply never know. The life-span of a Blues boss is short, but the early signs are that another German coach, Thomas Tuchel, has enjoyed a great start to his 18-month tenure. Things can change quickly of course.
It remains to be seen whether Mikel Arteta has properly weathered the storm at Arsenal, while North London neighbours Tottenham have Jose Mourinho at the helm. He recently came under-fire but he was appointed to win trophies and has a League Cup final on the horizon, while Spurs remain in contention to win the Europa League.
The futures of both Arteta and Mourinho should become clearer in the summer.
Outside of the top-six?
We still don’t know what the future holds for Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace. The veteran gaffer’s contract expires at the end of the season, and there’s a growing feeling that it won’t be renewed.
A trio of young Englishman are currently being linked with the Eagles, in Frank Lampard, Eddie Howe and John Terry, while the experienced Burnley boss Sean Dyche also features in the betting.
The last time Palace opted for a non-British manager they sacked Frank de Boer after four Premier League games.
Barely an hour goes by without speculation brewing over Steve Bruce’s future at Newcastle (40/1). It’s difficult to predict what will happen when it comes to the Toon, but for so long as Mike Ashley is running the show a managerial change seems remote.