Five shortest Premier League managerial tenures

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 11 September 2017, 15:31

Frank de Boer now holds the record for the shortest managerial spell in charge of a Premier League club after Crystal Palace cut short his tenure after only four league games.

It's an unwanted title, which is sure to plague the Dutchman for a long time, while it could even stand the test of time...unlikely though.

Below we look at De Boer’s shockingly brief stint in charge of the Eagles, along with four of the other briefest tenures from permanent Premier League managers (in games).

Frank de Boer - 4 Games

Poor Frank de Boer. The Dutchman was loving life in the summer of 2014 after hoisting his fourth consecutive Eredivisie with Ajax - the first manager to achieve this impressive feat. However, since leaving his homeland in 2016 he’s had an absolute stinker.

In the summer of 2016 De Boer was linked with a move to the Premier League, but instead took charge of Italian giants Inter Milan. However, just 85 days later Holland’s most capped outfield player (112) was axed following a run of four defeats in five league matches, which left the club down in 12th.

De Boer took some time out before returning to the dugout with Crystal Palace in June. Palace chairman Steve Parish promised “an evolution over a period of time” as De Boer prepared to implement his philosophy at Selhurst Park, but just 77 days later Parish went back on his word and gave the Dutchman the boot.

As a result De Boer, who in the process became the season’s first managerial casualty, replaced Les Reed at the top of the ‘Shortest Premier League Manager Tenures’ table, departing pointless and goalless after four straight league defeats.

On the plus side he did grab one victory - a 2-1 win over Championship Ipswich Town in the EFL Cup.

Les Reed - 7 Games

Les Reed won’t admit it publicly but he’ll no doubt be mightily relieved at De Boer’s sacking, as it means he no longer holds the record for the shortest spell (games) in charge of a Premier League club.

Few thought Reed’s minuscule seven match stint in charge of Charlton would ever be beaten, but this is a cut-throat business, and now 11 years after the Addicks sent him packing he no longer holds this infamous tag.

However, Reed does still hold the record for fewest days (41) at the helm after Charlton lost patience with him on Christmas Eve 2006. Reed, who replaced Iain Dowie, registered only one victory, while his side were dumped out of the League Cup by League Two side Wycombe.

Bob Bradley - 11 Games

In October 2016 Bradley became the first American to manage in the Premier League after replacing Francesco Guidolin at Swansea. Bradley may have had jobs at both international and club level, but he was still a surprise appointment, and one that backfired spectacularly.

Just 85 days later on 27th December Bradley was booted out of the Liberty Stadium exit door after losing seven of his 11 Premier League games, including an ultimately fatal final match battering at home to West Ham, which left the club 19th in the table.

Sammy Lee - 11 Games

When Sam Allardyce ended his 371 game reign at Bolton it was his assistant Sammy Lee who took over the Trotters. But in his first job in management “Little Sam” had a lot to live up to, quite literally, and after winning only one game in 11 league matches he was sent to the scrap heap with the club 19th in the table.

Lee has since taken up caretaker positions at Liverpool and Bolton, with whom he briefly returned to in 2012, while he left his assistant position at Palace following the sacking of De Boer.

Jacques Santini - 11 Games

In a time when Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez were transforming the Premier League on a tactical level, Tottenham decided to bring in their own foreign gaffer in Jacques Santini, who left his managerial position at the French national team in order to take charge of Spurs.

Santini had previously led France to the quarter-finals of Euro 2004, but endured a frustrating time adapting to life in the Premier League, calling it quits after only 11 games, which produced just three wins.

The Frenchman went on to manager Auxerre, but has not been seen since leaving the French side 11 years ago..


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