10 bosses that were tipped for the top including Gary Neville and Frank De Boer

When Aitor Karanka was named as Middlesbrough’s manager in 2013, he came with a sterling reputation having worked alongside Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.

Morurinho labelled the Spaniard as his little brother and after winning promotion at Riverside it looked as if he could have a similarly impressive career in the dugout.

But since then, it hasn’t gone to plan, with spells at Nottingham Forest and now Birmingham City producing indifferent results.

Karanka was sacked by Birmingham bosses on Sunday with the Championship club teetering just above the relegation zone.

His dismissal leaves Karanka’s reputation in tatters. But he’s not the only manager to have seen a promising career quickly hit the skids.

Here’s 10 bosses you may have forgot were tipped for greatness.

Aitor Karanka

We'll start with the man in the headlines, after Karanka’s spell at St. Andrew’s was ended after less than one season.

It all started so well at Boro, but backroom arguments and a loss of form saw him dismissed.

After returning to the Championship with Forest, Karanka lasted almost exactly one year, winning 16 times in his 52 matches in charge.

A third spell in the second tier has brought similarly negative results and it will now be a case of him rebuilding a reputation that is seriously tarnished.

Gary Neville

A legendary playing career, under the guidance of the greatest ever manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, Neville always looked like he was cut out for a career in the dugout.

His stint as a pundit on Sky Sports only heightened the sense that Neville was primed to succeed as a manager.

But after joining his brother Phil at Valencia, it just never materialised.

Three La Liga wins saw him sacked just four months after taking over. Neville has suggested he won’t take another crack at management, while Jamie Carragher is sure to always remind him.

Paul Lambert

After a long and storied career as a player, one that included a Champions League triumph with Borussia Dortmund, Lambert started his managerial stint in 2005.

After doing impressive work at Wycombe and Colchester, Lambert was given the job at Norwich City in 2009.

At Carrow Road, he enjoyed brilliant success, winning promotion in back-to-back seasons to take them from League One to the Premier League.

The Canaries would be relegated and he made the decision to join Aston Villa and it hasn’t gone to plan ever since.

Stints at Blackburn Rovers, Wolves, Stoke and Ipswich have all failed to bring success and it’s likely he will need to go back down the pyramid to find another role.

Andre Villas-Boas

The second coach on this list with links to ‘the Special One’, AVB was always destined to have comparisons with Mourinho.

After winning the Europa League with Porto, Villas-Boas followed his compatriot to Stamford Bridge.

The Portuguese tried to blood several youngsters in, but upset some of the more senior players, making his position untenable after just 40 matches.

He managed to reach double that amount with Spurs, but never looked capable of achieving long-term success.

Villas-Boas did win the Russian Premier League with Zenit in 2015, but an ugly departure from Marseille leaves his standing within the game at a low.

Tim Sherwood

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  • The man that replaced Villas-Boas at Spurs is next and it started so well for Sherwood. After a brilliant interim spell, he was given the job permanently.

    But he lasted only six months in total, before Daniel Levy decided he wasn’t a long-term option.

    He then joined Aston Villa, but after guiding them to the FA Cup final in May 2015, Sherwood struggled for results and was sacked in October of that year.

    Garry Monk

    Monk had Swansea City playing brilliant football when he first made the transition from the pitch to dugout.

    Helping to keep them up in 2014/15. But it just hasn’t gone to plan since then.

    They were signs he could achieve success at Leeds, but he left the club in a state of shock to join Boro., but only lasted 26 games in charge.

    His stint at Birmingham is one that has to be seen through the prism of unstable ownership, but after leaving there and being sacked by Sheffield Wednesday, it is intriguing where he will pop up next.

    Thierry Henry

    Proof that playing credentials don’t always translate into management skills. Arguably the greatest player in the history of the Premier League, his performances as a coach are far less impressive.

    After working alongside Roberto Martinez at Belgium, he took the big job at Monaco in 2018.

    However, winning just four games in 20 left the Ligue 1 outfit marooned in the relegation zone. While his record of just nine wins in 29 at Montral Impact is similarly uninspiring.

    Frank De Boer

    Four Eredeivisie titles in six years ar Ajax left him as one of the most highly respected coaches in Europe.

    His standing took a hit after failing at Inter Milan, but his appointment at Crystal Palace was one that still left fans excited.

    Four league games, four defeats and no goals later, he was sacked, with Mourinho labelling him ‘the worst manager in the history of the Premier League’.

    Now with the Netherlands he will hope to prove people wrong at this summer’s European championship.

    Malky Mackay

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    The decision to sack Mackay was one met with widespread condemnation.

    After all, he had guided them to a League Cup final in 2012 and to the Premier League for the first time ever in 2013.

    However, it wouldn’t last and he was dismissed in 2014.

    He was then forced into apologising for ‘disrespecting other cultures’ when texts between he and Iain Moody were leaked.

    Mackay was back in the game with Wigan in 2014, but 25 games later he was sacked.

    Roberto Di Matteo

    May 19 2012, is a day that will never be forgotten by Chelsea. As Roberto DI Matteo guiding them to the most unlikely Champions League triumph against Bayern Munich at the Allianz.

    He was quite rightly given the job permanently shortly after, but once the honeymoon ended, he was sacked just months after the best night in the club’s history.

    Short spells at Schalke and Aston Villa followed, with the Italian now five years removed from his last post.

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