In most lines of work, if you have a really bad day at the office you’re told to go away, forget about it and come back tomorrow refreshed and anew.
But in football, and especially in management, such opportunities at redemption are few and far between – particularly after you have suffered a 0-9 thrashing.
So Scott Parker falls on his sword at Bournemouth after just four games of the 2021/22 season – the latter of which was that 0-9 humbling at the hands of Liverpool on Saturday. He led the Cherries to promotion from the Championship just three months ago.
In fairness, Parker perhaps didn’t help himself with a scathing press conference after the Liverpool game in which he accused the club’s owners of not being active enough in the transfer window. He claimed his squad was ‘unequipped’ to deal with the rigours of Premier League football.
“We need to make a decision and try and help this young group who at times are struggling for air,” Parker said.
“We have been trying to get more quality in and there are a million reasons why [it hasn’t happened].”
Bournemouth owner Maxim Demin hit back, stating:
“In order for us to keep progressing as a team and a club as a whole, it is unconditional that we are aligned in our strategy to run the club sustainably. We must also show belief in and respect for one another.”
Parker will be looking to bounce back with a new job as soon as possible, and at least he can console himself with the fact that he’s not the only Premier League manager to suffer an early season sacking….
A Premature End
If nothing else, Parker can enjoy the fact he got DOUBLE the amount of time at the helm than Kenny Dalglish did at Newcastle United in the 1998/99 campaign.
The Liverpool legend had guided the Magpies to the Champions League and an FA Cup final in his spell at the club, but that was not enough to appease ambitious chairman Freddy Shepherd. He took the chance to sack Dalglish after a pair of early season draws against Chelsea and Charlton, and that remains the quickest Premier League sacking of a new term.
Mind you, Paul Sturrock can lay claim to the unwanted record too. His stint at Southampton in 2004/05 ended on a similarly sour note after just two games – incredibly, the Saints winning the second of those against Blackburn! His was the most recent August sacking in the top-flight prior to Parker’s demise.
Both Peter Reid (Manchester City) and Javi Gracia (Watford) lasted just four games of the 1992/93 and 2019/20 seasons respectively, as did Frank de Boer – his torturous 77-day reign at Crystal Palace 2017/18 is also one of the shortest stints as a Premier League manager in history.
But the Dutchman was a veritable part of the furniture compared to Les Reed at Charlton. He was sacked just 41 days after taking charge of the Addicks in 2006. Appointed in November, the artist known as ‘Les Miserable’ for his downtrodden demeanour didn’t even last until Christmas.