Top 5 Worst Interim Managers in Premier League History

Caretaker managers are currently in the spotlight in the Premier League, as several teams have resorted to short-term replacements in an attempt to stabilize their declining performances.

However, not all of these interim bosses have been successful, as demonstrated by the two notable mentions, Cristian Stellini at Tottenham and Frank Lampard of Chelsea.

In this article, we will examine five individuals who failed to address the immediate problems of their respective clubs, making them some of the worst interim managers in the history of the Premier League.

5 Worst Interim Managers in PL history

Joe Kinnear – Newcastle United

Following Kevin Keegan’s resignation in the 2008/09 season, Joe Kinnear was appointed as the interim manager of Newcastle United until the end of the season.

However, Kinnear’s arrival made an immediate and unfavorable impression due to an astonishingly foul-mouthed outburst directed at the gathered press.

Kinnear’s appointment was peculiar considering that he had not worked in the Premier League for nearly a decade and had been unemployed for almost four years prior to joining Newcastle.

His tenure proved to be underwhelming as he managed to secure only five victories out of 26 matches, thrusting Newcastle into a relegation battle. Eventually, Kinnear departed the club due to health reasons.

In a surprising turn of events, Kinnear returned to Newcastle in 2013, this time as the Director of Football. However, his off-pitch antics continued to overshadow his contributions on it.

One particularly notorious incident involved an interview on talkSPORT where Kinnear made several false claims about his own career, including wrongly stating that he had won the LMA Manager of the Year award three times (he had actually won it once in 1994) and taking credit for the signing of Tim Krul, a Dutch goalkeeper who had joined Newcastle two years prior to Kinnear’s arrival.

It is evident that Joe Kinnear’s stints as both interim manager and Director of Football at Newcastle United were marked by controversy and a lack of success, making him one of the Premier League’s worst interim managers in history.

Les Reed – Charlton Athletic

Although Les Reed’s managerial career spanned just one club, it was enough to earn him a spot on our infamous list. Reed’s sole opportunity came at Charlton Athletic in 2006 when they were still in the English Premier League.

Unfortunately, his tenure was marked by poor results, as he managed to secure only one win, one draw, and suffered six losses.

What makes Reed’s stint particularly ironic is that he had authored a book titled “The Official FA Guide to Basic Team Coaching,” which now raises skepticism given his lack of success.

His time as the full-time boss at Charlton lasted a mere 41 days, making him the manager with the shortest tenure in the EPL (excluding fill-in managers).

Reed’s Charlton team performed so abysmally that the media gave him nicknames like “Les Misérables” and “Santa Clueless.”

In an unofficial online poll, he was even voted as “the worst manager of all time.” Fortunately for Charlton fans, Reed was replaced by Alan Pardew.

Les Reed’s brief and ill-fated stint at Charlton Athletic solidifies his position as one of the Premier League’s worst interim managers in history.

Alan Shearer – Newcastle United

In the tumultuous 2008/09 season, Newcastle United found themselves in a desperate situation after Kevin Keegan’s resignation, Joe Kinnear’s health issues, and Chris Hughton stepping in as a caretaker manager.

In an attempt to salvage their campaign and avoid relegation, the club turned to their legendary figure, Alan Shearer.

Alan Shearer, Newcastle’s all-time leading goalscorer, was appointed by owner Mike Ashley amidst popular support.

However, despite his revered status, Shearer had no prior experience as a manager, and his arrival failed to halt the team’s downward spiral. During his eight-game tenure, Shearer managed to secure only one victory and accumulate a mere five points.

The final blow came with a defeat against Aston Villa on the last day of the season, confirming Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship.

Shearer later revealed that he had initially agreed to continue as the manager following relegation, but the Newcastle ownership had a change of heart, leaving him in limbo. Shearer expressed his disappointment, stating that he had not received any communication or clarification regarding the situation.

Instead, it was Chris Hughton who was named as the club’s new manager. Under Hughton’s guidance, Newcastle achieved promotion back to the Premier League in their first attempt, bringing some respite to the troubled club.

Alan Shearer’s brief and ultimately unsuccessful managerial stint at Newcastle United remains a significant chapter in the club’s history, as they endured relegation despite the hopes and expectations placed upon their iconic figure.

Terry Connor – Wolves

Following the dismissal of Mick McCarthy in the 2011/12 season, Terry Connor was appointed as the interim manager for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Taking over when the team was languishing in 18th place, Connor faced a challenging task to revive their fortunes. However, his time in charge proved to be disastrous as Wolves plummeted towards relegation.

Despite starting with a promising draw against Newcastle, Connor’s tenure quickly deteriorated. Wolves suffered seven consecutive defeats in the Premier League, leaving them stranded in the bottom three.

Throughout his 13-game spell, Connor managed to gather only four points and failed to secure a single victory. The team finished the season at the bottom of the table, accumulating a meager 25 points.

Remarkably, Terry Connor holds the unwanted record of being the only manager in Premier League history to have a win rate of 0% after overseeing 10 or more games in charge.

His tenure at Wolves was marred by a lack of success and ultimately ended in relegation to the Championship.

John Carver – Newcastle United

Following Alan Pardew’s departure to Crystal Palace in the 2014/15 season, John Carver was appointed as Newcastle United’s interim manager, a position he previously held briefly after Sir Bobby Robson’s dismissal in 2004.

Despite a shaky start, with three defeats and one draw in his first four games in charge, Carver was given the role until the end of the season.

He secured his first victory against Hull City but soon oversaw a dismal record-breaking losing streak.

Under Carver’s management, Newcastle endured eight consecutive defeats, which led to him making bold and peculiar claims, asserting that he was the “best coach in the Premier League,” despite the team’s woeful winless run.

While Newcastle narrowly escaped relegation that season, Carver’s contribution was minimal. He could only muster 13 points from his 19 league fixtures as the interim boss.

Overall, John Carver’s time as Newcastle’s interim manager was marked by poor results and a lack of success, with his team narrowly avoiding the drop primarily through other factors rather than his managerial prowess.

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