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Manager merry-go-round has no end in sight

So, we’re only in the first week of June, and we’ve already seen more managerial shifts than you could shake the proverbial stick at.

As domestic seasons drew to a close across Europe, a frenetic game of musical chairs was played out, with many seats still remaining to be filled.

The fun kicked off on April 27, when Pep Guardiola announced he would be stepping down as manager of Barcelona.

After a difficult season that saw Barca fall short in both La Liga and Europe, Guardiola departed, saying he needed a break from football. He will be replaced by his assistant coach Tito Vilanova.

Guardiola won 14 titles during four years in charge at the Camp Nou, and no one could begrudge the diminutive Spaniard some time away from the game.

Unprecedented

However, this unprecedented level of success meant it was not long before he would be linked with positions at several high profile clubs, including Liverpool and Chelsea.

As Guardiola made his exit, Jose Mourinho was signing a new four-year contract which will keep him at Real Madrid until 2016. After breaking Barcelona’s stranglehold on La Liga, it seems he has silenced his doubters for now.

On May 1 the Football Association surprised many when they appointed Roy Hodgson as the new England manager, with Harry Redknapp having led the early running for the job.

Hodgson, perhaps seen as a safer pair of hands than the outspoken Redknapp, had enjoyed an excellent season with West Brom.

His successor at the Hawthorns has yet to be announced, with former Liverpool and Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke the frontrunner for the vacancy.

Relegation

Terry Connor, who took over from Mick McCarthy as Wolves languished in the relegation zone in February, will step aside in July.

He will be replaced by former Norwegian midfielder Ståle Solbakken, who had five successful seasons in charge of FC Copenhagen before a difficult season with FC Köln in 2011-2012.

Kenny Dalglish’s departure from Liverpool led to a flurry of activity, with club owner John W Henry and Fenway Sports Group drawing up an extensive list of possible candidates for the vacancy.

After several meetings with Wigan’s Roberto Martinez, and several days of Wigan chairman Dave Whelan taking centre stage, Liverpool eventually offered the job to Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman had been reluctant to talk with Liverpool initially, but quickly came around when told he was their number one target. Rodgers has a tough task in trying to rebuild a Liverpool side that has slipped into mediocrity in recent years.

Acrimonious

Aston Villa’s disappointing 16th place finish in the league meant Alex McLeish was shown the door just one season into his tenure.

His replacement, Paul Lambert, endured an acrimonious exit from Norwich City, where his resignation was turned down by the Canaries’ board. Compensation between Villa and Norwich has since been agreed.

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton is favourite for the vacant Norwich job, which could lead to the carousel coming full circle and Alex McLeish back in charge of Birmingham.

Take into account that no decision has been made regarding Roberto Di Matteo’s future at Chelsea, and we could yet be in for even more craziness.

The FA Cup and Champions League-winning boss might well be looking for a new job soon, as speculation persists that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will seek out a more experienced manager to help rebuild an ageing side.

So if you’re thinking about becoming a football manager, pack light, learn how to play hard to get and don’t ever think that winning the Champions League means you’ll have a job come August.

By Andrew Wade

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