7 managers who magically failed upwards after disappointment: Kompany, Rooney, Lampard…

Vincent Kompany has overseen a dismal return to the Premier League that has ended in Burnley being relegated straight back to the Championship – yet somehow is on the verge of becoming Bayern Munich manager.

Burnley finished 19th with just 24 points and amassing five wins all season, following a summer where they spent in excess of £90million.

Kompany is a very young manager and clearly an intelligent man who could prove to be a masterstroke appointment by Bayern, but directly off the back of a season where he was relegated with Burnley?

The timing is off, to say the very least, and it’s an exceptionally bold move from the German giants who need to bounce back next season.

However, sometimes in football, the environment is everything. Kompany isn’t the first manager to fail upwards in the game and he won’t be the last. Here are six other examples.

Wayne Rooney

Another tremendous footballer still trying to find his feet in management, Rooney’s career in coaching started off as well as it probably could’ve done at Derby, steering the club away from relegation in 2020-21. He couldn’t avoid the drop the following season, although people were happy to conclude that there was little he could do.

DC United was another story. His second job as a manager came with his former club in MLS, but after a dismal two seasons where they failed to make the play-offs and never looked good for it, he was given the chop in 2023.

At this point, the credit he had in the bank from Derby had dried up, so when he was appointed Birmingham manager to replace the hastily dismissed John Eustace in October 2023, it felt doomed from the off.

Having fell upwards, Rooney was gone by January after just two wins in 15 games.

Wayne Rooney was sacked by Birmingham City in January 2024 after a terrible run of form.

READ: 13 football legends that became terrible managers: Rooney, Maradona, Pirlo…

Frank Lampard

Fair play to Lampard, who was appointed Chelsea manager in 2019, replacing Maurizio Sarri, after *checks notes* taking Derby from sixth to sixth in the Championship and failing to win the play-offs with a stacked squad that included the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on loan.

His Premier League debut as Chelsea manager saw his side thumped 4-0 away to Manchester United, but the season didn’t end too badly with Lampard managing a fourth-placed finish after not being able to sign players in his first summer due to a transfer ban.

He was dismissed in January 2021 with Chelsea sat ninth after a run of two wins in eight Premier League matches, following a summer transfer window that saw the club spend well over £200million on seven signings to bolster the squad.

He was replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who won the Champions League with that squad in the same season. Ouch.

The tip of the iceberg? Chelsea brought him back on caretaker basis at the end of the 2022-23 season to replace the dismissed Graham Potter. He won one game in 11.

Roberto Martinez

Martinez was once upon a time heralded as a solid manager for his work at Wigan, keeping them in the Premier League for as long as he possibly could, winning the FA Cup with the Latics in 2013, just days before they were relegated to the Championship/.

Three years at Everton after that stint with Wigan somewhat exposed Martinez’s true levels, with the Toffees never really kicking on and Martinez never managing to build on promise shown at Wigan.

He left in 2016 with his stock extremely low, but somehow walked into the Belgium national team job.

After failing to deliver any silverware with Belgium’s golden generation – Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, just to name a few – he left in 2022, and somehow landed himself the Portugal job at the beginning of 2023.

The conclusion to draw from this? Fail at Everton, and if you’re lucky, you might one day be in charge of managing Cristiano Ronaldo.

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every Chelsea manager in Premier League history?

Ronald Koeman

Another one who underperformed at Everton before reaching baffling new heights, Koeman’s first season as Everton manager saw them finish in the Europa League in 2016-17, making good on the work he’d done at Southampton.

Ahead of his second season, Koeman was given a war chest to work with in the transfer window. Did they replace the departed Romelu Lukaku?

No, but they signed the likes of Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez and Theo Walcott, spending around £150million that summer, but being in the relegation zone by October 2017, resulting in his dismissal.

It was a massive surprise, then, when he was appointed Barcelona manager in 202o.

Things went about as average as one would expect, with Joan Laporta admitting at the end of the season that he wished to replace Koeman, but failing to do so and letting him stay on for the 2021-22 campaign. He lasted until October.

Ronald Koeman Barcelona

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every Barcelona manager since 2000?

Fabio Cannavaro

Yet another sublime footballer, Cannavaro’s record of being the only defender to lift the Ballon d’Or speaks volumes about his talent, but his managerial career has been largely forgettable.

Starting out as an assistant manager at Al-Ahli in 2013-14, the bulk of his career as a coach has been in Asia, most of his time around the Chinese game with a brief spell at Al-Nassr in between.

Cannavaro managed the Chinese national team alongside his duties at Guangzhou Evergrande in 2019, but left after a month.

Somehow, despite his only experience as a manager in European football being with Benevento in 2022-23, where he had them sat in the Serie B relegation zone, he landed himself a Serie A job with Udinese in April 2024.

With one game left to play, they sit a point above the relegation zone.

Scott Parker

Finishing off with a man who we’re convinced wouldn’t get any gigs as a manager if it wasn’t for his fancy (and weird) collection of jackets and coats, Parker has picked up a polarising reputation thus far.

After getting Fulham promoted back to the Premier League in his first senior role as manager, he was unable to keep them in the top flight and then left his post to take the job at Bournemouth.

He then guided the Cherries to promotion in 2021, but left four games into the Premier League season, the misery compiler being a 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool.

Parker somehow landed a job with Club Brugge after that sour ending at Bournemouth, taking the job in December 2022, but being dismissed in April 2023 after winning just two games.

A man who once had people believing he was destined for the top now has some rather low stocks.