Ralf Rangnick is proving his doubters wrong.

6 managers who showed their class after flopping in the Premier League

Ralf Rangnick has bounced back from his infamously disastrous stint at Manchester United in style, demonstrating his chops as a proper coach by getting Austria to play some of the best and most entertaining football at Euro 2024.

The German tactician is not the only manager to recover from an unsuccessful spell in the Premier League. There are plenty of other examples of coaches who struggled to deliver results in the English top flight before showing us what they’re made of elsewhere.

We’ve identified six managers who have done fine jobs to recover their reputations.

Ralf Rangnick

There’s some stiff competition, but the short-lived Rangnick era might be the worst Manchester United have played in the post-Fergie era.

He was brought in as an interim with a view to eventually moving upstairs as sporting director, which made a large degree of sense given his reputation as a forward-thinking coach with a proven track record at the Red Bull group.

But it was always going to be a tough sell to hand him the keys to the whole operation after he led them to just 11 wins from 29 matches and their lowest points tally of the Premier League era.

In hindsight, getting a manager that favours pressing to get results out of a leggy team that relied on an immobile, 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo up top was always an awkward fit.

He’s since found a better fit at Austria. With a squad full of players that were developed in the Red Bull pressing style, he’s shown he’s not a charlatan.

He appears to have built a great team spirit, demonstrated his loyalty by turning down Bayern Munich, and has Austria playing like a modern club side at Euro 2024.

They’ve just upset the odds by deservedly topping a group that featured France and the Netherlands and might actually go deep into the latter knockout stages after making it into what looks a forgiving half of the draw.

READ: The 6 players Ralf Rangnick wanted to sign for Man Utd & how they’re faring in 2024

Unai Emery

We’re not talking about Emery in 2024. The Basque coach is widely regarded as one of the best coaches working in the Premier League right now, and rightly so, having done a sensational job to guide Aston Villa to Champions League qualification.

Things were altogether different back in 2019, when Emery was sacked by Arsenal. In hindsight, his record doesn’t look so bad. The club were a mess, plumbed lower depths during Arteta’s early seasons, and his Gunners were only narrowly off being a top-four side when you take a wide view at his whole tenure.

But it’s undeniable that things had gotten pretty miserable in the final months of Emery’s time at the Emirates, and Arsenal didn’t look to be going anywhere fast under his guidance. It’s difficult to argue against their decision to look elsewhere, especially when you consider how things currently look for them.

Emery took it on the chin, returned to Spain, and did a superb job at Villarreal. He led them to the 2020-21 Europa League, the first major trophy in the club’s history, by beating Manchester United in the final.

Taking a look at his career as a whole, Emery’s failure at Arsenal says more about them as a club at the time than it does him. A recurring theme, here.

READ NEXT: The 6 quickest managers to reach 100 Premier League wins: Arteta, Klopp, Guardiola…

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 25 PL managers with the best points-per-game record?

Carlos Carvalhal

Not the most extreme example, this one.

The Portuguese coach’s half a season in the Premier League did ultimately end up with Swansea City relegated, but they were rock bottom and a mess when he stepped in and he helped deliver an uptick in results and a credible battle against the drop.

Still, while he isn’t exactly a joke figure in English football we can’t see him getting another Premier League job any time soon.

It would also be overstating it to suggest that he’s enjoyed a stellar career since leaving South Wales six years ago, having been sacked after short spells in each of his last two jobs – Celta Vigo and Olympiakos.

But he’s also led Portuguese minnows Rio Ave to their best-ever points tally and an excellent fifth-place finish before guiding relative outsiders Braga to the Taca De Portugal with a final victory over Benfica, as well as the Taca da Liga final, suffering defeat to Porto.

Carvalhal has proven himself a more than capable coach in the right environment, which tends to be in his home country. It’ll surely be a matter of time before he lands another job in Portugal.

Louis van Gaal

Again, we’d be exaggerating if we said Van Gaal was a total flop in the Premier League.

He guided Manchester United back into the Champions League after the David Moyes debacle and waved goodbye with the FA Cup. Those are the facts of the matter, but memories of the dour football and questionable squad-building leave us with the distinct impression that English football failed to see the best of the eccentric Dutchman.

Bowing out with a trophy wouldn’t have been a bad way to call it quits, but the nature of his sacking did leave a bit of a sour taste.

In the end it was nice to see him rejoin the Netherlands for one last job, despite battling cancer while in the job.

He made the Netherlands pretty competitive, more convincing than they currently look under Ronald Koeman, and proudly points to a record of never having lost a World Cup game – which is technically true if you don’t count penalties, having pushed Lionel Messi’s Argentina to shootout defeats in both 2014 and 2022.

Not bad going.

Luiz Felipe Scolari

A debatable one, this. But hear us out.

Scolari didn’t last a full season at Chelsea and hasn’t worked at a club in a major European league since.

He set the tone for a head-scratchingly baffling post-Chelsea managerial career by taking up a job with Uzebkh club Bunyodkor a few months after Roman Abramovich sacked him.

He’s both the guy that led Brazil to their best World Cup run since they won the thing under him in 2002 – the semi-finals on home soil in 2014 – which also happened to be the 7-1 defeat to Germany, the Selecao’s most traumatic defeat since Uruguay in 1950.

But he’s also collected silverware globally, lifting trophies in Uzbekistan, China and Brazil, named the Brasileirao Coach of the Year after guiding Palmeiras to the league title in 2018. He’s one of the most decorated coaches in football history.

READ: Ranking the most successful managers in football history by trophies won

Pepe Mel

A pointless answer if there ever was one, it’s difficult to remember much of anything about Mel’s short-lived stint at West Brom.

He notched just three wins from 17 matches in charge of the Baggies in the latter half of the 2013-14 season and left by mutual consent after they narrowly avoided the drop. We can’t imagine there’s been a great deal of interest from Premier League clubs in the 10 years since then.

We’re calling him the Spanish Steve Bruce, if only because he published a series of novels and is something of a journeyman manager in his home country. After departing the Hawthorns, he returned to Real Betis, who he got promoted up to La Liga for a second time in 2014-15.

Betis are a massive club that probably never should have been playing in the Spanish Segunda Division.

While he was eventually sacked by Los Verdiblancos, he can be proud of getting them back into the top flight, responsible for them being an established La Liga club that regularly compete in European competition.

Most recently, the 61-year-old had a short stint in charge of Almeria, who were in crisis and on course for the lowest points tally in La Liga history when he took over in March.

Guiding them to safety was out of reach and out of the question, but he did restore some respectability by guiding them up to 19th with three wins (their only wins all season) and two draws from his 10 matches in charge.