Graham Potter next: How the last 5 English ‘Big Six’ managers fared

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Frank Lampard looks on during the Premier League draw between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, London, December 2020.

English managers of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ are increasingly rare which makes Chelsea’s appointment of Graham Potter all the more intriguing.

After making his name in Sweden, taking Ostersund from the fourth tier to the Europa League, Potter moved to Swansea City in 2018 where his sole season in charge was impressive enough to see him poached by Brighton.

Now, after making Brighton one of the most attractive teams in the Premier League, Potter has become only the second English manager at Chelsea in the 21st century.

Most of the Premier League’s leading clubs have looked to figures from continental Europe to lead them to success and, judging by the escapades of the last five English coaches to lead one of the ‘Big Six’, we can hardly blame them…

Frank Lampard

Lampard was arguably the best player in Chelsea’s history but, just a year into his managerial career, there’s no chance he’d have been appointed at Stamford Bridge unless the club was under a transfer embargo.

In fairness, the former England midfielder performed admirably in his first season. Promoting a host of talented youngsters – including Reece James, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham – Lampard led Chelsea to fourth and the FA Cup final.

But things started to go wrong after spending £200million in the summer of 2020. The likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz failed to fire and a previously leaky defence became positively porous.

With Chelsea languishing in eighth, Lampard was sacked in January 2021. He’s now manager of Everton, who are showing tentative signs of improvement under his leadership.

Tim Sherwood

Having ditched the studious Andre Villas-Boas in December 2013, Tottenham turned to Tim Sherwood in an attempt to rescue their season.

“My record here is second to none,” raved Sherwood after a 5-1 win over Sunderland. “My win percentage is the best of any Tottenham manager. I’m the best manager this club’s ever seen!”

Five weeks later, Spurs sacked him.

While Sherwood’s comment was firmly tongue-in-cheek, you always got the impression he overestimated his managerial abilities; Spurs only finished sixth and received a number of thrashings from the league’s strongest sides.

But he can be credited with giving Harry Kane his first run in the Spurs’ first team. And nobody wore a gilet better than Tactics Tim.

Roy Hodgson

Hodgson lasted only seven months as Liverpool manager, signing a string of failures and leading the Reds into a relegation battle in 2010-11.

While the future England manager was a huge success at Fulham, and would later perform well at West Brom and Crystal Palace, there was always a sense that the Liverpool job was too big for him.

And the dyed-in-the-wool Cockney failed to win over the locals at Anfield with a string of strange pronouncements. A disastrous appointment.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson poses with a trio of new signings - Joe Cole, Danny Wilson and Milan Jovanovic - during the summer 2010 window.

READ: Where are they now? Roy Hodgson’s eight signings as Liverpool manager

Harry Redknapp

While Redknapp is often caricatured as a wheeler-dealing, tactically-averse product of the managerial old school, nobody can deny his impressive achievements at Spurs between 2008 and 2012.

Taking charge of a team rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, Redknapp led Spurs into the Champions League within two years before defeating both Milan giants on the way to the quarter-finals.

He even oversaw a title challenge for most of 2011-12 before a severe dip in form saw them finish fourth. It was only Chelsea’s triumph in Munich that denied Spurs a return to Europe’s premier competition.

White Hart Lane became home to a team packed full of exciting talents like Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart, with Spurs regularly turning on the style for their delighted supporters.

Redknapp was sacked in May 2012 after aggressively flirting with the England job that eventually went to Hodgson. He never reached the same heights again.

Stuart Pearce

Yes, Pearce took City to eighth after an impressive opening salvo in 2005 – and this was an era where City were skint and the Etihad Eastlands was littered with empty seats.

But the former England defender could only lead City to two lower-mid-table finishes before getting the boot in 2007. In his final season, City only scored 10 home goals and none after New Year’s Day.

Oh, and he also played David James up front…

READ: A forensic analysis of David James’ 7 minutes at centre-forward for Man City

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