Premier League shortest manager reigns: Where does Southampton's Nathan Jones rank?
The Nathan Jones appointment at Southampton didn’t go well, with him becoming one of the shortest-reigning managers in Premier League history.
It would be wrong to call that ‘an achievement,’ but it is genuinely a very difficult list of names to get yourself onto. You need a special level of failure to even stand a chance.
Jones has done that though and become one of just eight managers to last fewer than 100 days.
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8. Colin Todd – 98 days
Former assistant managers stepping up to the top job and not lasting long is a common theme on this list, and that was the case with Colin Todd.
Todd had a successful spell with Bolton in the 1990s and joined Derby as assistant to Jim Smith in November 2000. Smith resigned in October 2001 and the Rams thought they had a ready-made replacement in-house.
As a player Todd had won league titles with Derby but that didn’t buy him any time. He was sacked after winning just four of his 17 games in charge.
7. Nathan Jones – 95 days
Jones will go down in history, for now at least, as the man with the 17th shortest managerial reign in the Premier League following his Southampton sacking.
He actually won five of his 14 games, but only one game in the eight Premier League matches he oversaw from the Saints’ dugout.
Perhaps it’s a red and white stripes thing with him as he had a remarkably similar record at Stoke, where he won just six of his 38 games in charge.
6. Terry Connor – 91 days
Another man who stepped up from an assistant role yet was unable to affect any kind of meaningful change was Terry Connor.
Connor took over from Mick McCarthy at Wolves at the end of the 2011/12 Premier League season.
That gave him 13 games in which to try to do something. He won none of them and lost nine.
5. Quique Sanchez Flores – 85 days
Quique Sanchez Flores had a really good spell with Watford in 2015/16, so much so that it came as a genuine surprise when he left at the end of the season.
He was tempted back in 2019, taking over from Javi Garcia just four games into a new season. Perhaps he should have stayed away and protected his legacy.
The second time around he lasted just 12 games, of which he would only win two.
4. Bob Bradley – 84 days
There is perhaps an unfair perception of American managers working in England, and Bradley has to take his share of the blame there.
He was the top US coach at the time and Swansea took a chance on him. From the moment he uttered his first Americanism by calling a penalty a ‘PK,’ it always looked like he would struggle to survive the optics.
Sure enough, he was sacked after just 84 days that saw 11 matches and two wins.
3. Frank de Boer – 77 days
Sometimes, like with the Bradley or Cooper appointments, it just looks like a bad idea from the start.
That wasn’t the case with Frank de Boer and Crystal Palace, though. De Boer had an imperious record at Ajax and had won four Eredivisie titles there. A poor spell at Inter followed, but it wasn’t unforgivably bad.
Palace saw his as a bit of a coup when he agreed to take over from Sam Allardyce. They wanted a new possession-based philosophy instilled. They didn’t want to give him time to implement it though, and he was sacked after losing all four of his Premier League games in charge. He did manage a win in the League Cup, though.
2. Rene Meulensteen – 75 days
Another Dutchman that many expected to cope better in English football was Rene Meulensteen. He had some Premier League previous as a coach under Sir Alex Ferguson at Man Utd.
Fulham appointed him in November 2013 but it really didn’t go well. He was in charge for 17 matches in all competitions and won just four. They were even knocked out of the FA Cup by a League One side.
Remarkably, it wasn’t to be Meulensteen’s shortest spell in charge of a club. In his first top job, at FC Anzhi Makhachkala, he lasted just 16 days.
1. Les Reed – 41 days
When it comes to shortest Premier League managerial stays, Les Reed is very much the man to beat. In fact it may never be beaten.
Les Reed was the assistant to Iain Dowie at Charlton. Somehow, the words ‘number two to Iain Dowie’ didn’t terrify Charlton anywhere near as much as it should have, and he was promoted to the position of manager in November 2006.
He was sacked on Christmas Eve after one win in seven games.