Top 5: Trigger happy Premier League clubs

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Blackburn Rovers sacked Michael Appleton yesterday in a desperate attempt to make a last-gasp push for the nPower Championship play-off places.

Appleton is the third managerial casualty at the Lancashire club after Steve Kean and Henning Berg were sent packing earlier in the season.  

Since the formation of the Premier League over 20 years ago, clubs have chopped and changed their managers in a bid to win the big one and avoid relegation. Success has come to some and despair has come to others.

This list highlights the highs and the lows of five of the most trigger happy Premier League clubs of the last two decades.

5. Aston Villa (13 managers, three trophies since 1991)

Aston Villa won the Coca-Cola Cup in 1994 and 1996 but have seen limited success in the last 20 years.

Despite winning the Intertoto Cup in 2001, the Villans have dropped from runners-up in the first season of the Premier League to relegation scrappers trying desperately to remain in the top flight.

Instability at the club has seen 13 managers take the reins but only Ron Atkinson and Brian Little have added any domestic silverware to the Villa Park trophy cabinet.

Martin O’Neill helped the midlands club secure three consecutive sixth place finishes but since he left in 2010, the club have chopped and changed with the managers in a bid to find renewed success.

Aston Villa have won the First Division and FA Cup seven times each and are one of five English teams to boast a European Cup success, but their recent inability to find stability has left the club a shadow of their former selves.

Paul Lambert is the latest manager trying to keep the Villans in the Premier League but how long will his reign last?

4. Newcastle United (18 managers, one trophy since 1991)

Despite being Premier League runners up twice in the 1990s, Newcastle United have risen and fallen many times over the last two decades.

Entering the top flight with Kevin Keegan in charge, the Toon quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Leading the pack in the 1995/96 season by 12 points, the Magpies slipped up and allowed Manchester United to pick up their third Premier League title.

Despite qualifying for the UEFA Champions League on a number of occasions and winning the Intertoto Cup in 2006, Newcastle saw a flurry of managers come and go including Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit and Sir Bobby Robson, before being relegated to the Championship in 2009.

Winning the Championship under Chris Hughton, the Magpies immediately returned to the Premier League and in 2011/12 qualified for the Europa League with Manager of the Season winner Alan Pardew.

Expectations are always high at the Tyneside club but it looks like they have found a winning formula with Alan Pardew as gaffer and exceptional scout Graham Carr filling their squad with talent.

3. Portsmouth (Nine managers, one trophy since 2003)     

Portsmouth joined the Premier League in 2003 after Harry Redknapp took over as manager in the same year. They finished 13th in their first season before Redknapp left for bitter rivals Southampton after a falling out with the Pompey board.

Alain Perrin had a brief spell in charge before Redknapp made his return a year later.

Portsmouth and Redknapp’s biggest success came in 2007/08 when the club won the FA Cup for only the second time in its history. Beating Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium, Pompey qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time.

Redknapp left in October 2008 with the club handing managerial duties to Tony Adams.

Despite a historic 2-2 draw with AC Milan, poor domestic results pushed Adams out of the club and Paul Hart took over until the end of the season.

Despite a takeover, the south coast club found themselves in financial jeopardy at the start of the 2009/10 season and were forced to sell Peter Crouch, Sylvain Distin, Glen Johnson, Niko KranjĨar and more to avoid going out of business.

With the club flailing at the foot of the table, Avram Grant replaced Hart but he could not save Portsmouth from relegation to the Championship.

Six more managers have taken control of Portsmouth since they were relegated as the club linger at the bottom of League One after falling into administration and almost being liquidated.

2. Chelsea (17 managers, 18 trophies)

For their critics, Chelsea have won 18 trophies with 17 managers over the last 20 years.

Entering the first Premier League season with Ian Porterfield, the Blues had moderate success before Roman Abramovich bought the club for £140 million in 2003.

Despite winning the FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners Cup during his tenure, former owner Ken Bates sacked Gianluca Vialli in favour of Claudio Ranieri, who remained in charge for Abramovich’s first season.  

The glory years of Jose Mourinho’s reign began in 2004/05 as Chelsea won back-to-back Premier League titles, the FA Cup, two League Cups and a Community Shield.

Following a dispute with owner Abramovich, Mourinho left Chelsea and was replaces by Avram Grant.

Swapping the manager’s chair numerous times, the club won the Premier League and FA Cup in 2009/10 under Carlo Ancelotti.

Taking over from Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo lead Chelsea to a historical UEFA Champions League victory against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Germany.

Despite also winning the FA Cup, Di Matteo was replaced by controversial gaffer Rafael Benitez after a run of poor results this season.

A poor advert for the English game, Chelsea have seen more success than any other English team over the last decade despite the quick turnaround of bosses they have seen.

Only Manchester United have seen more success over the last two decades and they have only had one manager!      

1. Liverpool (Nine managers, 12 trophies)

Scepticism will meet Liverpool topping this list but here are the reasons why.

12 trophies between nine managers is a terrific record for most clubs but when you look at the history of Liverpool, the last 20 years have seen a big decline.

18 First Division titles, seven FA Cup and five UEFA Champions League/European Cup wins make up some of the 63 trophies won by Liverpool but the majority of those came before the Premier League began.

Winning their last League title in the 1989/90 season, the once feared Reds have been overtaken by Chelsea and Manchester City in the race for the Premier League trophy.

Graeme Souness lead Liverpool into the first Premier League season and was followed by big names such as Gerard Houllier and Rafael Benitez as Liverpool tried to rediscover the success they had in the 1980s.

Winning the FA Cup in the 2000/01 and 2005/06 seasons Liverpool have seen limited silverware come to Anfield since they last won the top tier in 1989/90.

The saving grace for Pool fans is a historic UEFA Champions League win in 2004/05 but a lack of any League titles has severely hindered Liverpool over the last 20 years.

Things went from bad to worse in 2010 as Benitez left the club and Roy Hodgson took over before further failures left Liverpool in the relegation zone.

Ex-boss Kenny Dalglish returned in 2011 and won the League Cup with Liverpool, but a poor seventh place finish left him without a job in the summer.

Brendan Rodgers now holds the much scrutinised position but he too had found the hype very difficult to live up to.

A city used to being on top of the world, Liverpool now struggle to be on top of the north with Manchester United dominating the Premier League, and Manchester City and Everton emerging as sides to reckoned with in the last few years.


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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