Three managers who were sacked after losing the dressing room

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Losing the dressing room has become something of a hot topic in the Premier League recently. Jose Mourinho's controversial departure from Chelsea was rife with rumours that the Portuguese manager was disliked by numerous players in his squad.

Louis van Gaal has found himself in a similar situation in recent weeks, with his Manchester United job supposedly hanging in the balance. Recent reports have even suggested Spanish duo Ander Herrera and Juan Mata will look to depart Old Trafford if their manager is not relieved of his duties.

Will the Dutchman beome the latest to succumb to a dressing room mutiny? Only time will tell, but he certainly wouldn't be the first to lose the faith of his players.


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1. Andre Villas-Boas - Chelsea

Job security at Chelsea is widely renowned as unstable, but Villas-Boas' demise at Stamford Bridge could perhaps be the most tragic in the Roman Abramovich era. Arriving from Porto, much like Mourinho had back in 2004, AVB was brought to England with a huge sense of optimism.

Having just secured a treble for the Portuguese side, the youthful and charismatic manager was brought in for a hefty sum of money in order to galvanise Chelsea. He was billed as the man to finally achieve Abramovich's Champions League dream, yet nothing remotely close was delivered.

Villas-Boas set about a revolution at the club - no longer would they be reliant on veteran stars like Frank Lampard and John Terry and instead become a team who played exciting football with young talent on show.

On paper, the idea seemed promising, but AVB delivered his proposal in a frankly terrible manner. A lack of communication with these vital senior players began to cause issues in the dressing room and this spread throughout the entire squad.

Players refused to adopt his tactics and perform to the standards set, which meant that after just eight months in west London, the Portuguese was removed from his post. Poor results ultimately resulted in his sacking, but it was the lack of control he had in the dressing room which was the root cause of the club's woes.

2. Jose Mourinho - Real Madrid

Having just departed Chelsea for a similar reason, Mourinho makes the list after his controversial spell as manager of Real Madrid. The Spanish giants always seem to secure the services of the top managers available in the game and Mourinho was no exception to this rule.

Just like AVB, the so-called 'Special One' arrived at the Bernabeu on the back of an historic treble with Italian powerhouse Inter Milan. It seemed as if a move to Madrid was the logical step in Mourinho's ascension up the managerial ladder but by the end of his tenure, this was far from the case.

Despite achieving a degree of success, including a La Liga title, the relationship between club and manager just never worked out. While it could be argued his defensive style of football and touchline antics played a part in his departure, it was his relationship with certain players which put the crucial nail in his coffin.

Star man Cristiano Ronaldo played his part, often criticising Mourinho's defensive emphasis in games and the pair never seemed to see eye to eye. Ronaldo was Madrid's most prized asset, so if the enigmatic forward was unhappy then the club's hierarchy had to put it right and unfortunately, the manager was the expendable one.

However, it was the poor relationship with club legend and fan favourite Iker Casillas which really put Mourinho's influence at the club into perspective.

His decision to remove the Spanish goalkeeper from the first team was met by uproar from fans and even his own players, with Sergio Ramos a prime defendant of his teammate. Eventually, his methods were viewed as too negative for the club and the Madrid board decided the two should go their separate ways.

3. Ruud Gullit - Newcastle

Possibly the most famous Premier League case of a manager losing a job to 'player power', Gullit's period in charge of Newcastle will be remembered primarily for all the wrong reasons.

His appointment seemed positive at first, guiding the Magpies to an FA Cup final in 1997. However, things took a turn for the worst pretty quickly, with Gullit managing to antagonise several key figures at the club.

It all started with captain Rob Lee, who publicly spoke out against his manager whilst leading a rebellion in the dressing room. The final straw came when Gullit benched talisman Alan Shearer against bitter rivals Sunderland, which they lost 2-1.

It would prove the Dutchman's last game in charge, with the Newcastle board realising such disputes between the players and manager was costing them precious points.

It just goes to show that a manager's relationship with his players is vital to success. 'Losing the dressing room' may well be a stereotyped cliche, but it can have a profound impact if realised.

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