Andre Villas-Boas and Tottenham's 5 Worst Premier League Managers

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2013

Andre Villas-Boas and Tottenham's 5 Worst Premier League Managers

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    Unless you have been living under a football-free rock in the past 24 hours, you will be aware that Tottenham Hotspur have parted company with their 30th full-time manager, Andre Villas-Boas

    After a 5-0 demolition at the hands of Liverpool on Sunday, the Portuguese manager's position became untenable. According to The Guardian, AVB has now worked only 25 months out of six years' worth of contracts, so it is a little difficult to feel sympathy. 

    However, those bemoaning his lack of success should note that he has the highest win rate of any dismissed Tottenham manager in the Premier League era—53.7 percent as per

    With this in mind, here are five Tottenham managers who put AVB's perceived failure into perspective... 

Jacques Santini

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    Jacques Santini arrived at Tottenham for the 2004-05 season with a sterling reputation. He had won plaudits in his native France for transforming Lyon into a French powerhouse and earned the national team job in 2002.

    However, Santini accepted the Spurs job before he had taken Les Bleus to Euro 2004, a decision he later regretted. The former Saint-Etienne midfielder lasted only 13 games before quitting the club for "personal reasons." 

    His dreadful record may be among those personal reasons: In 11 league games, he won only three, giving him the worst win percentage of any Tottenham manager in the Premier League era. 

Juande Ramos

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    In October 2007, Juande Ramos arrived at White Hart lane with the mission of dragging Spurs out of the relegation zone where pervious manager Martin Jol had left them.

    The Spaniard's success in Seville immediately carried over to North London, starting with a League Cup victory over Blackpool and eventually leading the Lilywhites to an 11th-place finish in the league.

    What's more, Ramos's League Cup victory on his debut eventually forged a path to Wembley, where Spurs beat Chelsea to lift their first trophy since 1999.

    The following season, however, did not get off to a good start. Tottenham only gained two points from their first eight matches—their worst-ever start—and Ramos was duly sent packing.  

    His win percentage of 28.5 percent over 35 games makes him the second-worst Spurs manager of the Premier League era. 

    Ramos will return to White Hart Lane for the first time since receiving his P45 as Spurs have drawn his side Dnipro in the last 32 of the Europa League. 

Ossie Ardiles

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    Much like former manager Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles will forever be adored at the Lane for his services to the club on the pitch. However, his record in charge of the team isn't so stellar.

    After briefly serving as caretaker manager in 1988, the Argentinean returned to Tottenham in 1993 fresh from a successful spell at West Brom. In the 1993-94 season he could only guide Spurs to 15th position in the league.

    The following year, with four wins in the first 12 league matches and Tottenham sitting in 13th place, Ardiles was relieved of his duties following a home victory over West Ham.

    It's not often that a manager is fired after beating a local rival, but his record of 16 wins in 54 league attempts gives a win percentage of 29.6, the third-worst in the Premiership era. 

George Graham

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    George Graham's appointment in October 1998 was met with widespread condemnation among Tottenham supporters due to his long-standing affiliation with Arsenal as a player and manager.

    Such grudges subsided, however, when the Scot delivered the League Cup trophy five months into his reign, giving the club its first piece of silverware in eight seasons. 

    After another mid-table finish in 1999-00 and a sluggish start to 2000-01, however, Graham was sacked in March 2001 after club owners ENIC determined that he had leaked private information about the club.

    Graham is thought to have merely told journalists that he was disappointed with having a small transfer budget, and regarded the excuse as rather flimsy. 

    Regardless, Graham never gave Spurs a top-half finish and won only 33 of 98 league matches. 

Christian Gross

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    Oh, Christian.

    The relatively unknown Swiss coach succeeded Gerry Francis in the Tottenham hotseat in November 1997, with the club sitting outside the relegation zone by a single point.

    Within his first three matches he lost home ties to Crystal Palace and Chelsea—the latter by a humiliating 6-1 scoreline—but soon turned his fortunes around with big wins against Coventry and Barnsley.

    However, when Tottenham could only muster 14th place in 1997/98, the media continued relentlessly to mock his poor grasp of English and questionable results. As The Guardian put it in 2007: "Christian Gross entered the footballing lexicon as shorthand for 'clueless continental clown who couldn't guide goats to grass let alone a football team to glory'."

    After Spurs lost their opening two matches of the 1998/99 campaign, Gross' 10-month misadventure in London was over. He won just nine of 26 matches in charge, giving a win percentage of only 36.2.

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