At the start of the week, Roberto di Matteo and Mark Hughes were both in a job.
By the end of it, they both found themselves surplus to requirements.
For di Matteo it was of immense misfortune that he was sent packing from Chelsea by Roman Abramovich, disregarding his remarkable achievements in such a short space of time at Stamford Bridge. The Italian will wonder what he had done wrong, and frankly, he has not really done anything to deserve the sack.
By contrast, Hughes now finds himself out of a job and not a moment too soon. How QPR stuck with him for as long as they did is a wonder. Tony Fernandes deserves credit for his enthusiasm and backing, but he has shown his naivety. There is a reason to be loyal, as in the case of di Matteo, or someone like Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, whose project is one which requires a long term plan. But in Hughes’ case, there was little indication that they were going anywhere other than the Championship.
All reports suggest that Hughes was uninspiring, unable to form a cohesive team and lucky to remain in a job after such a disastrous run of form since the start of the season. The fact will be that he leaves the post without having guided QPR to a single away win. They have yet to pick up a victory at all this season, and Hughes was immensely fortunate to still be in a job after di Matteo.
Di Matteo will now find employment surely without too much difficulty. His triumph last season will make him an ideal candidate for any team across the continent looking to fill any vacancies that should arise. There may be one soon at Valencia, where Mauricio Pellegrino is battling to show that he deserves more time after a poor start to the season. In Italy, AC Milan continue to flounder and Massimo Allegri is on borrowed time. That will be a vacancy di Matteo may be asked to fill before long, whilst although Lazio have done well so far this season under Vladimir Petkovic, should any vacancy arise in Rome the Italian would surely be welcomed back to his former team with open arms.
Hughes on the other hand will do well to find a job out of the Championship. How the Fulham fans must cackle at the former Manchester City manager, who walked out on the club citing a lack of ambition. The underrated Martin Jol took over and has continued to help Fulham compete in mid-table in the Premier League. One of the best run clubs in the league, they were too good for Hughes, not the other way around.
As it is, Hughes has not been good enough for QPR. A man once given the job of making City great, now will face an almost impossible task to recover his tattered reputation.