Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Just the man for the job

Heya folks,
JJ here

Well today was going to be the day that I would aim my wrath at Rafa Benitez for his ludicrous methods of management and demand he be sacked should he not win the league. But fuck it, I’d only bore myself and all of ye by talking about Liverpool so instead I thought I’d look back on some of the worst managerial appointments of recent times. Dunno what got me thinking about it…. Good luck to Chelsea in tomorrow’s Carling Cup game at Hull though.

But anyhoo, here’s a collection of some bad, hilarious and frankly shit managers who found themselves managing a top flight club with little or no idea what to do once they got there.

Christian Gross: The granddaddy of them all. The sheer look of terror on former Spurs chairman Alan Sugar’s face when Gross held up a ticket for the London underground in his first press conference (to prove he wanted to be a real Londoner and travel with the fans) is absolute gold. Sugar knew he had made the wrong appointment before the new coach had even taken a training session. Gross left after several absolutely brutal months in charge as Arsenal fans laughed their arse off at ‘the new Wenger’. Has since resurrected his career back in his home country of Switzerland but his dignity will never be recovered.

Steve Wigley: At first he was an ill at ease caretaker boss when Gordon Strachan left Southampton in 2004. Then it was the fans who felt a little uncomfortable when he was named full time coach after Paul Sturrock had cried off after only a few months in charge. Wigley’s managerial CV showed three years in charge of non-league Aldershot Town so strangely the fans didn’t take to him.
It was of course rumoured that uber-snob Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe had put Wigley in place so that he could fail, thereby allowing him to appoint his first choice, Glenn Hoddle, in the job instead. Wigley’s daily press conferences, where his coaching badges were a constant source of question, became like an inquisition and after 14 games and only one win he was demoted back to the youth team when Harry Redknapp came in. Clearly not up to the job but seemingly a very decent fella. Still funny though.

Howard Wilkinson: The last Englishman to win the league as manager, though Sunderland fans may only remember him as the worst boss in their history. Forget Mick McCarthy’s record (which obviously is worse than Wilkinson’s as he was there longer), Wilkinson’s life-sucking time in charge on Wearside in 2002-03 season was a far less happy time for the Mackems. At least McCarthy had a sense of humour.
In late 2002, Wilkinson received a call from the then Sunderland chairman when Peter Reid was sacked to see if McCarthy would be a good candidate to take over. Instead, Wilkinson suggested himself for the job. The chairman, who had obviously had a few wines before getting on the blower, said yes.
Wilkinson, and this is an exact quote, said the following day “this is as excited as I’ve been in years”. How Mrs. Wilkinson felt about this statement is unclear but Sunderland were a disaster that year with Wilkinson and his assistant Steve Cotteril being let go in March 2003. No one had any sympathy for the annoying old git either.

Atilio Lombardo: The collective gasp for air that greeted Lombardo’s arrival at Crystal Palace in August 1997 was only beaten when the brilliant Italian was asked to manage the side a few months later. Even better, his assistant would be none other than everyone’s favourite chubby Swede, Thomas Brolin. The pair were a shambles though. Palace went down in bottom place, not helped by persistent injuries to Lombardo and the fact that the rest of the team were shit.
Lombardo, to his credit, stayed on for the start of the following season in the Championship, going back to being a player after Terry Venable took the manager’s job. He then went back to Italy, where he won the league with Lazio.

Brian Kidd: Linked to plenty of clubs over his years as Man United’s assistant manager, Kidd had always stayed in the belief that one day he would secure the top job when Fergie left. When it became clear this wouldn’t happen he looked elsewhere and found himself at Blackburn after Roy Hodgson was sacked in December 1998. At the time they were at the foot of the Premiership, something Kidd could do very little about.
The following May a draw with Man United sent them down. Ferguson, in a post match interview, pretended not to realise the result had sent Blackburn to the Championship, while obviously laughing at his uppity former sidekick in private. “Oh is that them down now?” he enquired of the Sky reporter. Yes, yes it was. Kidd has since been assistant manager for Leeds, England and now Sheffield United. His book on career advancement remains unpublished. Possibly.

And those who nearly made the list:

Gerard Houllier: A longer, less funny version of the Gross fiasco.
Gerry Francis: Spurs fans wanted him and my god they got what they deserved. Piss poor football and loss after loss.
Walter Smith: Made Everton into the most boring side in Britain by outlawing the pass. Now back in the comfort zone of Scotland where a ferret could manage a side to the Uefa Cup at least.
Paul Sturrock: Fancy a sandwich Paul? I’ll bet you do.

Your choices folks?


Mark said...

i'm tempted to add carlos queiroz to that list - Real lost their final five matches and finished in 4th place, with no trophies.

liam brady at celtic, john barnes at celtic.

and the favourite from last season, les reed, equiped with his book - how to play football. nice one.

Anonymous said...

Lovin' the podcasts lads but beginning to fear ye're suffering from second season syndrome. Last year you could almost taste the joy at the freedom to call the likes of Terry and Cole c**ts. This year however ye might be doing a Reading on it,how does Stuart Pearse (Man who shouts loudly wins job) not make this list? Ah no good job lads but for rest of season don't be afraid to pour on the invective and give us this day our daily bile.Hate to see ye relegated before the likes of the inane 5live fd

Donal said...

How did you forget Glen Roeder, the badgeless wonder? Unknown when he took over from Redknapp, the West Ham fans got to know him very very well during his first full season in charge as he led the Irons to relegation with a squad that included: DiCanio, Kanoute, Joe Cole, Carrick, David James, Jermain Defoe, and admittedly some very shit defenders (stand up, Mr. Breen). In an ultimately successful attempt at avoiding the sack, Roeder staged a heart attack just a few matches before the end of that doomed season.

Then there's his time at Newcastle....

Mark said...

second season syndrome? well, as i say, it's up to us to keep putting in the performances and the results will come, as the end of the day. The reality we're big time charlies now, lighting our cigars with 50euro notes and have lost our love for the pod....

Back to managers - souness was a spectacular failure at newcastle, ruud gullit's 'sexy football' at the same club came up agaisnt the brick wall of shearer.

roeder did a bad job with the hammers, though i had some sympathy for him at newcastle.
I can't believe stuart pearce slipped my mind either....

a few new ones - chris hutchings at bradford, peter reid at leeds, steve wigley at southampton....

JJ said...

Eh Wigley was on the list Mark... Peter Reid at Leeds is good alright, apparently Viduka walked out of training one day after telling the playing and coaching staff "if you wanna go down, stick with this guy". Team player oul Viduka.

Venables at Leeds, Boro and Palace is also in contention. Roeder and Pearce were left out as it sapped energy just thinking about the two boring bastards.

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