While having a drink at a local coffee shop Wednesday evening with Kartik Krishnaiyer, the topic of Graeme Souness came up and what an abysmal football manager he was especially at Newcastle. It got me thinking, though, that just as footballers retire from playing, football managers should be put out to pasture too when they’re obviously inept or past their prime.
So, without further ado, here are the top 7 football managers who have been involved in the English game that should be put out to pasture:
- Graeme Souness: Souney is a perfect example of someone who is a much better pundit than football manager. With his analysis on RTE, he’s decisive, critical and blunt. As a football manager, he was often making excuses or silly transfer moves such as when he got rid of Deco and replaced him with Mark Pembridge.
- David O’Leary: Whenever a manager vacancy happens, O’Leary is usually the first name that the press mentions as a possible contender for the job. However, in recent years, he’s been overlooked time and time again. And for good reason. The former Aston Villa manager did superbly at Leeds United, but his record at Villa was less than admirable eventually resulting in a player revolt against then Villa chairman Doug Ellis by his own players in 2006.
- Tony Adams: The former Arsenal defender is another example of a genius of a football player who was awful as a manager. Even as an assistant manager at Portsmouth, under Harry Redknapp, Adams looked like a glum individual who was slumped on the bench and looking very disinterested. When he became manager of Pompey, his posture improved slightly but his tactics as manager were suspect and he lacked the motivation necessary to boost his players. His final game in charge was against Liverpool where his team were leading but eventually lost 3-2. In 16 games in charge, he only picked up 10 points. To make matters worse, he has now been tipped for the vacant New York Red Bulls manager position.
- Iain Dowie: After Alan Curbishley left Charlton, Dowie was one of several clueless managers who tried to keep the ship afloat but failed miserably despite the fact that Dowie spent £11.2m on players during the summer of 2006. Under his leadership, Dowie won two Premier League games out of 12 and was sacked by November.
- Stuart Pearce: Under Stuart Pearce, Manchester City were a joke team that had an awful club record of only scoring 10 league goals at home that entire season. Besides that poor record, Pearce supported Ben Thatcher after his horrific tackle against Pedro Mendes of Portsmouth. Pearce claimed that Thatcher mistimed the tackle, which is ridiculous. Add to that Pearce’s ineptitude as a manager. It’s surprising to think that he’s now the England under-21 manager.
- Bryan Robson: One of the world’s best midfielders in his time ended up being a relative failure as a football manager. After each stint as a football manager, it became very apparent that he was pretty clueless as a gaffer at clubs such as Middlesbrough, Bradford, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United. His only saving grace was the final of the 2004/2005 season when West Brom performed the great escape by beating Portsmouth 2-0 and staying up in the Premier League.
- Kevin Keegan: As much as I love Big Kev as a footballer and a childhood hero of mine, his days as a quality manager are long gone. He did well at Fulham and Newcastle United, but his track record at Manchester City was awful. As long as he did plenty of money to buy flash players, he was able to do well but his tactics seemed naive and definitely out of touch with reality despite his success at Newcastle United in the early 90s when they almost won the league.
Who’s missing from the list that deserves to be on it? Or which players do you think should not be included above? Click the comments link below and share your feedback.