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Top 7 Football Managers Who Should Be Put Out To Pasture


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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  1. ted forster

    January 7, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Not a big fan as a person,but I honestly cant see that Robson should be on this list.Okay his recent record isnt great,but he did quite a decent job for boro for a number of years.
    Peter Read the same at Sunderland.
    Personally I would look at the financial troubles that managers have left at clubs,(with,of course,the boards help),and so OLeary has to be well up the list.Another the same,I love the guy to bits but Barry fry was like a kid in a sweet shop buying forwards while at Birmingham.Kegan,I believe spent a hell of a lot on forwards at Mags,but no defence or midfield,and to my mind he left the club in a state that they have never recovered from.

  2. UpTheGas

    January 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Two words – Peter Reid.

  3. Joe Wright

    December 11, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    John Barnes has to be on the list. He was unlucky that Henrik Larsson broke his leg in Europe, after that the team lost to everyone. Apparently he was sacked as boss of Tranmere after losing 6 games in a row this year too.

    Roy Keane is also keeping everyone entertained. He’d nominate Mick Mccarthy to even the score.

  4. Auslander

    December 11, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Iain Dowie called Michael Carrick the best midfielder in the world while doing commentary during a match last season. Objectively, he was the third best midfielder playing in that match. It still makes me laugh 3/4 of a year later.

  5. brn442

    December 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Graeme Souness – Yes, Forget Newcastle Simon, he destroyed the biggest club in English Football by making Liverpool pedestrian, the culture of buying mediocre players that started under him and 18 years on is still evident as of last night against Fiorentina. He himself said modern players are “unmanageable” so it’s best if he stays in the TV booth.

    Kevin Keegan yes- He has about as much tactical acumen as as my Grandmother, he shouldn’t let let anywhere near a pitch again.

    Byran Robson – No explanation needed.

    NO: O’Leary’s reign at Villa was a disaster but I still think he deserves another shot as Doug Ellis wasn’t exactly generous with the cheque book – David needs to work on his man management skills however.

    NO Ian Dowie still has a future as a manager, he may still do well with scrappy smaller clubs, he maybe a young Harry Redknapp in the making if he’s given enough chances.

    Maybe: Tony Adams body language better suits being a funeral director but who knows.

    Maybe: Stuart Pearce didn’t set Man City on fire but he did well with the England youth set up.


  6. AtlantaPompey

    December 10, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Tony Adams’ posture did not improve when he was named Redknapp’s replacement. It was awful. He would pout in his chair when something bad happened. He would throw his hands up in disgust. He would look like he wanted to be anywhere but on the bench during a match. The team’s lackluster performances under him were a reflection of that. He might have saved the club from relegation, although I think most of that was because there were so many awful clubs last year that some bad teams had to remain.

    If he gets the NYRB job, I predict he will not know how to function in MLS’ player system, not understand how to deal with the restrictions the league places on how teams operate, and generally make a mess of things in a similar way to Ruud Gullit’s experience in LA.

    Oh, and he has the dumbest looking scarves I’ve ever seen. My wife once asked, during a match, if his wife was color blind.

  7. Simon Burke

    December 10, 2009 at 11:53 am

    haha. Classic. 🙂

  8. Back of the net

    December 10, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Why wait ? I will add Gary Megson now

  9. Simon Burke

    December 10, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Bit harsh this chaps.
    Souness may not have succeeded at Newcastle but nor did Bobby Robson, Sam Allardyce, Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit, Glenn Roeder etc…
    Souness did very well elsewhere (Southampton, Blackburn) I feel and is smart enough not to jump at any job to take him back to football.

    Ian Dowie…hmmm. Was shafted by Charlton and one of many who will be shafted by QPR in their lifetime. Was probably the brains behind the Newcastle near escape last year. Also from my hometown so gets a pass.

    O Leary – did brilliantly in one place, had no cash in the other. Annoys me a bit but probably needs another go at management before we can really write his epitaph.

    Tony Adams, probably not cut out for it but he had his best players sold at Pompey and may have guided them safely from relegation. We’ll never know. At Wycombe he didnt fare well but I still think another go is in his future.

    Stuart Pearce!! I’ll assume you meant someone else….! He’s been fine.

    The obvious candidates are:
    JOhn Gregory, Bryan Robson (who you have), Paul Merson (bless him, he’s one of my favourite players), Steve Wigley, Paul Jewell.
    In the future I can add Gary Megson…

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