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Still In A Job!
Still In A Job!

Fenny Rash

By: Simon Fenwick
Date: 14/12/2007

At the time of writing Alan Buckley is still employed as our manager, Billy Davies is a victim of his own success at Derby and has been given the bullet and Steve Mclaren is still known as the Wally with the brolly who should never work in football again.

After a great 1-0 win at Brentford I fully expect Buckley will still be in charge when you are reading this but what if Brentford had been the ones to score without reply? Wouldn’t we all already be putting our two-penneth in about who should be our next manager? If England had got that win or draw against Croatia would the headline have read 'brolly good show' as we planned our next summer holiday around Euro 2008 and if Derby had turned over Chelsea instead of losing 2-0 would we be all touting Billy Davis as the next big thing in management?

Football is all about results and if those well paid sportsmen don't perform and get results then the buck stops with the manager. Occasionally this may be unfair but the truth is, that's football. Apart from the odd occasion and it really is an odd occasion, a manager taken on by any club knows that they will more than likely be part of the clubs history sooner rather than later than still be a part of its future in ten years time.

In short, who'd be a football manager eh?

Well I'll tell you, this lot would even though they really shouldn't have been let loose on managing a Sunday League side. So read on as we take a look at some of the worst managers who yes, may well have been excellent at playing the game but know nothing about the art of football management.

John Barnes – Celtic

Nobody questions John Barnes regarding his ability as a football show presenter on channel five (There's no point, he has no ability to question) and after a great club career nobody questioned that he wouldn't make a good manager either. That was until about a week into his reign at Celtic. Terrible big money signings and average results (65% win ratio really isn't good enough for Celtic) meant that John was on his bike quicker than you can say come dancing (he was sacked after just 29 games in charge.

Later he was to claim that his skin colour had got him the sack!

True or not I don't know but a cup humbling by little Callie Thistle may have had a little bit more to do with it.

Mick McCarthy – Sunderland

I say Sunderland but Mick has been pretty dire at most clubs he's managed.

When he played he was a good, solid, honest Yorkshire-man who was respected by most. As a manager however he's stopped being honest the day he started because if he were he would surely have hung up his tracksuit and get a proper job away from football the second he realise just how bad he was. His Sunderland team could possibly be the worst that ever did and ever will grace the Premiership. Perhaps he has some good points as a manager, for instance what about his man management skills? I don't know, shall we ask Roy Keane?

Graham Rix - Portsmouth, Oxford and Hearts

It baffles me why any chairman wanting success for his club would ever call on the services of Graham 'she told me she was sixteen your honour' Rix.

With only a 32% win ratio on his CV and that includes being relatively successful at Hearts and a 100% record with his prison team, you have to start to wonder why Rixy thinks he's cut out for a job in the sheepskin coat. Stick to what you do best Graham, showing your puppies off to a certain age of girl.

Bryan Robson - Boro, WBA and Sheffield United

Calling all Chairmen, if you want your club out of the current division they are playing in why don't you get ex England captain Marvel Robbo to come and work for you. I'm not saying he'll get you in the division you want to be playing in but you'll more than likely be playing a different set of teams with boozy Bryan at the helm. He really is a prime example that proves just because he could play a bit doesn't mean diddly squat as far as managing goes.

Christian Gross – Spurs

When the bald Swiss chap arrived at White Hart Lane and sat in his first press conference next to Alan Sugar, all football fans shouted 'who' in unison. If they'd have known what he would achieve at the club then surely they would have been shouting 'why' not who. He came in by tube holding his train ticket up for all to see, his meaning being, 'I'm one of you.' After an appalling set of results which saw Spurs stay up by the skin of their teeth Gross left, not by tube but on the end of Sugar's boot as the bulldog skin faced Chairman had to resort to his famous catchphrase, 'You're fired.'

Graeme Souness - Newcastle (amongst others)

There were hard, tough players in football and then there was Souness, a man that had a heart attack in training one day and carried on playing. He really was the hardest of the hard. Likewise there are bad football managers that don't know their arse from the elbow and then there's Souey, a manager so bad he probably doesn't even realise he has an arse or an elbow.

While at Southampton, Graeme signed a player because he was related to the then great player George Weah. He substituted the player after five minutes when he realised it was his mum. I rest my case; he's had more clubs than Tiger Woods and still can't get his head around this managing lark.

Ruud Gullit - Chelsea and Newcastle

Ruud liked nothing better than 'sexy football', the trouble is, if you watched one of his teams they weren't particularly sexy. In fact I would go as far as saying that if he thought it was sexy, Ruud had bad taste in football.

A man that dropped Alan Shearer for the Newcastle Sunderland derby when his job depended on getting a result pretty much tells you how good Ruud was. Eventually he went on to do an advert for Pizza hut which is quite apt as when he left St James Park most Geordies wanted a piece of him and certainly wanted him topping.

Ossie Ardiles – Spurs, Swindon and Newcastle

What can you expect from a man that spoke like he was talking under water?

It’s no surprise really that his teams never did very well when no player understood what he wanted them to do. As a player, he may have won the cup for ‘tott in ham’ but as a manager he won naff all. At one stage it got so bad for some of his teams supporters that they tried to get the country to go back to war with Argentina just so Ossie would go back home with his tail between his legs again.

Sammy Lee – Bolton

Poor little red faced Sammy didn’t last too long at Bolton did he?

Perhaps he’d been in big Sam’s shadows for too long, hence him only being about four foot six inches tall but surely once out of that shadow it was his chance to shine like that little rosy beacon that he is. He didn’t and the trotters got rid of him sharply. And on this showing, it turns out that the only Trotters he was good enough to ever manage were probably Del and Rodney.

Gary Megson – Forest, WBA and Leicester

When word got round that Bolton wanted Megson to replace Little Sammy at Bolton the Leicester fans (the club he was managing) couldn’t believe their luck. They even went as far as chanting ‘Megson for Bolton’. I personally haven’t got a clue what the appeal of having Gary managing your club is but he keeps falling into jobs even though he has a track record (37% wins) that leaves a heck of a lot to be desired.

Surely trusting Gary as the next man to bring success to your club is like getting Auntie Myra and Uncle Ian around to do your baby-sitting?

That’s my list; there’s plenty I’ve missed out I know but I’ve run out of page. Don’t think I forgot about that certain turnip (Graham Taylor) or the lusty, overpaid Swede (Sven) or even that total cabbage (Mick Lyons). I hadn’t forgotten them, just merely overlooked them which is what Chairman around the country should do in future with this lot.

This article first featured in BAWC Issue Nine. To order a copy, for only £1.50 inc. p&p, email

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