With the recent appointment of former Arsenal defender Tony Adams as the new manager of La Liga side Granada, it raised many an eyebrow. His previous managerial position was with Azerbaijani outfit Gabala, which ended in 2011. Before them he was the Portsmouth manager for a tenure which lasted 16 games and collected a total of 10 points.
But he isn’t the first managerial appointment which has made the entire planet go “huh?” in shock.
Real Sociedad have a track record in recent times for bringing some British managers to La Liga. Chris Coleman spent half a season with the Basque side before resigning after a falling out with the club’s president (he lost only one of his previous eleven games before quitting). And most recently David Moyes spent a brief period with Sociedad. It wasn’t all bad for the Scot’s stint in La Liga. He did manage to beat Barcelona 1-0 and shared a packet of crisps with a fan after being sent to the stands during a game.
Edgar Davids was one of the finest midfielders of his generation, having played for Ajax, Milan, Juventus, Barcelona and Inter. But it was a bit bizarre when in 2012 he became manager of Barnet. Especially as he has joined as the much-missed role of player-manager. He lasted two years. Discipline was a major problem for Davids in the 2013–14 season. He was booked in each of the first eight league games he played, and he was sent off three times in those first eight games.
Chelsea have gone through roughly one million managers since Roman Abramovich took ownership of the London club. Some were, on paper, fantastic but simply didn’t work out (Villas-Boas, Benitez, Scolari). But one stood out for being a bizarre appointment. And that was Avram Grant who took over in September 2007 after the ever-popular pantomime villain José Mourinho. His only season for the blues witnessed him finish second second in the Premier League, League Cup and Champions League.
I have to mention Gary Neville. He was appointed manager of Valencia in December 2015. Peter Lim, who owns a controlling stake in the La Liga side, also owns 50% of Salford – the club who Neville owns alongside Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and brother Phil. He lasted just four months in Spain, and left Valencia 14th in the league, only six points clear of the relegation zone. Theyt had won only three of their 16 league games under Neville, also failing to keep a single clean sheet.
Good players don’t always make good managers
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