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Top 10 Worst Managerial Appointments In Football

The managerial merry-go-round spins on every season, and every year chairmen make some good and some pretty shoddy decisions. Over the years the men at the top have taken punts on some interesting characters and often they have spectacularly failed. We at have picked 10 of the worst managerial appointments of all time.

10. Hristo Stoichkov

After a stellar playing career in which he starred for Barcelona's 'Dream Team' of the mid 90's and won the Balon d'Or in 1994, the Bulgarian made a somewhat surprising move in to management. The Bulgarian wasn’t an obvious candidate for management following his somewhat unpredictable nature during his playing career and he certainly continued this trait after hanging up his boots. He dived straight in at the deep end by taking over as Bulgaria manager, and his time in charge included two captains amongst other players refusing to play whilst he was in charge, being sent off for abusing a referee and accusing Romania of match fixing. His stint in charge of Celta Vigo was similarly shocking as he oversaw the Galicians relegation to the Spanish second division.  He has gone on to enjoy some level of success in South Africa with the Malemodi Sundowns and with Litex in his homeland but is unlikely his managerial career will ever match the heights of his playing days.

9. David Platt

The former England midfielder has only experienced two spells as a manager and neither have been anything but a disaster. Given the intelligent, well-travelled, international midfielder he was it was no surprise that he moved straight into management after retiring from playing. He took over at former club Sampdoria but was in-charge for only six games amidst controversy he did not have the necessary coaching requirements. However no wins in his short spell saw Samp slide down the table and at the end of the season suffer relegation to Serie B. It is his spell at Nottingham Forest that he is more notorious for in England, when he took charge at the City Ground in 1999. He spent comfortably over £10 million in his two years at the club, largely on obscure Italians but with next to no success on the pitch. His spell saw Forest plunge into debt and set them up nicely for relegation after he left and is a hugely unpopular figure at Forest to this day, with many fans citing him as the reason for their troubles which ultimately saw them drop down to League One.

8. John Carver

John Carver enjoyed a 100% record during his first spell in charge of his boyhood club Newcastle, when he beat Blackburn 3-0 in 2004. However he was never considered for the job on a permanent basis and Graeme Souness was appointed instead, though it's for his second spell in temporary charge however that he makes this list. After Alan Pardew opted to depart for Crystal Palace January, Carver was given until the end of the season with the Toon Army sitting comfortably in 10th place in the Premier League. A subsequent run of just two wins in 17 games, including eight straight defeats saw the club slide dangerously close to the relegation zone. A third win of his tenure was required against West Ham on the final day of the season to secure survival but Carver's reputation had taken a hammering. He did not help himself either by stating he believed he was "the best coach in the Premier League" despite leading Newcastle to the worst sequence of results in their history.

7. Les Reed

Les Reed has been a key figure behind the scenes in Southampton's success since the turn of 2010 but when he was the man in dugout at Charlton in 2006, things were very different. Back then the Addicks were a struggling Premier League side under Iain Dowie and in-fairness to Reed, the club were bottom of the table when he took over. However things did not get much better under his stewardsip, winning just one and losing five of his seven league games in charge. The club were also knocked out of the League Cup by League Two Wycombe Wanderers and he was quickly replaced by Alan Pardew. He was ridiculed in the press and helped set the club on a path to League One, with an online poll also purporting him to be "the worst manager of all time". His spell at the Valley was the only time he ever dipped his toes in to management and it's perhaps very easy to see why.

6. John Barnes

The legendary former Liverpool and England midfielder first cut his managerial teeth at Celtic where he is regarded as one the club's worst managers of all time. Barnes did go on to re-build his reputation somewhat with a successful spell in charge of the country of his birth, Jamaica, but his first dip into English club management with Tranmere was pretty catastrophic. He led the way with Jason McAteer as his assistant but the pair of former Liverpool stars could not improve the fortunes of the club from the Wirral. Two wins in 11 league games is not what the powers that be at Tranmere had in mind and Barnes only barely made it into October of his only season in charge before getting the bullet. His time in charge ultimately came to an end when he saw his side hammered 5-0 by Millwall, a result that left Rovers second from bottom of the table. Barnes and McAteer were reportedly referred to as "Dumb and Dumber" by the Tranmere players which just about says it all about his spell in charge of the Merseyside club.

5. Lubos Kubik

He may have had a good reputation in Europe, winning numerous caps for Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic and turning out for the likes of Slavia Prague and Fiorentina, but little was known of him on the south coast of England when he took over Torquay in 2006. He was good friends with the then chairman Chris Roberts which seemed the only reason he got the job as it wasn’t his managerial ability, having only ever had previous experience in charge of Hradec Králové in his homeland and a spell Slask Wroclaw in Poland. Torquay fans should of been worried upon his appointment give the fact he was sacked by the Polish side after just 11 league games in charge. However despite his close relationship with chairman Roberts, Kubik was not far from the right man for the job and he managed just one win in his 12 league games in charge. Upon his dismissal, Torquay were five points adrift at the bottom of the football league were eventually relegated out of it for the first time in 79 years.

4. Bryan Robson

After varying degrees of success at Middlesbrough and West Brom, the former Manchester United and England captain had been expected to lead Sheffield United back to the Premier League at the first time of asking in the 2007-08 season. With one of the Championships biggest budget and much of their squad remaining from the previous season, fans, pundits and bookmakers alike all expected the Blades to contend for promotion especially when the club splashed a club record £4 million on James Beattie. However the promotion charge never materialised and Robson found his squad languishing in 20th place after just three wins from their opening 11 games of the season. Things did improve to a degree but following a five game winless run, Robson parted company with the Blades with the club sitting 16th in the table. His underachievement was put in to even greater context when his replacement Kevin Blackwell won eight of his 14 league games in charge that season as United finished 9th in the table. The following season Blackwell led the club to a third placed finish the following season, proving it was the manager rather than the players that was seemingly the problem.

3. Paul Gascoigne

One of the most iconic figures in English football folklore there is no doubt but Paul Gascoigne as a manager is a very different story. It was very unlikely to ever become a top manager and Gazza didn’t really surprise anyone following his whirlwind romance with Kettering Town. Not the worst record in terms of performances as the Geordie won two and drew two of his six games in charge, but the half dozen games in total goes to show how unsuccessful the appointment was. Being accused by the club’s owner of drinking near constantly throughout his reign led to an unhappy relationship and Gazza's counter argument was the chairman constantly interfered. The combination came to a predcitably premature and Gascoigne first foray in to management came to an end after just 39 days in charge. His managerial career almost saw him join another club in 2010 when he came to taking over at Garforth Town but he ultimately decided to turn the Yorkshire side down. It appears very unlikely Gazza will ever get back in to management given his struggles with mental health and alcohol issues but we should not let this deter us from remembering what a phenomenal player he was in his prime.

2.Terry Venables (Crystal Palace)

It was not a stable situation at all when El Tel took over at Selhurst Park in March 1998 but it got no better thanks to the former England manager’s return to Palace. A lot of the blame can be put on the then chairman Mark Goldberg who paid Venables a staggering £135,000 just to talk to him about becoming manager. Goldberg had been bullish upon Venables appointment and stated his ambition to transform Palace in to a European force in the coming years. However the seven months Terry spent at the club cost them nearly £1million pounds per month and that along with spending huge amounts on poor players left Palace in administration in 1999, not to mention relegated from the Premier League. They say never go back in football and this was definitely the case for Venables.

1. Claude Anelka

Acting as agent for brother Nicolas, the Frenchman oversaw a number of highly lucrative moves for Anelka jr. from PSG to Arsenal to Real Madrid. Claude seemed to have largely been making a decent living off the back of his younger more talented brother but decided to have a crack at the big time himself when he took over as manager of Scottish first division side Raith Rovers in 2004, offering £300,000 in funds as part of the deal. A few odd signings, consisting mostly of French lower league players didn’t help his cause and his start as manager could not really have been much worse. The club picked up just one point in his eight games in charge before he was out of work again in October, with Rovers rooted rock bottom of the table. A bizarre appointment from the off, this one never really made much sense and the disastrous spell that followed was probably what many had expected. His connection with the club did not end their however and after his dismissal as manager, he was made the club's director of football. He has made the move back in to management with spells in the minor league's in the U.S but his spell at Raith Rovers has to go down as one of the worst in UK football history.


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