Ex-Footballers who Failed to Make the Transition into Management

Ex-Footballers who Failed to Make the Transition into Management

The journey from being a former footballer to a successful manager requires a host of different skills, characteristics and behaviours that most former players do not possess. Unsurprisingly, half the battle is having the desire and work ethic to succeed, as Chris Nathaniel of NVA Sports Agency describes of his client Paul Ince’s tenure at Blackpool, “Paul is enjoying himself, but he loves hard work – that is what it is all about for him.”

This alone is not enough however, managers must also possess certain qualities and characteristics as well as having a thorough tactical knowledge of the game. For some former player-turned-managers, it was clear to most of us from the start that they were deficient in at least some of these areas, but for others it remains somewhat of a mystery as to why their apparently sufficient qualifications failed to translate into success on the touchline.

Perhaps the most obvious example of a former player who it seemed would inevitably prove to be a successful manager, Tony Adams remarkable achievements as captain of Arsenal, coupled with his clear leadership qualities, meant he was widely tipped for a successful career in management upon retirement in 2002.

However, after spells at Wycombe, Portsmouth and Grenada, Adams has failed to reach the heights of his playing days and his widely anticipated managerial success continues to prove elusive.

Edgar Davids was one of the finest midfielders of his generation playing for both Juventus and the Netherlands and his arrival at Barnet to be a player-coach in 2012 generated a lot of excitement and surprise in the footballing world.

Despite narrowly failing to avoid relegation in his first season, he stayed on as sole manager for the 2013/14 season, only to be sent off three times in the first eight games of the season and resign a few weeks later!

Roy Keane was another former player tipped to go on to have a successful career in management, given his obvious leadership qualities displayed as Utd skipper and experience playing under perhaps the greatest manager ever, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Despite initial success in his first managerial role at Sunderland, achieving promotion to the Premier League, Keane has never quite hit the heights expected of him as a manager with spells at Ipswich, the Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa all ending prematurely with little success.

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