Gary Neville, Maradona & the Top 10 worst managers of all time

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From Diego Maradona to Gary Neville - Goal runs through a list of legendary figures that were simply not cut out for coaching

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is making this management lark look rather easy. Not even two full seasons at the highest level and he's already lifted back-to-back European Cups.

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It is said that Zidane's status as one of the finest players ever to have laced up a pair of boots has helped him command a group of superstars but not every former great finds it so easy to boss a dressing room.

Indeed, as our list of the worst managers of all time shows, many ex-professionals struggle with the transition from player to coach...


10. LOTHAR MATTHAUS


Lothar Matthaus

As one of the finest players that Germany has ever produced, Lothar Matthaus finds it outrageous that he has never been given a coaching job by a Bundesliga club.

"Germany should be ashamed of the way it treats such an idol," he once argued.

"I hope a German club will just trust me. And only then can you make a judgement: he is good or he is bad."

Unfortunately for Matthaus, most clubs have already made up their minds on a coach who achieved nothing with either the Hungarian or Bulgarian national teams and who has a reputation for upsetting his employers.

Indeed, during his short, ill-fated stint in Brazil, Atletico Paranaense were left aghast after he faxed them his resignation, never bothered to return to pick up his personal belongings and left them to foot a €5,000 phone bill!


9. DIEGO MARADONA


Diego Maradona Argentina

Diego Maradona is the best example of the fact that great players do not necessarily make great managers.

Such was the Argentine's outstanding natural talent, he did as he pleased on the football field - and off it, in fairness.

Therefore, helping others achieve similar levels of excellence was never going to be easy but it has been made impossible by his total lack of discipline.

He has achieved nothing in the club game and even his only noteworthy achievement in international football - qualifying Argentina for the World Cup - was overshadowed by the vulgar attack on the media which followed.

"They can suck it," he declared, while grabbing his crotch, "and carry on sucking it!"

Ultimately, though, it was Argentine who ended up sucking in South Africa, eliminated at the quarter-final stage after a humiliating 4-0 loss to Germany that proved Maradona’s last game in charge.


8. BOBBY CHARLTON


Bobby Charlton

Having joined Preston North End after the end of his illustrious career at Manchester United, Bobby Charlton agreed to take over as manager in 1973.

The Old Trafford icon brought in fellow World Cup winner Nobby Stiles as a player-coach but Charlton's tenure proved disastrous, with his first season at Deepdale ending in relegation.

After a later dispute with the board, he departed to resume his playing career at Waterford United in Ireland.

Charlton had another crack at management while serving as a director at Wigan but wisely elected to move back upstairs after winning just two of his nine games as caretaker boss.


7. CIRO FERRARA


Ciro Ferrara Juventus

Ciro Ferrara looked a perfect fit for Juventus when Claudio Ranieri was sacked at the tail end of the 2008-09 season.

It was the Neapolitan's first top job but he was a former Bianconeri captain and had served as Marcello Lippi's right-hand man during Italy's 2006 World Cup success.

However, after a bright start, Ferrara's Juve capitulated, failing to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League after being routed 4-1 at home to Bayern Munich in a game from which they only needed a point to progress.

After a turbulent winter in Turin, Ferrara was finally put out of his misery following the Old Lady's Copa Italia elimination at the hands of Inter in January.

Ferrara insisted that "coaching friends was a problem" but accusations that his training sessions were poorly structured and that he was tactically inept have never gone away, particularly as he subsequently failed to redeem his reputation during an equally unsuccessful spell at Sampdoria.


6. ALAN SHEARER


Alan Shearer

While Alan Shearer had retired as one of the most prolific strikers in English football history, he had shown no charisma and little aptitude for tactical analysis during his subsequent role as a pundit for the BBC.

It came as quite the shock, then, when he was appointed as manager of relegation-threatened Newcastle for the final eight games of the 2008-09 Premier League season.

By taking on his boyhood club, Shearer had let his heart rule his head, which, it transpired, was utterly devoid of ideas to arrest the Magpies' slide into the Championship.

Indeed, the former Magpies No.9 managed to accrue just five points from a possible 24 and he has never coached since, preferring instead to pocket the £450,000 of taxpayers' money he earns on an annual basis for providing the BBC with insightful comments such as "He'll be disappointed with that" or "He's got to hit the target from there".


5. HRISTO STOICHKOV


Hristo Stoichkov

A volatile character who once broke a college student's leg during a friendly game for D.C. United, Hristo Stoichkov was never going to have the right temperament to cut it as a manager.

The former Bulgaria legend was nonetheless named national team boss in 2004 in the hope that he would reinvigorate a side that he had led to the 1994 World Cup semi-finals as a player.

However, Stoichkov's time in charge was marred by arguments with officials and his own players - Stiliyan Petrov was one of two captains to quit the team after a row with the coach.

After failing to qualify for both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008, he resigned as coach.

Subsequent spells at Celta Vigo, Mamelodi Sundowns, Litex Lovech and CSKA Sofia proved just as unsuccessful.


4. STEVE STAUNTON


Steve Staunton Ireland

After the Republic of Ireland's failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, the nation's football association (FAI) promised to appoint a world-class replacement for Brian Kerr. They then hired Steve Staunton.

The Dundalk native had been an excellent left-back in his day but he had no previous experience of coaching at the highest level. It quickly showed.

During a dismal qualifying campaign for Euro 2008, Ireland suffered a humiliating 5-2 loss in Cyprus before a 1-1 draw at home to the same opposition brought an end not only to their hopes of making it to Austria and Switzerland, but also Staunton's ignominious reign.

The former Liverpool defender hasn't managed since his subsequent spell at Darlington, during which he oversaw just four wins from 23 games.

His final match at the helm, against Barnet in March 2010, drew just 1,463 supporters - a record low at the Darlington Arena.


3. JOHN BARNES


John Barnes Celtic

John Barnes was a better rapper than he was a manager.

The Liverpool legend - and star of England's 1990 World Cup team song alongside New Order - began his coaching career at Celtic, after working under his team-mate and boss at Anfield, Kenny Daglish.

It was billed as a dream ticket but proved a nightmare, with Barnes sacked shortly after a humiliating Scottish Cup loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, which spawned the immortal headline: "Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious."

Barnes had a shot spell in charge of Jamaica before returning to club football with Tranmere, where he brought in another ex-team-mate, Jason McAteer, as his assistant coach.

The pair were shown the door after just 11 league games - but not before they had been christened 'Dumb & Dumber' by the club's distinctly unimpressed players!


2. GARY NEVILLE


Gary Neville FC Valencia 18022016

Jurgen Klopp was surprised that Gary Neville felt qualified to judge Loris Karius' merits as a goalkeeper last season.

"He showed that he struggled with the job to judge players," the Liverpool boss reasoned. "Why do we let [him] talk about players on television?!"

Neville had carved out a reputation for himself as a studious and insightful pundit before he was appointed Valencia boss by business partner Peter Lim in December 2015.

He spoke no Spanish and had no previous experience as a head coach. When asked if he was ready to take, he replied, "We'll find out."

That process didn't take long, with Neville sacked after winning just three of his 16 Liga games at the helm, during which they failed to keep a single clean sheet.


1. TONY ADAMS


Arsene Wenger Tony Adams Arsenal

According to Tony Adams, "Arsene Wenger couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag." At the very least, though, the mastermind behind Arsenal's 'Invincibles' can manage.

Adams can neither coach nor manage. After embarrassing himself in England with his incessant whining and dismal results in charge of Wycombe and Portsmouth, he became a laughing stock in Spain last season during his dismal attempts to rescue Granada from relegation.

He promised to give his players "a kick up the arse"; instead, he ended up falling flat on his and was not only mocked over his total lack of tactical acumen but also his suits, with Isco famously hollering at him from the Real Madrid bench, "Waiter! Waiter! A Coca-Cola, please!"

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