Lopetegui, Moyes, Neville and football’s most disastrous managerial reigns

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The former Spain coach has been sacked at the Bernabeu, and has earned his place amongst some of the game's biggest failures on the bench

  1. #1 Julen Lopetegui | Real Madrid

    Following in the footsteps of Zinedine Zidane was always going to be a hard task. But with the benefit of hindsight, Lopetegui must be thinking that Madrid's overtures in the middle of Spain's World Cup preparations should have been answered with a polite 'no'. 

    A positive start to life at the Bernabeu quickly turned sour, with three defeats in four La Liga matches prior to the Clasico sending the club plummeting down the table and ensuring that the clash against Barcelona would prove crucial to Lopetegui's continuity. 

    But there was to be no miracle at Camp Nou. Listless Madrid were destroyed 5-1, Luis Suarez helping himself to a hat-trick to seal a result that made Lopetegui's position untenable. 

    After just 10 games of this season's Liga, four defeats and with Madrid sitting a pathetic ninth in the table, the former Spain coach was sacked by Madrid on Monday. 

  2. #2 David Moyes | Manchester United

    David Moyes' predecessor at Manchester United held the job for no less than 27 years. The former Everton man failed to keep his post for 11 months. 

    Moyes had been marked as the natural heir to compatriot Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, but a catastrophic start to the 2013-14 season saw the pressure mount on the Scot even before the start of September. 

    Results refused to improve, with United rooted in a disappointing seventh place for the majority of the campaign and facing an almost unprecedented absence from the Champions League. The final straw came in April, when Moyes was downed 2-0 by former club Everton and then removed from his post with four games still left in the season.

  3. #3 Gary Neville | Valencia

    The appointment of the former Manchester United right-back in December 2015 caused no few eyebrows to be raised at Mestalla. With no previous coaching experience at the top level and not even the most remedial Spanish to use in the dressing room, it was a huge gamble for one of Spain's most historic, prestigious clubs. 

    Neville's performance in the Valencia hotseat did nothing to contradict the naysayers. A 2-0 Champions League defeat at the hands of Lyon in his coaching debut set the tone for a short, unhappy stint on the club's bench, assisted by brother Phil, which included a run of eight games without a win in La Liga. 

    In February Neville's charges were humiliated 7-0 by Barcelona, heightening calls for the coach to step aside. Valencia finally obliged the critics on March 30, 2016, sacking Neville just short of his four-month anniversary at Mestalla and with Los Che languishing 14th in the table.

  4. #4 Rafa Benitez | Real Madrid

    Thanks to the hapless Lopetegui, Rafa will no longer be stuck with the tag of being Real Madrid's shortest-lived coach of the last decade. But it is nevertheless hard to argue that the current Newcastle boss' time at the Bernabeu was anything short of a disaster. 

    Despite winning 17 and losing just three of the 25 games he disputed as Madrid's boss, the dour Benitez never won the affections of fans or the club's notoriously demanding president, Florentino Perez.

    A 4-0 Clasico defeat at the hands of Barcelona early in the season and a farcical elimination from the Copa del Rey due to the selection of an ineligible player caused early optimism to evaporate and the critics to swarm over a man who had come from the very heart of the Merengue system as youth and Castilla coach.

    Benitez was finally shown the door in January 2016, making way for Zinedine Zidane.

  5. #5 Alan Shearer | Newcastle

    As the likes of Diego Maradona and Lothar Matthaus have proved, being a great footballer does not necessarily guarantee success on the bench. Both Newcastle and the Magpies' favourite son can attest to that fact. 

    Shearer's sole managerial role came in April 2009, when he was appointed at St. James' Park in the hope that a club legend would help steer them away from relegation. Things did not quite work out that way. 

    Under the former England striker Newcastle picked up a pitiful five points in eight games, a run that guaranteed a drop to the Championship. Unsurprisingly, Shearer was not offered the opportunity to stay in the post, and has never been back for another shot at management at any club since.

  6. #6 Hristo Stoichkov | Bulgaria

    Another phenomenal talent on the pitch whose abilities did not pass over into coaching. Stoichkov also found that his famous temper might have helped him score goals, but it won him few friends during an awful spell at the head of his national team. 

    Bulgaria failed to qualify for either the 2006 World Cup nor Euro 2008 under the ex-Barcelona idol's fractious three-year tenure. Worse, his reign was marked by violent disputes with players that caused a succession of the nation's stars, including two captains, to resign from international duty, including brightest talent Stiliyan Petrov. 

    Euro 2008 qualifying failure led to the end of Stoichkov's time in charge, and Bulgaria have not been back to a major competition since.  

  7. #7 Andre Villas-Boas | Chelsea

    Chelsea splashed out a reported £13.3 million to free Villas-Boas from his Porto contract in June 2011, with the hope that the Portuguese would repeat the success of compatriot and predecessor Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge. Unfortunately for club and manager, lightning does not strike twice in the same place. 

    A string of defeats and curious team selections saw the pressure mount on the 31-year-old's shoulders, as Chelsea dropped out of the top four and faced elimination from the Champions League thanks to a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Napoli.

    Finally, in March 2011 and having stayed at the team for less than a year, Villas-Boas was removed from his post. He could only look on in frustration as, with caretaker Roberto Di Matteo at the helm, the newly invigorated Blues miraculously turned around their tie against Napoli and went on to win their first-ever Champions League title.

  8. #8 John Barnes | Celtic

    Another wonderful footballing talent who proved distinctly less than wonderful when handed managerial responsibilities. 

    Barnes got his break on the bench in June 1999, working under director of football Kenny Dalglish in what had been touted as a 'dream team' for Scottish giants Celtic. That dream, however, soon turned into a living nightmare for the Bhoys. 

    The former Liverpool and England star lasted just over eight months in the hotseat, and was sacked with Celtic trailing Rangers by 10 points in the SPL. The final straw, however, was a Scottish Cup defeat at the hands of tiny Inverness Caledonian Thistle, which inspired one of football's most famous headlines, courtesy of the Sun: "Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious." They truly were.

  9. #9 Ciro Ferrara | Juventus

    Thanks to Juventus' recent record as far and away the kings of Italian football, it is easy to forget that not so long ago things were far from rosy for the Turin club. Ciro Ferrara's short-lived tenure in particular was a low point for the Old Lady. 

    A favourite at the Delle Alpi as a player, Ferrara oversaw an ambitious attempt to knock dominant Inter off their perch, with stars like Fabio Cannavaro, Diego and Felipe Melo joining the club. But the team failed to click on the pitch, falling down the table and exiting the Champions League group stage with a pitiful 4-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. 

    The Europa League also ended in embarrassment for Juve with defeat at the hands of Fulham in the last-16, by which time Ferrara was already long gone. A Coppa Italia loss in January to Inter had sealed the coach's fate, and Juve would eventually finish a lowly seventh in Serie A as Jose Mourinho's Nerazzurri went on to win a famous treble. 

  10. #10 Steve McClaren | England

    The Wally with a Brolly. Steve McClaren's time in the England job has gone down in national folklore as one of the worst managerial tenures ever, encapsulated by the famous image of the boss sheltering under an oversized umbrella as his team crashed and burned. 

    McClaren took over from Sven Goran Eriksson as Three Lions manager in 2006 after previously serving as his assistant, and had also impressed during a five-year spell with Middlesbrough. But life with England proved rather more difficult, despite a positive start to qualifying for Euro 2008. 

    A mixed campaign meant England needed only to avoid defeat in their final game at home to already-qualified Croatia in order to make the cut. But the nation fell 3-2 amid torrential rain at Wembley, marking the first time England had failed to qualify for a major tournament since the 1994 World Cup. 

    That defeat unsurprisingly marked the end of McClaren's time in charge, having held the job for little over a year.