Taking on the role of manager of a top flight football club is a precarious task to say the least. Even the most respected managers can get it wrong, while the incompetent can be sacked in the blink of an eye. While some managers seem to have what it takes to turn a team around and keep it successful, here’s 5 football manager appointments that came as a big surprise to both fans and pundits alike.
1. Paolo di Canio – Sunderland
Putting the controversial former Swindon Town boss, Paolo di Canio, in charge of Sunderland caused anger amongst the fans of the Black Cats right from the start. Due to Canio’s links with fascism, the Vice-Chairman resigned and the Durham Miners Association removed its banner from the ground. Taking up the post in March 2013, Canio immediately won the local derby with a 3-0 win over Newcastle, added 14 new players to the books in the summer, and was sacked by the end of September. A brief managerial post to say the least.
2.David Moyes – Manchester United
Who had feet big enough to fill Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes? David Moyes didn’t that’s for sure. Even after 11 years of success with Everton, and some similar attributes to his predecessor, including being Scottish, he just didn’t have what it takes to please either players or fans. He didn’t even last a full season, being sacked in April 2014, with Manchester United in an unheard of 7th place in the league.
3. Alex McLeish – Aston Villa
This former Birmingham City boss was appointed to manage Aston Villa just 5 days after his departure from the Blues. Unfortunately, McLeish gained the unenviable status of being statistically the worst manager Villa had ever had, and was sacked after just one season.
4. Remi Garde – Aston Villa
After the disappointment of McLeish and Tim Sherwood, Aston Villa looked outside the country for their new boss, Remi Garde. Formerly with Lyon, 49-year old Garde is set to sign a three-and-a-half year deal at Villa Park. Having transformed Lyon, it’s hoped he can raise the both the Villa game and their morale and keep them in the Premier League.
5. Diego Maradona – Dubai
Maradona joined Al Wasl in Dubai in May 2011 in a blaze of glory. However, the legendary Argentinian was soon in trouble when the board of the club resigned after a trophyless season in which they finished eighth in the league, and he was sacked after just 14 months in charge. However, we’re sure this isn’t going to keep the legend of Maradona down for long; he’s inspired everyone from young footballers to a number of sports-themed games at Royal Vegas, such is his reach.