Managers

Helenio Herrera passed away recently leaving a legacy of defensive football behind, but Cris Freddi argues that the iconic manager was schooled in Total Football too

According to Channel 4, some of the Italian press have been calling him ‘the first real football coach’, which is bollocks but shows the right respect. If you’re an Inter fan, and aren’t we all, HH was the only coach.

Phil Dorward looks at the impact of Ivan Golac, one of the first foreigners to manage a football club on these shores

When Ivan Golac was sacked as manager of Dundee United in March 1995 he returned to his native Yugoslavia to buy a chocolate factory. It was totally in keeping with the events of the previous two years: Golac realised the dream of winning the Scottish Cup, United’s first victory in seven attempts, before dispensing with tactics and getting United relegated the next season. In essence, Golac was a pseudo European manager, chocolate being the only continental thing he ever produced.

Jozef Venglos was expected to bring glory to Villa on the basis that he was continental, but David Wangerin remembers how it never quite worked out for him

Jozef Venglos was manager of the best Villa side I’ve ever seen. For ninety minutes, anyway. That delightful October evening in 1990 when we inexplicably smashed Inter Milan into little pieces and scattered them across our pitch remains the most captivating game of football I’ve witnessed. It still seems inconceivable – trouncing a collection of Europe’s finest with a team captained by Stuart Gray. Surely no run-of-the-mill manager could ever have orchestrated it.

Jan Molby was loved at Swansea but Huw Richards documents how his reign as manager was ended

The sacking of Jan Molby under-lines what we already suspected about the new owners of Swansea City – they are either brave, daft or both. You must be to take over a Third Division football club, and you certainly have to be to then sack an authentic folk-hero.

Roy Hodgson hasn't always managed foreign clubs. Matt Nation remembers his short stint in charge of Bristol City

On turning to the front bit of your Sunday tabloid, you often find pages five to eight plastered with a ‘seedy past’ exposé. The host of a sofa-based chat-show, for example, is revealed to have once visited a topless bar, dropped a couple of tabs and then thrown a cloakroom attendant through a plate-glass window. The nation smirks behind its collective hand for a couple of days, then loses interest, comes over all moral and decides to let bygones be bygones.

A look at the increasingly obscure job titles that are created at football clubs

MANAGER – 20th century
Typical day: 7.00am Gets to ground at first light. Goes to shops for light bulbs, post it notes, and pine fresh toilet duck. 9.00 – On the phone to business manager of a leading Spanish club negotiating £23 million transfer deal. 9.15 Talking multi million pound contract with player’s agents. 9.30 Cleans toilets, replaces lightbulbs, dusts trophy cabinet. 10.30 Secures deal on transfer. 11.00 Denies transfer rumours to local and national press. 11.15. Visits estate agent to buy luxury suburban castle near golf course for new player. 13.00 Announces signing of new player. 13.10 Has clear the air meeting with first team players unhappy about new player’s massive wages. 14.00 Services lawnmower and mends goal nets. 5.30 Shows kids’ birthday party group round stadium. Presents birthday boy with cake. Changes into Freddie the Footie Clown suit and performs slapstick routine. 17.30 Picks team for tonight’s game
If he could sign one player it would be: David Batty
Motto: The chairman makes work for idle hands.

Tommy Burns was tasked with winning the league for Celtic, but Gary Oliver details how he found Rangers and Falkirk in his way

Twenty four hours after the country went to the polls, Glasgow East declared that Tommy Burns had lost his seat as Celtic’s manager. Although the Scottish press had campaigned for Burns to be granted a second term of office, Time For A Change proved the prevailing sentiment amongst voters in the Parkhead boardroom.

Hugh McIlvanney's tribute to a trio of famous managers struck a chord with Roger Titford

Over the Easter weekend, as a welcome antidote to the usual highspeed Sky blather, Hugh McIlvanney presented a documentary trilogy on the backgrounds and careers of Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Jock Stein. A different era and a different tempo.

After a spate of sackings in Scotland Gary Oliver provides a recap of the carnage

Only a quarter of the Scottish League season gone, but already a number of the managers listed in this year’s Rothmans are history. To follow the complex trail of resignations and sackings requires the aid of a flow chart ; that, however, would tell nothing of the machinations that have accompanied the cull.

Peter Taylor's appointment as England Under-21 manager caught many people off guard. Mark Winter explains why Dover's loss could be England's gain

If I were a follower of a moderate Premiership club, I might have expected it. I’m en route to an away game, listening to Radio 5 Live, when the bombshell is dropped. We’ve just lost our manager, on the eve of a new season, to the FA, where he'll be taking over responsibility for the England U-21 side.

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