Managers

Craig McDowall pays tribute to former Rangers manager Jock Wallace

Jock Wallace was relatively unknown outside of his native Scotland. However, Rangers fans the world over greeted the news with a mixture of sadness and regret.

Graeme Souness made quite an impression in Istanbul. David O'Byrne reports

Draw up any list of controversial managers and the name Graeme Souness is sure to figure. At Rangers he had been presented with carte blanche to do whatever he wanted to achieve the desired success. At Liverpool, his fortunes took a dive. There were people there who had their own ideas about football and weren’t about to be steamrollered. More importantly, money for new players wasn’t in unlimited supply and the competition was harder than in Scotland. With one FA Cup and a lot of bad feeling, Souness departed and dropped out of football circles. It was, he was later to admit, a difficult time. He needed the thrill of a big job to lure him back into the game.

Dave Juson looks at how Graeme Souness came to be on the south coast

The arrival of Graeme Souness at The Dell has bemused the faithful. Celebrity managers are not something Southampton FC are noted for. Actually, managers are not something we’re noted for, not until Guy Askham became chairman. Chris Nicholl, Askham’s first victim in 1991, was only our sixth manager since World War Two. Souness is the fourth attempted replacement.

Cris Freddi looks back at the days when British coaches had to go abroad to be coaches at all and wonders if it is time for a little reciprocation

Among the British subjects living in Germany who were arrested at the outbreak of World War I was a certain S Bloomer, who must’ve been first pick in any internment camp five-a-side: he’d scored a world record 28 goals in 23 matches for England. The mighty Steve had been passing on the tricks of the trade, and not just in Germany: Vittorio Pozzo became the only manager to win the World Cup twice (1934 & 1938) on the back of conversations with Bloomer and the great centre half Charlie Roberts.

John Tandy makes a case for there being signs of a method in Barry Fry's madness

What’s it like watching Birmingham City these days? Imagine you’ve tuned in to Coronation Street. You want to find out whether Kev’s going to buy the garage. Instead you find two strangers that you’ve never seen before, and they’re making no sense at all. You check the Radio Times and discover that they only joined the cast the day before. They’ve not had time to learn any lines yet but they’re making it up as they go along. Then Reg Holdsworth disappears. It’ll turn out three weeks later that he’s been transferred to Brookside in part exchange for Barry Grant. You tune in the next day, and Curly’s been flogged to Pobol Y Cwm.

What can Howard Wilkinson do to turn around Leeds' fortunes after such a disappointing season? Don Watson has a suggestion

Perhaps it was symbolic that Aston Villa were the opposition. There had, in our first season back in the top division, been indications to the broader audience that Leeds had at last produced a team capable of superseding all those flickering monochrome memories of the Whites of the Sixties and rose-tinted visions of the smiley-badge Seventies. But it was the performance away to Aston Villa in November ’91, televised live on ITV, that showed the world, well  the country anyway, just what a force the new order really was.

Rogan Taylor pays tribute to former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley, who died last month

Football in Britain owes much to its coal-mining communities, especially those in the North-East of England and in Scotland. Never mind the great players hewn out of them for generations; forget the loyalty and tenacity of the football crowds they helped produce. Just think of the managers who were born in sight of the pit-shafts: Busby, Shankly, Stein and Paisley amongst them.

Reading supporters knew how Leicester City fans felt when Mark McGhee decamped to Wolves, as Roger Titford explains

What’s so great about Mark McGhee that he’s managed to break 25,000 hearts in Reading and Leicester and cost his new employers around £1 million compensation in the past twelve months? What makes him last year’s most expensive temp?

Sam Davies examines why Graham Taylor's much-trumpeted return to club football with Wolves was brought to an abrupt end

The glory days of the 1950s were a long way in the past when I first started following Wolves but my generation of fans grew up accustomed to the club being First Division mainstays. After the dark days of the early Eighties, the revival under Sir Jack Hayward’s patronage promised a return to glory days; but it seems to be going horribly wrong again.

We searched high and low for someone who thinks George Graham is innocent, and found Boyd Hilton, only too happy to put the case for the defence

“February 1995: The weather is surprisingly mild, so it is time to plant my sweet peas. They are especially effective when grown in clumps, supported with cylinders of netting. I am using autumn-sown seedlings which have wintered in boxes. My garden is a joy to the eye... But I feel there is a blast of winter yet to come.”

Sign up to the WSC Weekly Howl - a small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday