John Gregory. For the early part of the season his homespun philosophy seemed to mark him out as the footballing equivalent of Peter Sellers’s gardener-cum-sage in Being There. However, once Villa started losing, his true colours came to the fore. Being a poor football manager is something he can be forgiven, but his treatment of Collymore and Merson cannot.His personal attacks on them through the tabloids showed crass insensitivity and an atrocious lack of judgment. Ian Cusack

Ruud Gullit, the sultan of smug. A man so conceited he thinks he can turn Newcastle Utd into champions. Dave Robinson

Gérard Houllier. He’s already been found out, but will keep his job until Christmas because it would be too embarrassing for Liverpool to admit they’ve got it wrong again. And he always looks permanently startled. John Earls

Alex Ferguson, until I hear him say “We were beaten by the better team”. Then it will be Trevor Francis. David Wangerin

Unquestionably Ruud Gullit. The pathetic attempts at humour and intellectual analysis which just masked a serial shagging egotist with the intelligence of Reg Varney. And he sells pants with his name on them. AS Thomas

There’s something about Ruud Gullit’s manner that really gets on my wick. He has a permanent look on his face that suggests he is only tolerating the current situation until something better comes along. But somehow it never does. Harry Pearson

I could have said David O’Leary, who was fast becoming the Uriah Heep of humble managers (“Ah, well, we’ll just keep on playing our game and hope to do well”) until he aimed some bitchy swipes at Arsène (“He’ll be off back to Japan”) Wenger, but John Gregory has to have the accolade for letting Villa’s early season success go to his Quink Permanent black bonce and sneering at everything. Joyce Woolridge

David O’Leary. Is he the first football manager ever to have a few talented youngsters in his squad? John Williams

Kevin Keegan
. Replacing Hoddle – a man who lost his job, in essence, because of a slightly off-kilter personality – with a man of such erratic and bizarre responses seems to be a sure-fire recipe for trouble. Ken Gall

Bobby Gould (without hesitation). Nigel Harris

Alex Ferguson
. He’s also the best, but his attitude to referees is appalling. At Old Traff­ord United haven’t faced a penalty in the lea­gue in literally years, yet the second they don’t get one somewhere else, or the opposition do, it’s the biggest miscarriage of justice since the Guildford Four. Philip Cornwall

Anyone who either can’t look at a camera or can’t stop staring at one: Brian Little, Brian Horton and Gerry Francis spring to mind. Anthony Hobbs

Does Michael Knighton count? David Munro

Dave Bassett. Never took his share of the blame for presiding over Forest’s pathetic season and historic run of 17 games without a victory. For all the promotions he’s been associated with, you can usually rely on a subsequent fall from grace. He is also an apologist for the kind of football that drove fans away from the game in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Richard Darn

Bobby Gould’s set-to with Robbie Savage had the melodrama and self-advertisement we’ve come to expect from the eyebrowed one, but John Gregory wins the prize. All the arrogance of Mark McGhee, with even less cause. Steve Field

From WSC 149 July 1999. What was happening this month

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