By 90Min
October 13, 2019

If recent reports come to fruition, then Southend United are about to be blessed with a managerial setup that has come straight out of a storybook - as Henrik Larsson and Dirk Kuyt prepare to take the reins of the struggling League One side.

While that impending appointment sparks feelings of nostalgia, others leave fans and onlookers alike scratching their heads in utter bemusement and questioning the legitimacy of their news sources. They're funny, though, and we all enjoy a little light humour in what is predominately a very serious business.

There are plenty such cases to choose from, but here are eight of the most bizarre managerial appointments we've played witness to over the years.


Edgar Davids - Barnet

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Edgar Davids was regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world for a number of years. Representing Ajax, Milan, Juventus, Barcelona and Tottenham, his playing CV really did speak for itself.

So eyebrows were raised somewhat when he rocked up at Barnet in 2012, when the Bees were looking to avoid relegation from the Football League. As player-manager, it was hoped he could utilise his experience of playing with good players and make those around him just a little bit better.

He was unable to do so, and continued to take charge during the following campaign in the then-Conference Premier, before resigning from the role in January 2014. Notably during his time at The Hive, he wouldn't travel to away fixtures that required an overnight stay - and got sent off three times during an eight game stint. Bizarrnet.


Dave Hockaday - Leeds

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One of the countries biggest football clubs, being taken charge of by the manager of non-league Forest Green Rovers. Granted, we've heard of managers being plucked from obscurity and performing admirably, but the appointment of the former Cirencester Town right-back caused outrage among Leeds supporters. He was such an unknown entity, even the image bank draws a blank.

Hoping for a, say, Marcelo Bielsa-esque man in charge, owner Massimo Cellino's decision to place Hockaday in the dugout was a bemusing one. 

He got sacked after 70 days.


Tony Adams - Granada

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Oh how we were treated to one of the greatest training drills ever concocted during Adams' short stint at Granada.


Having been appointed the club's manager in April 2017, despite having no real managerial credentials or grasp of Spanish, the Arsenal legend went on to lose all seven games in charge before being sacked a few months later after relegation.

But seriously, who cares about his unsuccessful spell. Just watch the video.


Hristo Stoichkov - Celta Vigo

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/GettyImages

One of the greatest players to grace the game, the same can't be said about Stoichkov's abilities from the dugout. Little to no managerial experience, apart from the Bulgaria national team, was apparently enough for Celta Vigo to employ the former Barcelona man, but it was a decision they were left to rue quite soon after making it.

Adopting a ludicrously attacking 2-4-4 formation, he fell out with numerous players and even made a startling admission that 'I don’t watch opposition games on video and neither do my players. It’s boring. I don’t believe in tactics', something that went down very well.

He lasted a few months.


Joe Kinnear - Newcastle

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Kinnear's time at Newcastle in October 2008 is particularly bizarre considering his managerial experience in the previous five years amounted to a 10-month stint at Nottingham Forest in 2004. Needless to say, Toon fans weren't best pleased.

He hardly endeared himself to the fanbase during his first press conference either, after rattling off no less than 52 swear words, with several aimed at the journalists present.

And guess what? His team were crap. 

With the club staring down the barrel of relegation, Kinnear fell ill and was replaced by Alan Shearer- though he was unable to prevent the Magpies from being relegated from the Premier League.


Gary Neville - Valencia

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Player turned pundit, turned manager. A seamless transition that always works out brilliantly.

Not.

Miffed Valencia fans claim he'd only got the job due to his friendship with owner Peter Lim, not because he was a tactical genius whose zero club managerial experience meant he was best for the job.

Nevertheless, the expected followed. When Neville took over in December 2015, the club were in ninth place and just five points adrift of the Champions League spots. When he was unsurprisingly sacked just four months later, Los Che had won just three of their 16 games with Neville at the helm and were just six points clear of relegation. 

The former Manchester United defender has said he doesn't want to manage again.


Ramon Diaz - Oxford United

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This one. This one is bizarre.... But was relatively successful.


Former Inter, Monaco and Argentina international striker Diaz had just come off the back of leading River Plate to five league titles, the Copa Libertadores and the Supercopa Sudamericana in eight years before answering the call of the struggling League Two side in 2004.

Flirting with relegation at the time, Diaz guided the club to ten wins and seven draws from their remaining 25 matches of the season before departing at the end of the campaign.

He apparently worked for free, and did it solely as an experience. LAD.


Claude Anelka - Raith Rovers

Yes, you read that right. Indeed, the brother of former Premier League and La Liga striker Nicolas Anelka took the reins at Scottish First Division side Raith Rovers in 2004.

A DJ in his day job, Claude offered a £300k investment to any club who would let him be their manager. Yes, really.

Cash-strapped and in dire straits, Raith Rovers accepted the proposal and Anelka took to the dugout. Opting for the method of sticking to what he knew, he made a swathe of signings from the evening seven-a-side leagues in Paris. Yes, no joke.

One draw and nine defeats from their first 10 league games saw him depart, bringing the fairytale to an end.

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