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5 great players who made bad managers

Scott Newman
Top 5 / Top 10

#2 John Barnes

Tranmere Rovers v Bolton Wanderers
John Barnes had terrible managerial reigns at Celtic and Tranmere

Remembered as one of the most exciting players of his era – as well as a part-time rapper on England’s 1990 World Cup song – John Barnes was thrown into the deep end of management and quickly found out that he couldn’t swim at all. After retiring at the end of the 1998-99 season, it came as a shock to everyone when the winger was appointed as Celtic’s new manager, working under Director of Football Kenny Dalglish.

The appointment was a disaster from the off, and Barnes didn’t last long at all – just 29 games, one of which was an infamous Scottish Cup loss to minnows Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Unsurprisingly, Barnes was fired by Celtic and then didn’t surface until 2008, when he took over the Jamaica national team and had some success, winning the 2008 Caribbean Cup.

This must’ve helped with his confidence because shortly after he expressed a wish to return to club football. League One side Tranmere Rovers obliged and appointed Barnes as their new manager for the 2009/10 season, but somehow his term there was even worse than his time at Celtic. Barnes and assistant manager Jason McAteer were nicknamed ‘Dumb and Dumber’ by their players as the club suffered a horrendous start, winning just two of their first 11 league games.

After a 5-0 loss to Millwall Barnes was sacked again, and to nobody’s surprise he hasn’t ventured into management since.

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