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6 great players who failed as managers

Elvis Ume O
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Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry's life as a head coach has got off to a rocky start

While players might be the ones responsible for delivering results on the field and are largely the men who get all the glory when results go positively, it is actually managers who are the brains behind the results, as they spend countless hours perfecting tactics as well as playing patterns and even longer hours drilling such tactics into their players.

An often taken path for footballers is to delve into management, with many of them taking coaching classes as they wind down their professional career.

Football management is a tricky business, as sometimes, little to no prior knowledge of the game is needed to succeed, with there being plenty examples of men who did not excel as footballers but succeeded as coaches.

The greatest players are usually expected to translate their playing success into management and while there are numerous examples of men such as Pep Guardiola, Johann Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti, Diego Simeone but to name a few who had great playing as well as coaching careers, there are far more numerous examples of men who did it all as players but failed to translate that success to the dugout.

In this piece, we shall be taking a look at six great players who struggled as managers.

Dishonourable mentions - Alan Shearer, Sir Bobby Charlton, Ruud Gullit,

6 Tony Adams

Tony Adams in action for Arsenal
Tony Adams in action for Arsenal

'Mr Arsenal' himself, Tony Adams was a no-nonsense defender in his day who marshalled the Arsenal defence, forming an almost impenetrable backline under the management of George Graham.


His commitment on the field of play led him to captain both the Arsenal and England teams, while also achieving the unique distinction of skippering a side to league titles in three different decades.

A bonafide Gunners legend, Adams spent the entirety of his 22-year professional career with Arsenal, making a total of 669 appearances and is widely considered by many to be among the greatest players in the club's history, with a statue honoring him in front of The Emirates stadium symbolic of the high accord placed on him by the Gunners faithful.

As a manager, he enjoyed much less acclaim, heading into coaching a year after retiring from playing when he was appointed the manager of Wycombe Wanderers in August 2003. Under his club, the club got relegated to League One and left his post a year later after overseeing a disastrous run of results.

Further appointment spells with Azerbaijan side Qabala and Granada were unproductive, with the La Liga outfit getting relegated under his watch having lost all seven La Liga games which he took charge of.

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