This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
For 26 years, Manchester United was led by one of the best coaches to ever play the game.
Sir Alex Ferguson guided the Red Devils to 13 league titles, two Champions Leagues, and many other national trophies.
You’d think that those who played with him would have learned a thing or two from his tutelage and become successful managers. Well, soccer is not always that simple.
Wayne Rooney is the latest of Fergie’s disciples to make the leap to management, taking over at Derby County.
How will it go? I guess we’ll find out. But that’s how other former Man Utd players have done it during their directing days.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over at Old Trafford during a turbulent period at the club, following divisive years with José Mourinho. The Norwegian came in with little reputation to lean on, having previously been relegated from the top flight with Cardiff City.
Just over two years later, Solskjaer may not have brought any trophies, but he has managed to put Man Utd back among the contenders for the title. His team is currently at the top of the table, three points ahead of archrival Liverpool in second place.
But the question still remains: does he Really a good manager? How really? No one can give a definitive answer right now. Hopefully we will have a clearer picture at the end of the season.
Today, Gary Neville is one of the most entertaining experts on television alongside Jamie Carragher. In his coaching career, however, he was not that popular.
In December 2015, the former right-back took the reins of Valencia. His time in La Liga was a total car accident. He managed just 16 league games for Los Murcielagos, scoring just 14 points and couldn’t keep a single clean sheet.
But his greatest humiliation came in the Copa del Rey semifinal against Barcelona. Luis Suárez had four and Lionel Messi added a hat-trick when Neville’s men lost 7-0. He was fired shortly after, and only spent four months in charge.
In addition, he also had a stint working as Roy Hodgson’s assistant for England, overseeing the abject failures at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.
Stay with Sky this time, Gary.
Phil Neville has had to spend his days as a player and expert in the shadow of his brother most of the time. However, when it comes to management, he has the upper hand.
The former Everton player helped guide England’s women to the World Cup semi-final, quickly moving to places like Scotland, Argentina, Japan, Cameroon and Norway before being narrowly beaten by back-to-back world champions, U.S.
Things have not gone so well since then, as the Lionesses were unable to defend their SheBelieves Cup title in 2020. Neville later confirmed that he would not renew his contract, which expires this summer.
Steve Bruce, one of the greatest official coaches in English football, is in the middle of his eleventh coaching job.
This can be interpreted in two ways: either it is good enough to be accepted by clubs, or not good enough to keep your job.
His achievements are varied. He has achieved promotion to the top flight on four separate occasions, two with Birmingham City and Hull City; only Neil Warnock can match it.
However, the English also declined with both clubs. In the meantime, he has yet to lift a trophy in his career, drawing closer to Hull when he guided them to the FA Cup final.
Today, Bruce is an unpopular figure at Newcastle United.
Another who is most famous for his career as an expert, Roy Keane seemed like a natural fit as a coach, having accomplished so much as a Man Utd captain during his playing days. There was even a time when Ferguson suggested the Irishman as his successor.
His early days were incredibly promising. His coaching debut came at Sunderland, which had lost its first four games of the championship season when Keane arrived.
The former Nottingham Forest man soon changed this and led them to the title. He subsequently won the LMA Championship Manager of the Year award. He followed this up with survival in his first Premier League season.
However, he resigned soon after due to differences with owner Ellis Short, and was later appointed by Ipswich Town. It lasted just over a year and a half before being laid off at Portman Road.
Since then, he has worked as an assistant for the Republic of Ireland national team, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.
Keane’s methods were as tough as you’d expect, really. The Sunderland players were even rumored to celebrate when he left the Stadium of Light.
This may be hard to believe, but there is one man on this list who had a worse managerial career than Gary Neville. That man is Paul Scholes.
In February 2019, the former central midfielder was designated by Oldham Athletic from League Two. He lasted just over a month before resigning, having won one of his seven games in charge.
The great Dutchman got his first taste of goalkeeping at PEC Zwolle, before leaving to coach Ajax’s second team.
In 2016, he was appointed Manager of Reading. In his first season, he was desperately close to promotion, losing to Huddersfield Town in the play-off final on penalties.
The following season was not as successful, and he was fired in March after guiding the club to 20th place.
He returned to PEC Zwolle shortly after, before going through Feyenoord and FC Cincinnati.
Another celebrity from the ’92 class, Ryan Giggs’ managerial career is just beginning.
Following the firing of David Moyes in 2014, Giggs took over on an interim basis for the end of the season, before later working as an assistant to Louis van Gaal.
The former winger was appointed Wales coach in 2018. Three years later, the 47-year-old has led his country to qualification for Euro 2020, as well as promotion in the UEFA Nations League.
Has Mark Hughes done well as a coach? Well that really depends on who you ask.
A fan of Blackburn Rovers can agree that he is a good boss. He helped the Lancashire team to European football, as well as three national semi-finals in his four seasons at Ewood Park.
Ask a QPR fan though, and they’ll most likely call it a bunch of things that they wouldn’t let me write. At the Rs, he wasted tens of millions on players who simply didn’t care about the club, a reckless period that still hampers them today.
The Welshman also disappointed Manchester City, where he was allocated a huge budget following the takeover of the club by Sheikh Mansour.
He spent four and a half years at Stoke City, where he enjoyed some positive moments, but was eventually fired after leaving the club in a relegation battle. His brief stint in Southampton yielded similar results.
The most decorated coach on this list is former French central Laurent Blanc.
His first managerial job came in Bordeaux, where he achieved incredible success. In his second season, he won the league and cup double, before reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League the following year, defeating Bayern Munich and Juventus in the process.
After a somewhat disappointing spell at the helm of his country, the Frenchman returned to Ligue 1 at Paris Saint-Germain. It was here that he won eight trophies in three seasons, including two domestic triples.
However, the owners were not impressed with his failure to make it to the quarterfinal stage in the Champions League, and he left the club by mutual consent.
Blanc now runs the Qatari club Al-Rayyan.