So, David Moyes is back in the saddle.
The former Manchester United manager has had enough of after-dinner speaking and being linked with the Newcastle job and finally taken the plunge with Real Sociedad in La Liga.
But will he succeed on foreign soil where he failed at Old Trafford? We take a look at the history of British managers abroad…
As far as British managers abroad go, “El Tel” was one of the better exports. Recommended for the Barcelona job by Bobby Robson, Venables won the league in his first season and guided them to the European Cup final in 1986, but lost to Steaua Bucharest on penalties. Venables brought in Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes, but lost the league by one point and, alas, was fired.
John Toshack has been around the block a few times. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. The Welshman has managed Moyes’s new club Real Sociedad on no fewer than three occasions. After guiding them to their second Copa del Rey in 27 years, he went on to manage Real Madrid but was fired after criticising his players. Toshack has also managed Sporting, Deportivo, Besiktas, St Etienne, Catania, Real Murcia, Macedonia, Khazar Lankaran and is now in charge of Wydad Casablanca.
Real Sociedad like their British managers and, in 2007, hired Chris Coleman on the recommendation of Toshack. But Coleman only lasted a season in Spain, leaving in 2008 citing “a difference in opinion with newly elected President Inaki Badiola”.
Steve McClaren’s foray into continental football management came after the disaster of his England tenure. It was then made infamous by his proclivity to speak in a Dutch accent in his press conferences and interviews. All very odd. Anyway, McClaren did well in his first spell at Twente, leaving the club in 2010 after two good seasons that culminated in the Eredivisie title. But his win percentage crashed from 60% at Twente to 29% at Wolfsburg as McClaren couldn’t replicate his Eredivisie success in the Bundesliga. He returned to Twente in 2012, but it wasn’t as sweet second time around.
Britain’s most well-travelled coach is the current England boss Roy Hodgson, whose reputation in Europe remains very healthy. Hodgson started off in Sweden, winning two titles with Halmstad before coaching the Swiss national team, who he guided to the 1994 World Cup, their first major tournament in 28 years, and lifted them to third in the FIFA rankings. Hodgson took Inter Milan to the 1997 UEFA Cup win before continuing to travel far and wide with spells in Finland, Norway and the UAE.
Arguably Britain’s most loved managerial export, the late Bobby Robson took over PSV after guiding England to the brink of the 1990 World Cup final. Robson replaced Guus Hiddink and guided PSV to back-to-back Eredivisie titles before taking over Sporting Lisbon, where a young Jose Mourinho was his interpreter. Robson fell out with Sporting’s club president and was snapped up by Porto, whom he guided to successive league titles. Robson then took charge of Barcelona for one season, winning them the Spanish Cup, Spanish Super Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Liverpool legend Souness landed in Turkey in 1995 to manage Galatasaray and sparked controversy immediately after placing a Galatasaray flag in the centre circle of the pitch of arch rivals Fenerbahce following Galatasaray’s win in 1996 Turkish Cup final. After an eventful year in Turkey, Souness was sacked four months into a role at Torino and then struggled for two seasons at Benfica, where he seemed interested only in signing British players.
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