8 football legends who flopped in management from Paul Gascoigne to Edgar Davids

Being a legendary professional footballer and picking up major silverware across a glittering career is no guarantee of managerial success – as discovered by the eight men on our list.

From Gary Neville to Paul Gascoigne via Alan Shearer, there have been those who regret ever stepping foot into the dugout and others who have vowed never to go back.

While Shearer didn't exactly rule out a return to his former club under their new owners, he might want to reminisce over his previous spell before jumping back into the role.

Daily Star Sport have included the Premier League icon in our list of eight former players who struggled in management, including who found a safe haven in punditry.

Diego Maradona

First on our list is the late great Diego Maradona, who is considered by many to be the greatest player who ever laced a pair of boots.

Following the end of his playing career back in 1997, it was only a matter of time before the iconic Argentinian stepped back into the game to try and make his stamp in a different way.

Having managed Deportivo Mandiyu and Racing Club during his playing days, it was in 2008 that he took up the role of national team coach to some surprise.

He remained in the role for two years, and he said he was 'effectively sacked' after the 2010 World Cup having won their opening four matches before being battered by Germany.

In later life he tasted mixed success across spells with Al-Wasl, Fujairah, Dorados de Sinaloa and finally Gimnasia de La Plata.

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer has had only one spell in management, and it ended with just one win from eight matches and relegation to the Championship for his beloved Newcastle.

The greatest goalscorer in Premier League history was not able to rally some of his former team-mates for the crucial run-in after taking over from Chris Hughton as Joe Kinnear recovered from heart surgery.

Shearer took an 8-week sabbatical from his Match of the Day for the role, and brought in Iain Dowie as his assistant.

He tasted victory as a boss just once with their win over Middlesbrough, and their 16-year unbroken spell in the Premier League came to an end on the final day of the season.

Despite Shearer wanting to continue in the Championship, Hughton took Newcastle back up the following season.

Gary Neville

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Gary Neville has insisted that he will never again take up a managerial role after being scarred by his 28-game spell with La Liga giants Valencia back in 2015/16.

After brother Phil had been named as their caretaker manager following time on the coaching staff, many were baffled to see pundit Gary travel to Spain to take on the full-time role.

The England coach, who did not speak much Spanish, crashed out of the Champions League during his first match in charge and later lost 7-0 to Barcelona.

Although they won only three of their 16 league games under Neville and failed to keep a single clean sheet, they did win 10 and lose 11 of his 28 games in charge before his March sacking.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry has so far not been able to take his unrivalled footballing ability into the world of management during unsuccessful spells with both Monaco and Montreal Impact.

Selected to take over from Leonardo Jardim in late 2018, Henry was hoping to use the knowledge gained as a youth coach at Arsenal and assistant at Belgium to fire them back up the table.

That wasn't to be the case, with Monaco losing 11 times during his 20 overall fixtures as he was dismissed with the club in the relegation zone and replaced by predecessor Jardim.

He then went on to manage Montreal Impact to a more successful nine wins from 29 matches, that also included 16 defeats, before leaving to be closer to his family in London.

Edgar Davids

Netherlands legend and icon of European football Edgar Davids was named the permanent manager of Barnet back in 2012 following a spell as joint boss.

The former Ajax, Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Tottenham and Crystal Palace midfielder was also on the books as a player for the Bees.

He had been living in north London with his partner since his move to Palace in 2010, and joined the League Two side following a short spell in Sunday league management.

Following their relegation out of the Football League in 2013, he handed himself the No.1 shirt in a bid to start a trend and was sent off in three of their opening eight matches.


There was also controversy after he said that he wouldn't attend away games that required an overnight stay, and he resigned from his post in January of 2014.

He has since had spells with Dutch Eerste Divisie club Telstar and Portuguese side S.C. Olhanense, the latter of which sacked him back in July.

Tony Adams

Tough-tackling former England skipper Tony Adams played his whole career at Arsenal between 1983 and 2002, winning four first division titles and five domestic cups.

Adams moved into management during the 2003/04 campaign with Wycombe Wanderers, but failed to prevent their relegation to League Two and resigned early the following season.

He joined Portsmouth as assistant in 2006 after a spell coaching with Feyenoord, and took over the permanent role following Harry Redknapp's move to Tottenham.

He was sacked after gaining 10 points from 16 games, and moved to Azerbaijani club Gabala in 2010, leaving in 2011, and returning in 2012 as sporting director.

In his most recent role, Adams, took over at La Liga strugglers Granada for the reminder of the 2016/17 season, but they lost all seven games and his coaching methods went viral for the wrong reasons.

Gianfranco Zola

A certified genius on the pitch with Chelsea, Gianfranco Zola scored 80 goals for the club across 300 appearances following success with both Napoli and Parma in Italy.

His coaching career has not been as successful, winning only 28% of his games as West Ham boss between 2008 and 2010 as they slid towards the drop zone.

He joined Watford in 2012 and led them to a play-off final place in his first season, but resigned the following campaign following a poor run of form with the club in 13th place.

Following spells with Cagliari and Al-Arabi, Zola replaced Gary Rowett at Birmingham in 2016, but they didn't win until his 11th match in charge and he resigned with the club three points above the drop.

More recently, he spent time as Chelsea assistant under Maurizio Sarri, leaving when Frank Lampard arrived.

Paul Gascoigne

Last but not least is the icon that is Paul Gascoigne, who took over at Conference North club Kettering Town back in October of 2005 and insisted that he was there for the long haul.

His tenure lasted a total of 39 days after he was dismissed by the board on December 5. He was never on a contract at the club and not paid for his work.

He later told the media of his departure: "The chairman wants to sack me but I said I will never walk away from Kettering Town and I will fight all the way. I am now looking to buy the football club."

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