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Great Players Who Made Terrible Managers.

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Today, we’ll remind you that our intuition and what is often referred to as ‘common sense’ is faulty mechanisms. Indeed, it seems like someone who played football on an exceptional level and was coached by the best managers in the world is, in turn, destined to become a great manager. Turns out, it takes more than just being good at football to lead your team to championships. So let’s read about great players who made terrible managers below.

Tony Adams

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One of the best players to ever please the fans of Arsenal, Tony Adams was a successful center-back who won numerous tournaments and became a household name for The Gunners’ fans. His transition to managing, however, was an arrogant and spectacular failure.

The legend thought very poorly of Arsene Wenger’s proficiency in that regard, but he didn’t manage (pun intended) to prove his point with great results. Tony’s achievements with Wycombe and Portsmouth, the first two teams under his wing, were non-existent. 

Upon going to Spain to manage Granada, things didn’t look very promising – after the first season, the team was relegated, putting an end to an over-confident Adams’ career.

Gary Neville

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There is only one person who played for Manchester United longer than Gary Neville – Ryan Giggs. That should already tell you enough about the status of the player. Neville has won a plethora of championships with his team, and he was the captain for five years.

After retiring, he earned a reputation of a pundit, which likely helped in getting a position as England’s assistant coach. The next career move, however, was less expected. Gary Neville signed a contract with Valencia. He had neither any serious managerial experience nor the knowledge of the Spanish language, but he decided to undertake such an endeavor anyway. 

The initial losing streak reached nine games in total, and after winning just three matches in sixteen games, Neville stepped down as the manager. His coaching career was short but certainly memorable.

Diego Maradona

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If you’ve lived in a bombshell for the last… forty years, Maradona is an Argentinian legend playmaker who is considered the best player of the 20th century alongside Pele. His playstyle is somewhat similar to early Messi, with dribbling, passing, and unique vision being his most prominent skills.

Diego was considered a force of nature, and that unpredictability transferred to his managerial career. After not reaching any substantial success with a number of Argentinian clubs, he had a promising start with the national team. Argentina qualified for the 2010’s World Cup. 

His temper took over as he told the media to “suck it and keep on sucking it” while holding an arm between his legs. Sadly, Argentina got eliminated in the quarterfinals, losing 4-0 to Germany and sending Maradona the manager into oblivion.


Talent combined with hard work makes for unbelievable players. Unfortunately, most of those who are gifted to play the game don’t actually have the ability to teach others the intricate nuances of it. 

Now, you know about great players who made terrible managers, you can also read about the historic drop of transfer market fees.

You can also read how does David Beckham resurrect soccer in Miami?

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