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Fergie's Flops? Ex-Manchester United players can’t sustain success as managers

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Manchester United has created many great players that people assume will also progress into great managers. At first sight this seems to be the case, but in an ever increasing consistent pattern, none are able to sustain long term success. Simon Bunn looks at the examples:

Mark Hughes – His first managerial role came with the Welsh National team. During his five years in charge Wales improved vastly and nearly qualified for Euro 2004. Blackburn was impressed and hired his services. Hughes exceeded expectations. He lead them to three successive F.A Cup semi finals and, at his peak, a 6th, 10th and 7th place finishes in the league. His success created a move to big spending Manchester City in 2008, where he finished 10th in his first season. He was sacked before Christmas the following season after only achieving 2 wins in 11 games. At Fulham he ended the campaign in 8th place, but strangely resigned barley 11 months into the job. He was excited by the project taking place at money rich QPR, and took over as manager in January 2012. Hughes only ensured Premiership safety on the final day of last season. This campaign he is the bookies favourite to become the first Premier League managerial casualty, after going 7 games without a victory.

Steve Bruce – His early ventures into management with Sheffield United, Huddersfield and Wigan were largely non-descript. It wasn’t until his appointment at Birmingham City, in 2001, that people really began to take notice. In his first season as boss he gained promotion to the Premiership, and once there finished in 13th position. The next two seasons were spent cementing mid-table mediocrity, before painfully facing relegation back into the Championship. He bounced back up at the first attempt and then accepted an approach from Wigan Athletic, where he spent two unremarkable seasons. In May 2009 he moved to Sunderland, despite being a Newcastle fan. After 13th and 16th position finishes he was soon dismissed. Now Steve Bruce finds himself with Championship outfit Hull City, and far from the promise he once displayed.

Paul Ince - Gained his coaching badges whilst at Swindon Town. Like his Manchester United peers, most of his managerial success came early in his career. At Macclesfield Town he took the team from the bottom of the table and kept them in the division. At Milton Keynes Dons he won League two at the first attempt, as well as winning the Football League Trophy in the same season. The Premiership came calling, but his time as Blackburn Rovers manager was a disaster. He was sacked after only 6 months, due to winning only 3 out of 17 matches. His second spell at MK Dons was less successful and Ince resigned after one season in charge. At Notts County he walked away after 6 months, having managed a club record 9 consecutive losses.

Roy Keane – Started sensationally at Niall Quinn’s Sunderland. During 2006-07 Keane took them from second bottom in the table to eventual champions. A feat that also won him the title of ‘Championship Manager of the Year.’ He oversaw Premiership safety at the first attempt but, resigned the following season with the Black Cats nestled in the relegation zone. He moved to Championship club Ipswich but finished a disappointing 15th in his first season. He second attempt was worse, with the Tractor Boys in 21st, Keane was fired. The Irishman recently turned down a move to Turkish club Kasimpasa, amid reports that he is interested in the vacant Blackburn hot seat.

I could add to the list with the likes of Steve Coppell, Brian Kidd and Bryan Robson, but I believe I’ve made my point. As such it comes as no surprise that the Gary Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have shown little interest of jumping into management.

image: © edwin11

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