With the announcement that Gary Neville has taken the Head Coach role at Valencia, we take a look at 5 other British men who have taken the plunge and discuss whether they’ve been a success or a flop in La Liga.
Moyes should never have left Everton. His career has gone down the pan since leaving the Toffees in 2013 to manage then Premier League champions, Manchester United. After a frustrating year, the Scotsman was fired and the reds finished the season in 7th place. His time at Real Sociedad was no happier, with a win percentage record of 28.57%, it could be suggested that Moyes was out of his depth, therefore he was fired in November 2015.
Games in Charge: 42
Atkinson is another ex-Manchester United manager who went on to manage in La Liga. In October 1988, Atlético Madrid came calling for the Scouser, however, Big Ron’s dream move to Spain quickly fell through after falling out with the club’s president, Jesus Gil. He lasted only three months.
Games in Charge: 12
The late Everton favourite took charge of Athletic Bilbao in 1987. In his two season at the Basque-based club, Bilbao ended up in 4th and 7th place, however, at the start of his 3rd season in charge, things started to go pear-shaped, with a new President in charge and with the transfer policy of Basque-only players at the club, Kendall struggled and left the club, joining Manchester City shortly after.
Games in Charge: 102
‘El Tel’ was a surprise choice for the Barcelona job in 1984, however, he proved his worth by winning the Spanish league in 1985 and leading his team to their first European Cup final in over 25 years – although they lost on penalties to Steaua Bucharest. After failing to win the league again, he was fired in 1987.
Games in Charge: 75
Trophies: La Liga Champions (1984-85)
Copa de la Liga Winners (1985-86)
Sir Bobby Robson:
The late, great Sir Bobby Robson is loved throughout the footballing world for his distinct style of managing. Having taken charge of a variety of club in Europe including PSV Eindhoven, Sporting CP and Porto, the ex-England manager took charge of Spanish giants Barcelona. He was only in charge for one season, however, he managed to win the Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Games in Charge: 58
Trophies: Copa del Rey (1996-97)
Supercopa de España (1996)
European Cup Winners’ Cup (1997)
There is no evidence to suggest whether Gary Neville will be a success at Valencia when looking at previous British managers in La Liga. Some have done extremely well and are now adored at their previous clubs, and some would rather forget they have ever visited Spain. Valencia do have a good squad, which bodes well for Neville, however, if you are expecting him to be able to overhaul Real Madrid and the red-hot Barcelona team destroying everyone in their path, you may need to take a step back and re-evaluate your thought process!
Last week, Kitbag.com released their official numbers for shirt sales of footballers worldwide. The list reveals some very interesting facts about world football, including the continued dominance of Lionel Messi, the commercial success of the Premier League and the amount of commercial power behind a certain Premier League club.
For the second year running, Lionel Messi is the biggest shirt-seller in the world. The man many regard as the best in the world continues to dominate shirt-sales, although his ‘nemesis’ Cristiano Ronaldo has moved up from 4th to 2nd in the chart due to his record-breaking year with Real Madrid. Expect Ronaldo to take over at the summit next year, with his popularity continuing to grow due to his recently released documentary, ‘Ronaldo’, a series of chat-show appearances, and, of course, his recent accomplishment in becoming Madrid’s all-time top goal-scorer!
It is a great tribute to the commercial power of the Premier League that out of the Top 10 Best-Selling Shirts, 7 of the players ply their trade in England. Despite the lack of success in Europe in recent years, the popularity of the Premier League is clearly as strong as ever. Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City each have 1 player in the top ten, and Manchester United have 3 – more than any other team – which brings us on to our next point… the successful business of Manchester United.
Memphis Depay didn’t even make it into the Top 100 last season whilst he played for PSV Eindhoven, however, this year he finds himself in 3rd place, behind only Ronaldo and Messi. At the age of 21, expect Memphis to feature regularly in this list in the next 10 years – assuming he manages to get over his poor form in recent weeks. Another Summer signing for United, Bastian Schweinsteiger, finds himself 4th in the list, up from 31st last season. The German has been a popular player in the footballing community for many years however his move to Manchester has skyrocketed his popularity in terms of shirt-sales. The huge leap up the chart for the 31-year-old could suggest that Manchester United are a stronger team than Bayern Munich in terms of marketability – although business aside, in terms of football, there’s no doubt who is the better team!
1) Lionel Messi
2013/14 Position: 1
2) Cristiano Ronaldo
Club: Real Madrid
2013/14 Position: 4
3) Memphis Depay
Club: Manchester United
2013/14 Position: N/A
4) Bastian Schweinsteiger
Club: Manchester United
2013/14 Position: 31
5) Eden Hazard
2013/14 Position: 12
6) Wayne Rooney
Club: Manchester United
2013/14 Position: 9
2013/14 Postition: 2
8) Sergio Agüero
Club: Manchester City
2013/14 Position: 22
2013/14 Position: 6
10) Phillippe Coutinho
2013/14 Position: 38
Poor David Moyes. After just under a year in charge of Real Sociedad, the Scotsman has found himself on the dung heap again. He must be wishing that he never the left the security of Everton, where he was adored by the fans and respected by the players. However, with his Real Sociedad team second from bottom, you cannot blame the club’s owners for showing the 52-year-old the boot.
Sociedad wasted no time in replacing Moyes, mere hours after announcing his departure, the club announced former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Eusebio Sacristán as their new manager. The 51-year-old has been in charge of Barcelona B for the past 4 years, and now clearly Sociedad believe he is ready to take charge of a team who are struggling in La Liga.
Although you have to feel sorry for Moyes after his torrid times at La Real and Manchester United, there is no doubting he will back in management soon, or, if failing that, punditry… after all, BT Sport seem to be taking on anyone who has some kind of connection with football!