David Moyes reign was one of the the worst in history

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Football management is arguably one of the most difficult jobs in the contemporary world, bringing a diverse range of challenges and considerable pressure.

Whether you have to deal with the type of media speculation and unrealistic expectations that come with managing England or are struggling to keep a failing team in the league, those in charge are constantly incurring the wrath of fans, players and their chairmen alike.

Now that the Premier League is in the grip of a television deal worth in excess of £5.1 billion, the challenges facing managers at both ends of the spectrum are likely to become even more pronounced.

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While managers are often subjected to harsh or unfounded criticisms, however, there are occasions where leaders do fail spectacularly in a specific role.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the most epic management fails of modern times...

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David Moyes, Manchester United (2013-2014)

If there is anything that encapsulates the issues facing David Moyes during his troubled tenure as manager as Manchester United, it is the view of former captain Rio Ferdinand.

The defender, who is now at QPR, was scathing in his assessment of Moyes’ time in charge and reserved his most frank judgments for his recent autobiography.

“It was embarrassing,” said Ferdinand, discussing the manager’s tactics. “In one home game against Fulham we had 81 crosses! I was thinking, why are we doing this? Andy Carroll doesn't play for us! The whole approach was alien. "

This type of tactical bankruptcy is one of the primary reasons why Moyes failed to win over his players and ultimately succeed, and it betrayed a man who was sadly out of his depth.

While anyone may have struggled to follow the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, there is no doubt that Moyes was not suitable for such a large and prestigious role.

Brian Clough, Leeds United (1974)

It seems odd including Brian Clough on a list of failed managers, as this is a man who led Nottingham Forest to a league title and two European Cups during his peak.

His time at Leeds United lasted for just 44 days, however, and in truth it was doomed to fail before it even began. Clough has engaged in a long-running feud previous incumbent and Leeds legend Don Revie during his time as manager of Derby County, while he even criticised the club's playing style and called for them to be demoted at one point.

Given this and the way in which his abrasive approach riled the Leeds playing staff (who had been well looked after by Revie), it is little wonder that Clough’s brief stint as manager was explosive, short and, ultimately, unsuccessful.

Paolo Di Canio, Sunderland (2013)

If you ignore the incredible temper and allegations of fascism, there is no doubt that Paolo Di Canio was one of the most talented and unpredictable footballers of his generation.

His transition into management was initially as well-received as it was inevitable, as he led Swindon Town to promotion before being hired by Sunderland. His tenure on Wearside began to go wrong after a brief honeymoon period (during which time the Italian thrashed local rivals Newcastle and kept Sunderland in the Premier League).

A 6-1 defeat at the end of the season to Aston Villa offered a sign of things to come, however, as Di Canio began to marginalise his players, publicly embarrass them and cement a reputation as little more than a dictator.

Results predictably worsened as Di Canio lost the backing of his players and then the fans, resulting in the sack and the end of a six month tenure that defied belief.

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Leeds United
David Moyes
Premier League
Paulo di Canio
Manchester United

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