Attention, managerless clubs - Alex McLeish is looking for a job

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Alex McLeish has confirmed that he would like to get back into management should the right offer come along.

Talking to talkSPORT's Sports Bar show, he said that he has not been put off by his experiences at Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest and would welcome a role under his own circumstances. 

Speaking of his time at Villa Park, he said that he "didn't realise" the hostility that awaited him as he made the short journey across the Midlands from the Villains' bitter rivals Birmingham City.


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After some hesitation, when asked if he would have still joined knowing how much division it would cause making the move, he finally responded with "no."

His 40-day spell as manager of Nottingham Forest came to an end because of "disagreements" with the owners the club, mainly on the running of team affairs. But even that is not enough to put him off management in the British Isles. Or so he says.

Along with stating his managerial inclinations, he was also asked some questions about his career in the Sports Bar Top Tens.

Best player you bought?

"Well, the best player I bought that was a financial success was Jean-Alain Boumsong. We [Glasgow Rangers] got him on a free from Auxerre and we sold him for £8 million to Newcastle, so that was quite a good buy."

Best player you played with?

"Best player I played with was Dalglish - Kenny Dalglish in the Scotland jersey. He was phenomenal. Some of the goals. Taking a throw-in and turning the defender and curling them in the far corner was one of this specialties.

"[In training] in the small sided games that's when Kenny came alive, but the running and all that, I don't think he was too bothered."

Best player you played against?

"Best player I played against probably would have been Romario. Or Careca in the Brazilian team, although we kept them quite quiet on the day. Careca gave me his jersey at the end of the game, played in the Maradonna and Napoli side: Fast, lightening [quick].

"During the game we played Brazil in the World Cup in 1990 and he kept trying to make a run, and I kept doing the old body-check, and he stopped all of a sudden and said: 'Why you not play football?!'  to which I said: 'Listen, you're too fast for me!'"

Who's the toughest player you ever came up against?

"Hmm, God, you've put me on the spot now. There was a guy we played against Gothenbourg in the European Cup, Torbjörn Nilsson. He was 6 ft. 3 in.; he was lightening; he was good in the air; he was as strong as an ox; and he gave me probably the biggest chasing in my career.

"And if I'm not mistaken, Sven-Göran Eriksson was the coach of Gothenbourg. We drew two each at Aberdeen - Nilsson scored, I think - Fergie gave me the usual roasting at full-time, and in the second leg we drew nil-nil.

"And they went through and lost to Barcelona in the semi-finals, so we were pretty close."

Best manager you played under?

"Alex Ferguson."

There was Jock Stein as well. Were they similar managers?

"Well, I didn't know Jock when he was younger, but he'd obviously mellowed a bit when he was the Scotland manager, so a lot of the Celtic players told me who were in the squad."

"He was very much [about] man-management. He gave you little tips, street-wise tips. I remember him saying to me: 'Look, sometimes you lose a header on the halfway line, but (puts on gruff Glasweigen accent) ye mik shur ye dornt luze 'em ina' box.'

"So there was little, just little street-wise stuff from Jock and it was always worth listening to."

Favourite away ground?

"I've got a special feeling for Old Trafford."

Apart from United, who we spoke about earlier, did you nearly play for a football club, but for whatever reason it didn't quite happen at the last minute?

"I nearly joined Newcastle. Jim Smith was the manager at the time.

"I went down to see Jim, spoke to him, we spoke about terms, everything seemed pretty rosy in the garden then the next day Jim was fired, so that helped scupper it to be fair.

"I think Ossie Ardiles came in after that. Ossie, I don't think knew me. I can't remember having any offer about management."

Pre-season madness?

"Alex Ferguson used to like taking us to Marbella or Majorca in January between games. So we'd play on the Saturday - we'd maybe have played in Glasgow - and we'd fly from Glasgow airport.

"This particular trip was Marbella. He let us go out on the first night, and then said the next night there was a curfew. So four of us - Mark McGhee, Willie Miller, Gordon Strachan and myself - went shopping to buy the wives some nice presents to take home, and somehow I lost the guys.

"So I went back to the hotel, and the boys were milling about. I said: 'Where's Mark, Gordon and Willie?' and they said: 'They've not come back yet.'

"So I went back down into Puerto Banus. I was hunting for them in Sinatra's of course, and I couldn't find them. Everywhere! And then it dawned on me there was a certain place called the Piano Bar, so I went in there and the four of them - and this must have still been 9 o'clock at night - were steaming.

"I said: 'Guys, listen, we better go up that road, there's a curfew at 12' and they said (again in a gruff Scottish accent): 'We no' goin' up der rord.' I had a bit of catching up to do, so I said: 'I'm having a couple of beers then I'm going up the road.'

"So three beers later I was fighting over the tambourine with the guy that was playing the piano. Mark McGhee was hogging the tambourine. So we end up going up the road and, of course, we sneaked in, then in the morning I could hear the screaming in the corridor - the gaffer was onto Mark McGhee, shouting in his room.

"I was brushing my teeth in the toilet and I just opened the door waiting on him coming down, and he started screaming in my ear: 'You let us down!' and all that, you know: 'You're fined a week's wages.'

"I was brushing my teeth, never even looked at him. I said: 'Boss, I'm out of order, sorry.' That was it. [The way to handle it] was just to admit it. I think, irrespective, I better."

Biggest waste of money you've spent on an item?

"I bought a Ralph Lauren, white, distressed leather bomber jacket. I was in my 20s - late 20s - and you know what, I can't bear to throw it out. I'll wear it some day. It must be 20 years old.

"It's beautiful leather, Ralph Lauren, and my wife's telling me: 'You've gotta start throwing stuff out, man!' but I'm a bit of a hoarder.

"It was a couple of hundred quid, three hundred quid at the time. I think Ralph Lauren might think it's a priceless creation of his."

What's the best goal you scored?

"Best goal I ever scored, if you're talking technique-wise, was against Rangers in the 1982 cup final - a curler, a Ronnie Whealen type curler, if you remember Ronnie's goal in one of the FA Cups.

"We went on to win the cup 4-1. Probably the most important goal was against Bayern Munich at Pittodre when we famously beat them 3-2 to go through to the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup."

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