Following Gary Neville's Valencia sacking - five of football's worst ever managerial appointments

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Gary Neville's sorry spell in charge of Valencia was finally brought to an end on Wednesday.

What seemed like a risky appointment from the outset eventually proved to be exactly that, the Englishman managing only three league wins from 17 attempts.

However, whilst Neville's tenure at the Mestalla Stadium was disastrous, it was by no means the only example of a naive managerial appointment ending in calamity - here are five others.


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Steve Kean’s ill-fated spell as Blackburn Rovers manager began when he stepped up from first-team coach to replace Sam Allardyce in December 2010.

Kean's tenure got off to a woeful start and despite a string of poor results, Blackburn's owners continued to hand him contract extensions.

In November 2011, with Rovers bottom of the league, Kean was offered improved terms on his deal which inevitably led to protests from fans, who made it clear they wanted him out of the club.

Relegation from the Premier League soon followed, and whilst Blackburn began the new season in the Championship well, Keane left the club and claimed he was "forced to resign".


Joe Kinnear is a strange man, there is little doubt about that, and there is no greater example of this than his time as Newcastle manager.

After swearing an incredible 52 times during an interview with the media, Kinnear refused to speak to them for the rest of his spell at St James' Park, leaving that duty to Chris Hughton.

The 69-year-old was forced to abdicate from his managerial duties towards the end of the 2008/09 season due to health problems and Alan Shearer took over, eventually steering the club to relegation.

Perhaps the strangest part of this story is that Newcastle took steps to rehire Kinnear in 2013, handing him the role of director of football. His most memorable moments during a second spell include calling Charles N’Zogbia ‘Charles Insomnia’ and referring to Yohan Cabaye as ‘Yohan Kebab’. Brilliant.


Remi Garde became Aston Villa manager when they were bottom of the Premier League and when he left - you guessed it - they were still rooted to the foot of the table.

The Frenchman amassed a miserable 12 points in 20 games at the Villa Park helm - a spell that has all but resigned Villa to Championship football next season.

The Villains were always expected to face a tough campaign, but no one will have quite expected them to sink like they have.


Steve McClaren was never England’s first choice back in 2006, but the former Middlesbrough boss got off to a good start after making the bold decision to drop some of England's older stars, like David Beckham, Sol Campbell and David James.

However, the Three Lions' good run of form slumped midway through Euro 2008 qualification, which saw McClaren recall Beckham to the squad.

Results improved, yet a capitulation in their final group game against Croatia saw England fail to qualify.

McClaren’s tenure was nothing short of a total failure and he now shares the unwanted record with Don Revie of being the only Three Lions manager to not take his side to the finals of a major tournament.


In as many as 18 games in charge of Cardiff City, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer yielded a measly three wins.

The 'baby-faced assassin' was brought to Cardiff after the controversial sacking of Malky Mackay yet the former Manchester United striker couldn't guide them to Premier League safety, instead taking them into the Championship.

A poor start to the following campaign saw Solskjaer and Cardiff end their relationship in September 2014, with the former rejoining former club Molde in Norway.

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
La Liga
Gary Neville
Premier League
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