9 Brits who managed abroad: Reid's bus-pushing, Roy's tour and brilliant Sir Bobby

Alex McLeish grabbed his first win as Zamalek boss at the weekend. Tom Phillips did some digging to see how some of Britain’s other well-known bosses fared overseas…

1. Roy Hodgson

Teams: Halmstads BK, IK Oddevold, Örebro SK, Malmö FF, Neuchâtel Xamax, Switzerland, Inter Milan, Grasshoppers, Copenhagen, Udinese, UAE, Viking, Finland

It's very easy to forget just how good Hodgson's managerial CV is. The Croydon native started off his career in Sweden, where he won the Allsvenskan with Halmstads BK twice and Malmö FF five times. 

One of his biggest achievements came with Switzerland, who Hodgson guided to third in the FIFA rankings. There was also a first major tournament appearance since 1966 at the 1994 World Cup, and comfortable qualification for Euro 96.

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Following spells at Inter and Grasshoppers, the England manager joined Copenhagen in July 2000 where he won the Superliga championship and the Danish Super Cup before leaving to join Italian side Udinese. After jobs with the UAE, Viking and Finland, Hodgson moved home with Fulham in 2007 and hasn't been away from Blighty since. 

In a friendly against Fulham, Malmo paid respect to their former boss

2. John Toshack

Teams: Sporting Lisbon, Real Sociedad, Real Madrid, Deportivo, Besiktas, Khazar Lankaran, Wydad Casablanca, Saint-Etienne, Catania, Real Murcia, Macedonia

Despite early joy in Spain – Toshack won the Copa del Rey with Sociedad in 1986 – the Weslshman failed to capture much of the success he enjoyed early on in his managerial career. The ex-Liverpool hero guided Real Madrid to a La Liga title in his first stint in 1990, but left soon after.

Reasonable domestic success followed at Besiktas, but little with Macedonia after he refused to up sticks and move to the country. He's now in Morocco, where he won the league with Wydad Casablanca in his first season.  

Portugal, Spain, Turkey, France, Italy, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Morocco - the eight countries Toshack managed in

3. Graeme Souness

Teams: Galatasary, Torino, Benfica

If you ever go to Istanbul and meet any Fenerbahçe fans, don't mention Graeme Souness. The Scotsman became a legend to Galatasary supporters by taking a big flag and sticking it into the pitch at the Sukhru Saracoglu Stadium – Fenerbahçe’s home.

It happened after Souness’s side won the Turkish Cup final at their arch rivals' ground and, within a nano-second, the Scot became a legend and nearly caused a national riot at the same time. They still love him for it now.

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There's much less lustre associated with Souey's time at Benfica, though, where his band of ageing expats contributed to his entertaining but ill-fated demise in 1999.  

4. Don Revie

Teams: UAE, Al-Nasr, Al-Ahly

After talking to his wife Elsie, Revie decided the England job was “no longer worth the aggravation” so jumped ship and managed the UAE. The FA suspended him from football for 10 years, which was later overturned in the courts.

1979: Don Revie has his 10 year Football League ban overturned

The move damaged his reputation and didn't even reap the success he'd achieved in his home county – the UAE finished sixth in the seven-team Gulf Cup of Nations tournament in 1979. He left when they decided they wanted an Arabic-speaking managed, tried his hand first at Al-Nasr and then Egyptian side Al-Ahly, but returned to England for good and didn't work in football again until his death in 1989. 

5. Peter Reid

He signed the likes of Nicolas Anelka and Freddie Ljungberg but failed to qualify for the playoffs and later replaced by Le Sulk.

Teams: Thailand, Mumbai City 

Forgive former Leeds and Sunderland supremo Reid if he hates it when football fans suggest this is the worst trip they've ever been on. When manager of national side Thailand in 2008, the team bus broke down in Bangkok during a heatwave – all while a riot was kicking off. Reid had to help push the coach up a ramp while fighting took place just outside the airport.  

He later managed Mumbai City in the inaugural Indian Super League season in 2014, signing the likes of Nicolas Anelka and Freddie Ljungberg but failing to qualify for the play-offs. He was later replaced by Le Sulk. 

Reid's success in Thailand was - well, non-exsistent

6. David Moyes

Team: Real Sociedad

The man who (unsuccessfully) succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United joined the San Sebastian club just seven months after being shown the door at Old Trafford. His most successful moment was beating Lionel Messi’s Barcelona 1-0 at home, a throwback to his swashbuckling Everton side who grafted to big wins against the odds.

"Please, señor, play kind"

Moyes couldn't emulate it, though, and Sociedad were knocked out of the Copa del Rey just 10 days later. He was later sacked after a poor start of two wins in 11 league games – a day short of being at the club for exactly one year. 

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7. Sir Bobby Robson

His only blip in Europe was when he was sacked at Sporting Lisbon following comments he made about club President Sousa Cintra – despite being top of the league – in December 1993.

Teams: PSV, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona

Sir Bobby is arguably the man responsible for kick-starting Jose Mourinho’s and Andre Villas-Boas’s managerial careers. 

After being told by the FA he would not have his contract renewed before the 1990 World Cup, Sir Bobby embarked upon a decade of managing across the continent, starting (and finishing) at PSV Eindhoven.

His only blip in Europe came when he was sacked at Sporting Lisbon following comments he made about club president Sousa Cintra – despite being top of the league – in December 1993.

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1997: Sir Bobby Robson celebrates the European Cup Winners' Cup

Robson was extremely successful everywhere else though, winning consecutive league titles at PSV and Porto before moving to Barcelona, where he claimed Copa del Rey and European Cup Winners’ Cup honours. 

8. Terry Venables

However, he was manager of the “most tragic moment” in the Socceroos history

Teams: Barcelona, Australia 

El Tel was appointed Barcelona manager in 1984 under the recommendation of Sir Bobby Robson. Venables had earned a good reputation for his successes at Crystal Palace and QPR, and was an instant hit at the Camp Nou after winning the La Liga title in 1985 – their first since 1974.

However, Venables couldn't emulate that domestic success in Europe, after losing the 1986 European Cup Final to Steaua Bucharest and to Dundee United home and away in the UEFA Cup a year later. Barca dismissed him in September 1987.

1997: A shock World Cup qualifying defeat to Iran saw Venables resign

He was appointed Australia manager in November 1996 after success with England at Euro 96, but failed to steer them to the 1998 World Cup after play-off heartbreak against Iran. 

9. Chris Coleman

Teams: Real Sociedad, Larissa

After being sacked from Fulham, Coleman was appointed manager of then-Segunda Division side Sociedad – a job he got on the recommendation of their former manager, John Toshack – in July 2007. Despite being 5th in the league and with only one defeat to their name in 11 games, Coleman left in January 2008 due to differences with their newly elected president, Inaki Badiola. 

It didn't really help that he'd turned up late for a press conference the year before, citing problems with his washing machine. It later transpired that he'd been out boozing the night before until the wee hours. 

Stressful, Chris?

The current Wales manager returned to managing abroad, this time with Greek side Larissa. He never finished a full season there either and left in January 2012 thanks to financial problems at the club.  

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1 comment


I am surprised Gordon Milne is not here. Coached Besiktas for 6 and a half years, winning three consecutive titles. Then also managed Bursaspor and Trabzonspor with a year-long spell in Japan in the middle.