Wait, what? 9 times clubs made bizarre managerial appointments
4. Tony Adams to Granada
With a managerial record as chequered as one of his elaborately tailored suits, Tony Adams seemed an extremely odd choice to take the reins at struggling Primeira Liga side Granada in April 2017. The fact that Adams was already employed at the club, as the vice-president of the company owned by Granada's president, helped explain the short-term appointment - to an extent.
Adams vowed to “kick some players’ arse” in his first press conference, then showed he meant business by throwing some outstanding shapes on the training pitch.
Sadly even this combination of backside booting and jazz hands wasn't enough to inspire Granada, as they failed to earn a single point from Adams’ first four games in charge, confirming the club's relegation. Yet the Arsenal man was full of praise for his players, claiming: "If the team played like this at the beginning of the season, there's no way we'd be in this situation.”
Granada went on to lose their final three games, bringing their record under Adams to seven losses from seven matches and proving him entirely right: if they’d kept up a run of results like that from the start of the season, they’d have been relegated long before April. If only the club had signed Nigel Reo-Coker and Kieran Richardson, as he'd wanted. It could all have been so different.
5. Claude Anelka to Raith Rovers
I quickly realised that there was more to the game in Scotland than I thought... I also knew my knowledge was not enough to fulfil my plans
Scottish First Division side Raith Rovers accepted an indecent proposal from Nicolas Anelka’s older brother in 2004, and paid the price. Claude - who had mainly worked as DJ, and at times as his brother’s agent - offered a £300k investment to any club who would let him be their manager. Cash-strapped Raith took the bait, and Anelka worked quickly - bringing a number of signings from the evening seven-a-side leagues in Paris.
He cited his managerial influences in an interview on the eve of his first game in charge: Johan Cruyff, Arsene Wenger and Patrice Gouty - his friend and former manager of the London nightclub China White.
Anelka wanted to challenge the Old Firm, but ended up glued to the foot of the table. He was forced to quit as manager after one draw and nine defeats from their first 10 league games. He stayed on as director of football for another month, but Raith were relegated at the end of the season with just 16 points.
“Right at the start I knew things were going wrong,” said Anelka, afterwards. “I quickly realised that there was more to the game in Scotland than I thought and I also knew my knowledge of the game was not enough to fulfil my over-optimistic plans.” Well, quite.
6. Edgar Davids to Barnet
The Bees were already five points adrift at the foot of League Two when he joined, and Davids' uniquely apathetic management style couldn’t save them
The Dutch midfielder had been living in north London after initially ending his playing career with spells at Tottenham and Crystal Palace. Two years later, he signed for Barnet as a player-coach, having spent the intervening period playing ‘street soccer’ (whatever that is) and managing Sunday League team Brixton United, where he won two cups - “although he forgot what they were called,” according to Sky Sports.
Initially, he worked alongside Mark Robson, but assumed sole control of the team in December. The Bees were already five points adrift at the foot of League Two when he joined, and Davids' uniquely apathetic management style couldn’t save them.
This writer interviewed the ex-Juventus man during his ill-fated spell at The Hive, and he genuinely answered a question about why he’d taken the job with the words: “Because it’s near my house.” Although in fairness, Harry Redknapp has been doing the same thing for 40 years, so maybe we shouldn't judge Davids too harshly.
Barnet were relegated to the Conference and, to much surprise, Davids was retained as manager for the following season. In July, he announced his plans to wear the No.1 shirt in games - intending to set a trend which thankfully hasn't caught on.
He also reportedly refused to attend away games which required an overnight stay, leaving his assistant in charge. Throughout all this, Davids was still selecting himself - at least when he could. In a run of nine games before his resignation in January, Davids picked up six yellow cards and three reds. Not exactly leading by example.