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Top Ten - Shock jobs

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Following Sven Goran Eriksson's arrival at Notts County, takes a look at other shock appointments

Every now and again certain things happen which appear to be so ridiculously unbelievable that you find yourself questioning whether what you have just seen/read/heard can actually be true, or whether there is a big hoax going on that everyone else has been informed about apart from you.

You start to question everyday logic, attempting to trick your brain into accepting that occasionally the unexplainable just happens. No point trying to fathom out how or why, it just does.

For example, take the American public's election of George W. Bush as the leader of the Free World or the loveable British armchair enthusiasts voting Steve Brookstein as winner of the X Factor. Unbelievable, I know, but both sadly true.

Occasionally these 'blips' in the smooth running of everyday life infiltrate sporting circles, with the English cricket team being known to have actually won a 20/20 international every now and again, while outlandish reports continue to suggest that a certain British tennis player may be good enough to win a Grand Slam some time soon.

Football, unsurprisingly, is not immune to such goings on, with outrageous transfers and questionable managerial appointments regularly baffling supporters across the globe.

This week it was the turn of Notts County fans to scratch their heads and check their diary before confirming that Sven Goran Eriksson's appointment as their new director of football had in fact not occurred on 1st April.

The Swede is by no means the first to cause such confusion, though, and here takes a puzzled glance at a few other appointments down the years which have seen the rulebook torn up, stamped on and set alight.

Brian Clough 1973

Brighton & Hove Albion fans must have thought all their Christmases had come at once when Brian Clough strolled into town during the winter of 1973.

A young buck of a manager who was widely regarded as one of the finest tactical brains in the sport, Clough caused astonishment when he agreed to join the unfashionable Seagulls.

This was a man who 12 months previous had led Derby County to the First Division title, seeing off the challenge from the established elite of Leeds and Liverpool.

What then, was he doing at Brighton?

As it happens he did not stick around long and he called time on a largely forgettable spell in July 1974 when the might of Leeds United came calling.

Clough's decision to accept that offer was surprising enough in itself, given his previous condemnation of the Whites, and his 44-day tenure at Elland Road has since become the stuff of legend - as well as providing the content for a best-selling book and widely-acclaimed spin-off film.

Don Revie 1977

Having worked wonders at Leeds throughout the 1960s and early 70s, Don Revie's stock could not be ignored by the Football Association when it began a search for a new England manager in 1974.

A man who had won two First Division titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup and had guided his side to a European Cup final was undoubtedly the stand-out candidate for the job.

But Revie was about as much use as a chocolate teapot, failing to guide the Three Lions to Euro 76 and putting the groundwork in place to ensure that there would be no World Cup to look forward to in 1978.

By then, though, he had long since vacated his plush Lancaster Gate office, deciding that the considerable riches on offer in the Middle East were much more to his liking.

Revie's decision to accept the post as manager of the United Arab Emirates national side caused widespread bemusement, while the FA, so incensed at the audacity of anyone turning their back on the England team, tried to ban the money-grabbing coach from football for the next 10 years.

The FA failed, turning its attention instead to Ron Greenwood, despite public pressure to appoint the popular Brian Clough, and another miserable period for English football was set in motion.

Bobby Moore 1980

Surely there was nothing the great Bobby Moore, World Cup-winning captain and all round top bloke, could do to tarnish his image in the eyes of the English public. Wrong.

Having called time on his playing career in 1978, it took just two years for the football itch to strike the cultured centre-half.

One of the most respected and recognisable figures in the game, Moore's decision to try his hand at management was expected to result in him landing a top job at one club or another.

Imagine the surprise when he strolled into the unglamorous, to put it mildly, surroundings of Oxford City - a club then languishing in the eighth tier.

Delirium greeted his arrival, with the appointment billed as the moment in which City's ascent through the divisions would begin. What could possibly go wrong, this was Bobby Moore.

A year later that sense of optimism had turned to despair and Moore was swiftly ushered to the exit.

He had managed to take Oxford out of the division in which they found themselves upon his arrival, unfortunately, though, by the time he left they were then a ninth tier outfit.

Dr Jozef Venglos 1990

The butt of many jokes ever since his ill-fated spell at Aston Villa at the start of the 1990s, Jozef Venglos' time in England was a curious episode to say the least.

Prior to taking charge at Villa, a man who can boast a Doctorate in physical education (if that helps in football management?) boasted a CV which looked more like a Judith Chalmers 'Wish You Were Here' passport.

Venglos had taken in spells in Australia, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia.

A successful run to the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup, while in charge of the Czech national side, brought him to Villa's attention, but quite what they were expecting from him is anybody's guess.

He did make history as the first manager born outside of Britain and Ireland to take charge of an English top-flight side, but needless to say his time at Villa Park did not last long.

Just 12 months later he was packing his bags, having only narrowly avoided relegation, and continued his globe-trotting antics as stints in Turkey, Oman, Scotland and Japan duly followed.

Arsene Wenger 1996

It is fair to say that the arrival of a bespectacled Frenchman, who had spent the last 12 months managing in Japan, was not greeted with overwhelming optimism around the marble halls of Highbury in 1996.

Arsenal, at this point, had become something of a sleeping giant, with memories of the George Graham glory days beginning to fade fast.

What was needed then was a coach who could restore the club to their rightful standing at the summit of English and European football.

Was Wenger, a man not yet noted for the fine work he did at Monaco during the 1990s - in which he worked with such luminaries as Jurgen Klinsmann, George Weah and Glenn Hoddle and helped put the likes of Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet on the road to superstardom - the right man for the job?

The Evening Standard certainly did not think so, greeting his appointment with the now infamous headline 'Arsene who?'.

They need not have worried, though, as 13 years later Wenger is still in charge, has helped fill the trophy cabinet on numerous occasions and has established the Gunners as one of the most exciting and entertaining sides in Europe.

All-in-all, not bad for a man no-one had heard of and cared little about when he first arrived on these shores.

Kevin Cullis 1996

While 1996 actually turned out to be quite a memorable year for a certain unknown quantity appointed at Arsenal, that success, it is fair to say, was not replicated in deepest darkest Wales.

Swansea were a Third Division outfit at the time, keen to break the shackles of their mundane existence.

Whether they were looking for some free publicity, or whether they actually thought that a former PE teacher with no previous managerial experience was an ideal candidate to take charge at The Vetch Field, is open to debate, but Kevin Cullis duly arrived in February 1996.

Appointed by prospective new chairman Michael Thompson, Cullis lasted two games in the post - which is quite impressive given that he was basically a ringer.

His record stood at: two games played, two games lost, no goals scored and five goals conceded.

Swansea were only too keen to get rid of their so-called coach, and former chairman Doug Sharpe was so concerned at the prospect of what could happen under Thompson should he take control of the club that he called off the prospective takeover and resumed full control.

Kevin Keegan 1998

King Kev had worked miracles at Newcastle during the 1990s, taking the Magpies to the brink of Premier League title glory.

Having walked away from St James' Park in 1997, the bubble-permed Messiah was not expected to be out of the game for long.

That proved to be the case, but his next port of call came as a surprise to many.

Keegan was initially appointed as Fulham's chief operating director in September 1997, but had taken control of first-team affairs by the end of the season.

Bankrolled by Mohamed Al-Fayed's millions, the Cottagers duly took the Second Division crown the following year, taking their first tentative steps towards the Premier League.

Keegan, though, was on his way before life in the second tier began, deciding that he was unable to split his time between managing the England team and his duties at Craven Cottage.

He would shock the football fraternity again in 2008 when he made an emotional return to Newcastle, but the Second Coming ended in tears as less than 12 months later he was back on his bike.

Claude Anelka 2004

If someone offers you £300,000 for the opportunity to take charge of your football club, rather than the other way around, common sense dictates that it would be advisable to steer well clear of the person in question.

Raith Rovers, though, were somehow hoodwinked into thinking this was a brilliant idea in 2004 when they inexplicably handed the reins to Nicolas Anelka's agent and brother, Claude.

Being better known as the sibling of a moody French striker, rather than for his coaching capabilities, Raith should really have known better than to assume that their appointment was going to be anything other than disastrous.

Eight games, and no wins, later, Anelka resigned from the post and the rest of the world barked a collective, 'We told you so' in the direction of Stark's Park.

Anelka did take up a position as the club's director of football after walking away from the dug out, but he lasted only a month in that role before severing all ties with Raith.

The lesson to be learnt here -managerial appointments based on the fact that the candidate in question has a famous brother DO NOT work!

Paul Gascoigne 2005

It was only a matter of time before Paul Gascoigne decided to try his hand in management, with the ex-England international having struggled to come to terms with life away from the game following his retirement.

Perhaps, though, it is precisely those difficulties which made his first foray into coaching doomed to failure from the outset.

Gazza arrived at Kettering in a blaze of publicity in October 2005, despite question marks raised as to why the former golden boy of English football had agreed to lower himself to non-league level.

Those fears proved to be well founded as 39 days later Gascoigne was sacked by the club's board, with his well-publicised drinking problems cited as the reason behind the decision.

Few were surprised that the ridiculous episode collapsed so spectacularly, and Gazza is yet to make the same mistake twice.

Yes, he has had numerous other issues to contend with, but the 42-year-old Geordie does appear to have accepted that management is not for him and he would be better advised to go into coaching should he wish to make another attempt to return to football circles.

Luiz Felipe Scolari 2009

Being dismissed by Chelsea after less than a season at the helm is bound to come as a shock to the system, with pride unquestionably dented and self-doubt allowed to set in.

However, swapping life at Stamford Bridge for that in Uzbekistan appears to be going from one extreme to the other.

As a World Cup-winning coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari should have had the pick of Europe's top clubs once his ill-fated reign with the Blues came to an end in February 2009.

He may have failed in West London, but he enjoyed considerable success in his native Brazil and helped to turn Portugal into a competitive footballing nation.

Rumours of a return to the helm of the Brazilian national side came as no surprise given his previous success in the post, while numerous high-profile clubs were reported to be keen.

Scolari, though, decided in June 2009 to tread off the beaten track and head for Asia.

Uzbek champions FC Bunyodkor were in the market for a new boss and had ambitiously sounded out the Samba coach as to his availability.

Much to their surprise, and everyone else's, Scolari agreed to an 18-month deal and promptly stuck two fingers up at Stamford Bridge on his way to Terminal Five.

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