British managers in Spain
FootyOn pick out seven memorable British managers in Spain, after the surprising appointment of Tony Adams at La Liga outfit Granada.
It’s always a surprise when British bosses decide to manage abroad, particularly in top leagues such as La Liga.
While Tony Adams is among the top names in football due to his playing career as Arsenal captain, his reputation as a manager is certainly nothing to shout about.
Spells with Wycombe Wanderers, Portsmouth and Azerbaijani outfit Gabala amounted to no success, but can he save Granada – who are seven points off safety in 19th – from the drop?
The Andalusians are heavily odds-on at 1/66 with Sky Bet to go down.
Read on to see how other memorable British managers in Spain have fared…
Vic Buckingham (Barcelona and Sevilla)
Perhaps the least well known name on this British managers in Spain list, Buckingham is arguably the most influential.
It has been said by many that he is the father of modern day ‘Total Football’, and certainly inspired a young Johan Cruyff, who he brought through and managed at Ajax.
Buckingham later took his philosophies to Barcelona and Sevilla.
Although he left Spain with just a Copa del Rey trophy with Barca in 1970/71, the foundations were there for Cruyff to later take over and further develop.
Terry Venables (Barcelona)
Former England boss Venables went one better than compatriot Buckingham, over a decade after him, by winning La Liga as well as the Copa del Rey with Barcelona.
He also lasted at the club longer, and his time in Spain earned him the nickname ‘El Tel’.
Venables built up a strong reputation in England, with Crystal Palace and QPR, which resulted in his move to Catalonia.
He is also responsible for signing Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes for Barca.
John Toshack (Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Deportivo, Real Murcia)
While Venables was managing in Catalonia, Welshman Toshack was on his way to be becoming a hero in the Basque Country with Sociedad.
In the first of his three spells with the club, he claimed the 1986/87 Copa del Rey title, then went to Real Madrid (the first of two stints) in 1989.
Toshack won a La Liga title that season, but went back to Sociedad shortly after.
He had spells in Spain with Deportivo La Coruna and Real Murcia too.
Sir Bobby Robson (Barcelona)
The last of the successful British managers in Spain, the late Robson of course makes our list.
Although not really appreciated by Barca during his 1996/1997 season spell there, he gained them much success.
Robson won the Copa del Rey, Supercopa de Espana and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
The fans certainly loved him, particularly for signing Ronaldo, but he was replaced by Louis van Gaal and became General Manager.
Chris Coleman (Real Sociedad)
It wasn’t until a decade later than another Brit took over a Spanish club – thought this time it was in the Segunda Division.
Sociedad have appointed a number of British coaches over the years, and fellow Welshman Toshack recommended Coleman to them.
The now-Wales hero resigned before the end of the season, though, after a fall-out with the club president.
David Moyes (Real Sociedad)
Another Sociedad flop is current boss of Premier League basement dwellers Sunderland Moyes.
The Scot took over after a difficult spell with Manchester United, but couldn’t bounce back in Spain either.
A victory over Barcelona was a highlight, but Moyes was eventually sacked.
Gary Neville (Valencia)
In a similarly bizarre move to Adams at Granada, Man Utd legend Neville, who had no previous managerial experience, took over as boss of La Liga giants Valencia.
He undoubtedly got the role due to his connections with owner Peter Lim, and fans certainly caught onto that.
It was certainly a tough job to take on, as their performances this season too have shown.
But Neville was ultimately sacked, and not fondly remembered by Los Che’s faithful.