Five short managerial reigns

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Sam Allardyce left his post as England manager 67 days after his appointment on Tuesday.

Allardyce and the FA felt his position was untenable after he was caught making a series of controversial comments in an embarrassing newspaper sting.

“The FA can confirm that Sam Allardyce has left his position as England manager,” an FA statement read.

Here, we look at five other managers whose reigns lasted an even shorter space of time (days in brackets):

Steve Bruce – Wigan (55)

Ironically the front runner in the betting to fill the England vacancy the former Manchester United skipper didn’t dally long at Wigan. He took charge for eight games in 2009 at the Second Division side but after a play-off loss he bid them farewell decamping to Crystal Palace.

Steve Bruce.

Steve Bruce.

Alan Shearer – Newcastle (51)

Nicknamed ‘Mary Poppins’ by some his spoonful of sugar to save his beloved Newcastle from relegation from the Premier League in the 2008/09 campaign was not what the patient required. With no managerial experience it had been a very optimistic appointment at best and they ended up being relegated. “I am hurting. I am raw, I take my share of the blame I thought I could save them in those eioght games,” he said.

Alan Shearer.

Alan Shearer.

Brian Clough – Leeds United (44)

The best manager England never had for many, ‘Old Big Head’ took on the unenviable task of managing Leeds in the post Don Revie era, when the latter had become national team boss. He entered a veritable vipers nest as immortalised in the book and then the film version of David Peace’s ‘Damned United’. A strong character he met with similar individuals at Leeds and there was going to be only one casualty. Seven games and just one win and poisoned relations saw him shown the door with his ambitions of winning the European Cup with them and getting one up on Revie shattered. “Did I say the European Cup? I hardly lasted long enough to be given my own teacup at Leeds,” he joked in his autobiography. He had the last laugh in guiding unfashionable Nottingham Forest to two European Cup victories.

Brian Clough.

Brian Clough.

John Toshack – Wales (41)

Former Liverpool and Wales great he was a popular choice when appointed national team coach in 1994. It took just 90 minutes and a defeat to Norway to turn the cheers to jeers and he was gone. Returned 10 years later a wiser man and remained at his post for six years — not a likely scenario for Allardyce to emulate.

John Toshack.

John Toshack.

Jorg Berger – Arminia Bielefeld (5)

Veteran German coach — a former East German national youth team handler who had fled to West Germany in 1979 — was called up to literally the last chance saloon in being in the dug-out for Bielefeld’s final game of the season and a relegation decider. They drew and it was not enough to save them. Nor him as he was let go. He never got another chance to prove himself dying in 2010 aged 65.

Jorg Berger.

Jorg Berger.

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Al Rayyan left reeling as Fossati says farewell

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Leaving a mark: Al Rayyan fans salute their boss during April’s title celebrations.

The second round of Qatar Stars League-action saw plenty of goals and the first managerial departure of the season.

Here are the highlights:

Big shoes to fill at Al Rayyan

Not many people would have thought that QSL champions Al Rayyan would be suffering a management crisis following just the second round of the season. However, the Lions face a big problem going into the three-week international break.

Head coach Jorge Fossati has accepted the call of the Qatar Football Association to return as the national team boss ahead of two crunch World Cup 2018 qualifiers against South Korea and Syria.

Head coach and fellow Uruguayan Jose Daniel Carreno was relieved of his duties on Thursday, after opening the third-and-final round of World Cup 2018 qualifiers with two-consecutive defeats to Iran and Uzbekistan. This has left Al Anabi in a precipitous position.

The Al Rayyan hierarchy will now have to move quickly to find a worthy replacement for the man who gave the Lions their first QSL falcon shield in 21 years, otherwise their title defence could end in a whimper.

Title contenders strike late

The second round of QSL action saw two important late goals for sides that will be looking to be in the title shake up come the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

El Jaish – who meet Al Ain in the first leg of their AFC Champions League semi-final tomorrow – needed a stoppage-time winner from Romarinho to defeat a spirited Al Arabi 4-3.

Gerardo Pelusso’s side showed plenty of character to battle back from two goals behind to take a 3-2 lead in the match. However, Sabri Lamouchi’s boys kept their composure and scored two goals in the final five minutes, including an individual strike of real quality from Brazilian forward Romarinho to steal the points away from the Dream Team.

Lekhwiya also struck in stoppage time to defeat Al Gharafa 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller. South Korea forward Nam Tae-hee capped off a fine personal performance with a hat-trick, including a last gasp free kick, to maintain Lekhwiya’s unbeaten start.

Supporters will be hoping for more of the same from the diminutive Korean over the course of the season as the Red Knights look to regain the QSL falcon shield.

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DESS trials attract big numbers

Denzil Pinto 25/09/2016
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Huge turnout: DESS kids are all smiles after the trials.

There was no shortage of numbers for Dubai English Speaking School’s (DESS) football trials as pupils beat the heat to showcase their football skills at the Koora Dome in Dubai.

Although the summer break is over, the temperature was still  hot and DESS teachers took the step of taking their first sessions of the new season into the purpose-builtindoor astro-turf facility at Al Wasl Sports Club.

With the facility boasting five five-a-side pitches, it was no surprise to see more than 200 promising youngsters try out their luck of making the school’s ‘A’ squads across Years Three to Six.

Hoping to make their case for selection, the boys and girls worked on various training exercise routines which were run by GoPro Football Academy.

Mark Webster, head of PE, was impressed by the turn-out and the quality of football shown by the children.

“DESS has a proud sporting tradition and takes part in so many sports during the year,” he said.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to get the children into the Koora Dome to conduct our football trials away from the heat at this time of year.

“It was even more pleasing to see more than 200 children try out for our school football teams ahead of the new football season.”

As well as competing in the ‘B’ league competitions, the institution will also field a girls’ side for the new season.

“It was great to see so many girls turn out at these trials, who are all aiming to improve their skills and make the DESS squad,” said Vicki Stevenson, who oversees the girls’ squads.

“The profile of girls football in Dubai has raised considerably over the past two years.

“Those who are chosen will play in the Dubai School’s League which is very tough against the other strong sides and they will also be able to compete against international sides when the British Schools in the Middle East Games takes place in Abu Dhabi in March.”

Sofiane Fatmi, general  manager at Koora Dome, was delighted to host the school.

“It was great having DESS  bring their football trials to the Koora Dome,” he said.

“They loved being able to play indoors and escape the Dubai heat at this time of the year. It was fantastic to see so many children from DESS playing football to such a high standard. We wish them luck for their season ahead.”

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