6 pundits who became managers and how they fared including Gary Neville stint

It’s all well and good being an armchair critic – but it takes nerves of steel to take the plunge into management.

Indeed, it’s been very easy for pundits to sit back and criticise when a manager is doing poorly and needs to be given the boot. Some pundits remain long in the TV studio after their playing career. But others feel the need to go back out and prove that they go and win trophies from the dugout.

These former athletes are all about winning. But when they have gone back out to the game properly, it’s garnered mixed results, to say the least.

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Roy Keane -Sunderland

Roy Keane joined Sunderland in 2006 as his first coaching job, leaving the short-lived period in the TV studio behind. The Manchester United legend had a great start to his managerial career with the Black Cats.

He achieved promotion to the Premier League within his first season in charge – but soon after things fell apart a bit, with disagreements with former Sunderland shareholder Ellis Short.

It was a sound appointment for the northeast side – but ultimately one that ended on sour terms.

Now he's a regular on Sky Sports again, where he's formed an adorable partnership with Micah Richards.

Phil Neville – Inter Miami

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A Match of the Day regular, Phil Neville eventually linked up with his former team-mate David Beckham. Golden Balls, the owner of MLS side Inter Miami, brought in Neville to try and whip the team-up back in shape in true Class of '92 spirit. Neville suffered a very poor start winning just twice of their opening 12 games – but he still remains boss.

But before that, in 2018, the former Man United midfielder was appointed head coach of the England women's team, where his biggest success was leading Lionesses to fourth place at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Paul Scholes- Oldham

Paul Scholes spent 31 days as manager of Oldham Athletic, leaving the pundit duties behind. Indeed, it was a very short-lived spell at the struggling League Two side, coaching them between February and March in 2019

Speaking of the experience and whether he would manage again, Scholes said to BT Sport in the same year: "It's not put me off, because I'd say 90 percent of it I really enjoyed.

"But I'd heard loads of stories about interference and the first three weeks there was little bits of it. It wasn't so much 'leave that player out' or 'he can't play' – there was nothing like that, just subtle hints.

"In the last week there was a couple of issues with experienced professionals that I felt they didn't deserve to be treated the way the club wanted to treat them. I respected the players but once I get told 'don't play him' then that's when it's time to go."

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Thierry Henry – Monaco

Thierry Henry was one of the first names on the team-sheet at Sky Sports news after his career finished. But soon he left for new ventures. In October 2018, after Monaco dismissed Leonardo Jardim as club manager with the club 18th in Ligue 1 and the Arsenal legend was handed a chance.

But his time as boss was not as good as his playing career and he was sacked after two months in charge, with behind a record of four wins, five draws, and 11 defeats.

Gary Neville – Valencia

Gary Neville’s time at Valencia is the stuff of folklore. From unpopular player to popular pundit, the former Manchester United defender packed it up to head off to Spain to try and help the struggling La Liga giants.

In 2015, Neville took to the dugout. But it took ten games to record his very first win, a 2–1 victory at home against Espanyol. His side were eliminated in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie soon after, and the former defender was even sent off.

Things went from bad to worst and Nevile was let go with the side 14th in the league. The Sky Sports favourite has proclaimed that he will never return to management again.

Alan Shearer – Newcastle

Alan Shearer might be Newcastle’s all-time greatest player, but he did not do well in keeping the club afloat in 2008.

Newcastle were handed their first relegation of the Premier League era under the league’s all-time top scorer.

The Geordie hasn’t been in management since, but after England lost to Iceland in the Euros he said: “I went to see the FA four or five years ago and I said, 'I want it, I'll have that job'.

"They looked at me and said, 'No, it's a lack of experience'. And I said, 'You've hired experienced guys, you've paid them an absolute fortune, I could not have done any worse than those guys'. I'd definitely speak to them, absolutely. I would offer my experience and tournament experience.”


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