From Star Players to Star Managers

Over the last few years we’ve seen some of the most successful players in football’s recent history making waves in management. From Gerrard to Lampard and a few other notable footballers in between, we take a look at some of those who’ve made the transition from the pitch to the side lines.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The former Manchester United forward now manages the team and has been making headlines recently. United lost 1-0 to Barcelona in Wednesday’s match after the team’s Luke Shaw scored an own goal. With the loss marking the fourth defeat in five matches, this sparked accusations that Solskjaer is a manager who “parks the bus”.

However, let’s not forget why he was appointed in the first place. Mourinho, United’s former manager, spent nearly £400m on players in his 2 year stint as manager, but made little progress in terms of results, playing style or training and developing young players.

Solskjaer was described as being able to “understand the philosophy of the club, including their attacking tradition.” And is better suited for the long-term interests of United.

From December 2018 to March 2019, Solskjaer’s performance as temporary manager is what earned him the permanent position, with a three year contract to manage Manchester United.

The manager has commented on with his second-leg predictions saying that; “We have to soak up the pressure, accept they will want to kill the tie and want to put the sword into us. We have to soak that pressure and keep the ball better.”

Steven Gerrard

Likely the most prolific player turned manager, Gerrard currently manages Scottish Premiership club Rangers, after retiring as a player in 2016.

With 186 goals under his belt for Liverpool, he knows a thing or two about controlling the ball. But it’s not just his footwork that has impressed Rangers supporters, but his quick wit. Not one to hold back when pressed by the media, Gerrard has received praise as a manager for speaking his mind.

Despite his short coaching experience with Liverpool Youth Academy, managing their under 18s from 2017-2018, Gerrard has impressed so far and is approaching his first full year as Rangers coach.

There’s been steady success, despite a 13 point gap from Celtic, with Gerrard making progress in terms of reshaping the squad. In just under a year he’s re-established Rangers in Europe and made decent changes to the team, proving he’s not all talk. Commenting on his interaction with both the media and opposing teams, Gerrard said; “Talking doesn’t win you football matches, it doesn’t get you results. Sometimes it doesn’t help your players, it just motivates the opposition,” “We thrive on all that kind of talk. We enjoyed it. My players came out and played like men and we did our talking on the pitch.”

Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend has been hitting headlines amidst rumours that he’s returning to Stamford Bridge to manage the team he previously played for. He’s brushed off these claims, but the turbulence doesn’t end there. Club owner Mel Morris has been looking to reduce costs by selling Derby County for a measly £1 in a bid to repay debts through the sales process.

So, Lampard’s future at the club could be short lived but in his time as manager of the club he’s brought the ‘bounce’ back to Derby. By January this year, the team had picked up 43 points from the 26 league games they’d played under his management.

Despite never having coached before, Lampard was appointed almost a year ago, in May 2018. Prior to Lampard, Derby had seen seven managers over three years and the morale amongst fans was dwindling.

His approach as manager is very focused on the supporters, knowing the importance they play in the success of a team. As well as celebratory bouncing with his team, former team mates have commented on his work ethic, which he instils into his management techniques.

Lampard has made tactical sales and as a result has ‘freshened’ up the team, with a commitment to developing the younger players.

There’s plenty more but these three have been hitting headlines and it’s interesting to see how each of them approach management differently, despite all having experience as players previously. Which current players do you think would make great managers?