Great players don’t always make great managers

If Alan Shearer is the answer then what is the question?

Certainly not “who would be the ideal candidate to take control of a struggling Championship club who have taken only 7 points this season”?

Yet that is the situation we find ourselves in with Newcastle United legend and Match of the Day panellist Shearer apparently having held talk with Ipswich Town with a view to becoming their new manager.

His credentials have obviously made him Ipswich’s chief target; a short lived tenure in charge of Newcastle in 2009 in which they amassed 5 points from the available 24 and were relegated is Shearer’s only managerial gig to date.

So why then have Ipswich sought him out as their new manager? His record as a player with Blackburn and Newcastle speaks for itself and it is a shame Shearer never had the chance to consistently challenge for the trophies his talents would have warranted.

But as a manager his brief cameo was nothing but disastrous and here’s the thing, great players do not always make great managers.

In fact the reverse is often true. Players of limited or no ability often go on to become managerial icons. Ferguson and Mourinho are two examples of managers who had average careers as players before going on to become first class managers.

 Football is a sentimental game at heart. How often do we see an ex-player or club legend go back to manage the club where he was adored? Dalglish at Liverpool being the prime example.

 These appointments usually have varying degrees of success, as Alan Shearer will testify. However fans are often prepared to give ex-players more time if results are not going their way.

Every fan wants the romanticism of an old player returning to their club and leading them to success and silverware. It’s all part of the fairytale of football.

And that makes it even more baffling as to why Ipswich would want Alan Shearer as their new gaffer. They are in dire need of some points and a relatively naive manager is not the answer, especially one who has no affinity with the club.

Fans would be quick to jump on his back if results continued in the same manner and short of a miracle Ipswich would be heading to the third tier of English football.

Many former players choose to learn the ropes of management in the lower leagues with smaller clubs before making the jump to the top echelons of football.

Paolo Di Canio took on the Swindon Town job and by all accounts is working miracles for the Robins in League One. It won’t be long before Big Sam is looking over his shoulder as Paolo is lined up to succeed him at Upton Park.

And for me that is the way it should be. Players, no matter how good they were throughout their career, should have to learn their trade with a smaller club before having a crack at the big time.

Just look at Edgar Davids; he’s won the Champions League and where is he coaching? Barnet.

Robert Lock