Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCan number twos become successful number ones? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Can number twos become successful number ones? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Can number twos become successful number ones?

As we prepare to enter the whirlwind of speculation that is a tournament-less odd-number summer, the rumour mill is turning fast. No area is more saturated at present than the subject of managerial changes. One move that is often the subject of debate is promotion from within. Nigel Adkins’ journey from physio to boss at Scunthorpe is the most referred to example of recent times, but are there any other success stories, or is Terry Connor’s nightmare stint at Wolves the norm?

Glenn Roeder – Roeder has repeated experience of this role, having been given the opportunity at both West Ham while coach and Newcastle while academy manager. Both ended in ultimate disappointment. At West Ham he replaced Harry Redknapp in 2001, finishing seventh in his first season in charge, before a brain tumour in 2003 forced him to take a break with the club spiralling towards relegation. A poor start in the then First Division ensured the sack was inevitable.

He resurfaced at Newcastle in 2005, being handed the post of academy manager. Within a year he had been handed the top job after a European-qualifying stint as caretaker. Unfortunately for Roeder, his one full season ended in 15th place and resignation. It would be tempting to call Roeder an example of failure, but he did at least deliver initial good times, unlike many backroom staff-turned top dogs.

Les Reed – This is undoubtedly an example of failed experiment. After Iain Dowie’s sacking as Charlton manager the club gave Reed a chance to impress. However, he lasted only 41 days, getting the sack on Christmas Eve, after a miserable period in which the Addicks were beaten 1-0 at home by Wycombe in the Carling Cup. Throwing a festive party after this embarrassment proved a blunder too many for his bosses to accept.

Sammy Lee – the Liverpool legend was Sam Allardyce’s assistant at Bolton, and enjoyed the nickname of ‘Little Sam’ to his superior’s ‘Big Sam’. Out of respect for the stellar job done by Allardyce, chairman Phil Gartside decided that continuity was the way forward and decided to place his faith in the former midfield wizard. Unfortunately, one win in 11 games spelt a premature end to his time in charge. He is currently back at Bolton as head of academy coaching and development.

Tito Vilanova – Vilanova at Barcelona proved a stellar choice to succeed Pepe Guardiola, with the Catalan giants strolling to La Liga glory again, despite his life-threatening illness. However, he is the rare example of the assistant manager actually taking a key role in shaping the philosophy of the club – it has since emerged that he had more of a say in things under Guardiola than many would assume. Admittedly, if the likes of Les Reed had Lionel Messi to work with, surely even he wouldn’t mess things up.

There are many more examples of promotion within – the cynics among us would suggest that it is the cheap option, and that unfortunately often seems to be true. Convenience is rarely a road map to success in football.