logo
logo
Roy Hodgson never lost it.

11 times football managers proved they’ve still got it: Hodgson, Pirlo, Alonso…

Andrew Martin •

You may have seen a video of Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann scoring one of the best goals you’ve ever seen in training. We’ve had it on loop ever since, ticking along in the background.

Then, obviously, slipped irreversibly down a glittering rabbit hole full of football treasures never intended for the eyes of the public: Managers who can’t help proving they’ve still got it. It never left them.

Allow us to bring you along on the journey we’ve just been on, but, please, don’t watch these clips at work because… well, you’re going to be making some noises. Let’s start at the beginning:

Grant McCann: The Belfast Di Canio

We’ve decided there was no need for this to be a scissor kick. He didn’t need to do it to ’em. But he f*cking did it anyway. The dip on it, man. The keeper is laughing at the team, but he’s fighting back the tears, no doubt about it. Let it out, son. Let the tears flow.

Roy Hodgson: Go, Joe, go, go, Joe, go!

The man was 74 years of age when he curled this ball betwixt his defenders for Joao Pedro to dispatch into the net.

He was asked about it in an interview before Watford’s next match. Said it was lucky. Not a chance.

Big Roy has still got it, and he can swear in 47 different languages, including Pingu and Dog. There was no f*ckin’ luck involved, Roy. Say it with your chest.

Mark Hughes: A volley so clean you could eat your dinner off it

The way Sparky sets himself for this volley is just… ah, Jesus, it screams elite footballer. You don’t see that down the Powerleague.

Imagine becoming the richest team on the planet and your 45-year-old manager still being the best in training.

Hughes’ managerial career might’ve been patchy, but Sparky Hughes, the footballer, was glorious.

Jan Molby: Disrespecting his elders

We’re taking the p*ss a bit, here, because Molby was player/manager when used this super-weird chipped and curled free-kick technique against 47-year-old Peter Shilton.

Had to include it, though. It’s just so weird. More player/managers, please.

Andrea Pirlo: Il maestro

Saunters over to take a freekick, swings an easy leg at it, a bit of reverse curl to make the keeper’s brain start rotating anticlockwise in its skull case, goal, walk away. Want to kiss this goal.

Xabi Alonso: Low fade and a little bit off the top, please

*Football fans will see this and just think, “Hell yeah.”*

Don Carlo Ancelotti: Frank Lampard sleeps with the Fishes

You don’t even call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my technical area on the day we are to beat Chelsea, and you ask me to juggle you in a pair of leather dress shoes… For money.

Zinedine Zidane: Creating super-villains

Zizou wasn’t a manager when he did this. It was at an Adidas training camp in Vancouver before he was in charge at Real Madrid. Don’t care. Too good.

There’s no way in hell that child in goal doesn’t internalise this experience, turn evil, and set his sights on revenge or the ultimate destruction of the world.

Zinedine Zidane, again: Passing the baton

Why is he even using his left peg here? Just because he can? Because football is too easy for him with his dominant foot? F*ck’s sake. The finish from Modric ain’t bad, to be fair.

Thierry Henry: A gentle reminder

Belgium’s then-assistant manager calmly reminded De Bruyne & co. that greatness is permanent. He’s driven Kevin to the verge of tears in this clip.

“He goes with his left and kills us! We have a game tomorrow!”

Steven Gerrard: Yeah, course, it’s a good goal but the three points is the most important thing

You’re the manager, Steven. This is a training session. These boys have to go out there and perform at the weekend, and you’ve just destroyed their confidence.

Yeah, course, listen, it’s a good ball over the top and I’ve just…

Steven, please.


READ NEXT:The best managers currently available: Mourinho, Zidane, Conte…

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 28 managers to have taken charge of 50+ Champions League games?