Five unlikely managerial appointments as Gerrard favourite to land Rangers role
Steven Gerrard has emerged as the odds-on favourite to take over at Rangers, with reports even suggesting the Liverpool legend is close to securing a move across the border.
Should Gerrad opt to leave his boyhood club, where he currently coaches the U18s, to join the Scottish Premiership for his first senior managerial job, it would be a left-field move.
- FULL STORY: Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard closing in on deal to become Rangers next manager: reports
So what other managerial appointments have come out of the blue? Here's a look at five of the best:
1. Arsene Wenger (Arsenal 1996 - present)
Where else to begin than with the man about to bring an end to his 22 year reign? Now he's one of the best-known managers in world football, and as hard as it might be for the kids among you to imagine, when he was appointed at Arsenal, he was a bit of a nobody. His managerial career had already lasted 12 years by the time he arrived at Highbury but, after longer spells at Nancy and Monaco (where he was ousted), he moved east to take over at Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight. When he was announced as the new Arsenal boss, captain Tony Adams is even quoted as saying: "What does this Frenchman know about football? He wears glasses and looks more like a schoolteacher. He's not going to be as good as George Graham. Does he even speak English properly?" Adams soon ate his words as Wenger made him a double winner just two years later.
2. Avram Grant (Chelsea 2007-2008)
Staying in London and who remembers the bemused reaction when Grant became the first Israeli manager in the Premiership back in 2007? The fans were less than impressed after they had seen the much-loved Jose Mourinho depart the club. Grant had been Director of Football during Mourinho's last few months in charge, having moved from a similar role at Portsmouth. Even fellow staff was quoted describing his coaching methods as "25 years behind the times". He only lasted eight months in the job, soon replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari as a managerial merry-go-round began at Stamford Bridge. In 2011, Grant registered his interest to become Northern Ireland manager. The IFA, of course, opted for Michael O'Neill, whose name is nowhere near this list.
3. Sven Goran Eriksson (Notts County 2009-2010)
Ok so he wasn't exactly the manager but this one's so bizarre we couldn't leave it out. The former England boss was actually brought in as Director of Football by a consortium called Munto Finance, who had taken over the club. With big plans to reach the Premier League, Sol Campbell and Kasper Schmeichel were brought in from the top tier but t all turned sour when the club was issued with a winding up order in November 2009 and Eriksson left in February 2010 as the club was taken over again. County were at least promoted to League One at the end of the season.
4. Juande Ramos (Real Madrid 2008-2009)
The late noughties was the time for bizarre appointments, not least when Juande Ramos somehow used getting the sack at Tottenham as a route to the Bernabeu. He had led Spurs to Carling Cup success but a poor start to the 08/09 season saw his side bag only two points from their opening eight Premier League games - their worst league start since 1912. In October, he was sacked after being goaded by Hull City fans during a 1-0 defeat. Two months later he was manager of Real Madrid. Life's all about swings and roundabouts, eh? He saw out his contract to the end of that season at Madrid and then: adiós.
5. Pedro Caixinha (Rangers 2017)
And to bring us neatly back on topic, the Portuguese boss' seven year reign at Ibrox was described as "a desperate mess from start to finish" by BBC Scotland's Tom English. There had been doubts from the start. He had spent the previous four years managing in Mexico and Qatar. During his spell in the Americas, me managed Santos Laguna, a club with links to Celtic and even congratulated the Hoops on winning the title in a video message. That historic news didn't really help get Gers fans onside and Caixinha soon became Rangers' shortest-serving boss. He endured the club's biggest ever home defeat to Celtic (5-1), the Europa League exit to Luxembourg side Progres Niederkorn and left with his side trailing Celtic by eight points after 10 games. So much for the three-year deal.
Belfast Telegraph Digital