Having made the leap from physio to manager at Scunthorpe, then manager of Southampton, Nigel Adkins is feeling the heat at the south coast club, with the Saints bottom of the Premier League having won just once win since their promotion from the Championship. However, his move from the backroom to head honcho is not that uncommon...
You've won the Champions League twice with two clubs, four domestic league titles as manager of Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real and countless other honours, so of course it would grate on you if you were still referred to as 'the translator.' That was the position Jose Mourinho held at Porto and then Barcelona when the late Bobby Robson was in charge at both clubs in the 1990s, before becoming Louis van Gaal's right-hand man when the Dutchman took over at the Nou Camp in 1997. Now manager of fierce rivals Real, it is fair to say the Barca mob reserve even more hatred for Mourinho than former player Luis Figo, who moved from Barca to Real in 2000. He got one over on his former tormentors in 2010, though, when his Inter side not only ended their Champions League hopes in the semi final, but he rubbed their noses in it with a wild celebration on the pitch. He went on to win the trophy that season.
When Bertie Mee took over as Arsenal manager in 1966, much like today, Arsenal were stagnating. Mee initially joined the Gunners, who were without a trophy since 1953, as the club's physio in 1959. This followed six years in the Royal Army Medical Corps and 12 years providing rehabilitation for disabled ex-servicemen, before moving back into football having had his own pre-war playing career at Mansfield Town cut short by injury. Successive League Cup final defeats marked the first few years of Mee's tenure, having taken the reigns following Billy Wright's sacking. Mee guided the club to their first ever European trophy a year later when they fought back from a 3-1 first leg deficit against Anderlecht to lift the Fairs Cup. The best was to come a year later when he wrapped up the FA Cup, beating Liverpool 2-1, then the league with a 1-0 win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane to complete the double.
Villas-Boas led Porto to an unbeaten league title, took over at Chelsea at the age of 33 and managed Tottenham to a 3-2 win at Old Trafford, their first at the stadium for 23 years, none of which is bad for a man who initially had aspirations to become a journalist. This was quickly put on the back burner when, at 16, having badgered neighbour and Porto manager Bobby Robson, he found himself working in Porto's scouting department. By the age of 21, the Portuguese was director of football at the British Virgin Islands, before Jose Mourinho took him back to Porto as a scout in 2001. Mourinho took him to Chelsea in 2004, where a dossier he had compiled on Newcastle - that showed an incredible attention to detail - was leaked to the press. It hasn't been plain sailing in management as he found during his short-lived spell at Chelsea, but at Tottenham, AVB looks to have found a club and chairman prepared to give him the time needed to take the team forward.
When Tranmere got rid of manager John Barnes and his assistant Jason McAteer after two wins from 11 games in October 2009, Les Parry, the club's physio since 1991, stepped up. He had never played the game or had any managerial experience and his appointment was only supposed to be temporary until the board could find a more suitable candidate. That didn't happen and Parry was given the job full-time. He initially split his time at Rovers with his health and fitness instructor business, before becoming the full-time physio in 1993 when regulations required that all first-team physios who enter the pitch must be fully qualified. He lasted two and half years as manager, but towards the end of the 2011/12 season, with Tranmere hovering just above the League One relegation zone, Parry was sacked. He was soon back in football, though, and is the physio at Accrington Stanley.
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