The gaffers’ greatest hits

Soccer - Football League Division Three - Millwall Photocall

Sam Allardyce | Bolton Wanderers vs. Ipswich Town

21 April 1979

Big Sam gets accused of being many things: long ball merchant, unambitious, over indulgent at the buffet. But I can only accuse him of abandoning an excellent mustache. While playing for Bolton Wanderers, Allardyce scored this thunderbolt of a header against Ipswich Town. In the early 2000s, Allardyce’s returned to Bolton as manager and would take them back into the Premier League and the Europa League. Sadly, the mustache did not come with him.

Nigel Pearson | Sheffield Wednesday vs. Chelsea

27 February 1991

A frustrating season with Leicester City has Pearson in the papers for all the wrong reasons, his aggressive style on the sidelines prompting confrontations with supporters and players. But wind the clock back to Sheffield Wednesday’s 1990-91 League Cup run and Pearson was riding high. Before the defender led the Owls to a famous victory over Manchester United at Wembley, there there was the small matter of a 5-1 agg. win over Chelsea in the semifinal. Pearson capped off a corner routine with this crashing header in the home leg.


Steve Bruce | Manchester United vs. Sheffield Wednesday

10 April 1993

After taking Hull City to a mid-table finish and the FA Cup final last year, it’s safe to say Steve Bruce is having a rough sophomore season in the Premier League. These days, the headlines focus less on Hull’s football and more on which supporting character from Home Alone 2 he’s a dead-ringer for. Once upon a time, Bruce was the goal scoring captain of Manchester United, partnering with Gary Pallister in the heart of defense at the online casino kickoff of Sir Alex Ferguson and United’s decade of dominance. Here’s Bruce scoring a rapid fire double in stoppage time to snatch victory from Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford.

Mark Hughes | Wales vs. Spain

30 April 1995

Sparky’s career leading the line brought him a full trophy cabinet. His time in the technical area? Not so much. A man known for taking shots first time on the volley, this superb goal against Spain dates to the Welshman’s first spell with Manchester United under Ron Atkinson.

Roberto Martinez | Wigan vs. York City

6 December 1997

Another manager suffering a second season slump with the extra challenge of European competition, Martinez seems to be tough to categorize. He brought Wigan their first FA Cup title, but also took them down in the same season. He brought champagne football to Everton but, like his Wigan sides, they struggle to close out games. Either way, the dapper Spaniard seems like a decent person who loves beautiful football. Against York City in the 1997 FA Cup, Martinez showed off his own skill with this well-taken goal for Wigan.

Gus Poyet | Chelsea vs. Sunderland

7 August 1999

Gus Poyet has had a rough time of it the last few seasons. Essentially being fired from his position as manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, Poyet went straight to the listing ship that was— and still very much is—Sunderland A.F.C.. In his pomp, Gus was part of the last great pre-Abramovich Chelsea side, playing with Zola, Leboeuf, Desailly, and future manager Roberto Di Matteo. Here’s Poyet scoring an acrobatic volley against Sunderland. The assist from Zola’s not too shabby either.

Ronald Koeman | Barcelona vs. Porto

27 April 1994

If a player was called a “goal scoring centerback” how many career goals would you guess they scored? Steve Bruce, noted for such abilities, notched 81 over 20 years. In 17 years, Ronald Koeman racked up 207 goals for club and country, making the Southampton boss the greatest goal scoring defender of all time. A recognized master of the dead ball, the Barcelona man netted this treat of a long range strike against Porto. Enjoy.

Actually, I can’t help it: here are Koeman’s eight goals from Barcelona’s 1993-94 Champions League campaign, in which he took the Golden Boot.

Alan Pardew | Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool

8 April 1990

Say what you will about Alan Pardew, but he’s returned to the club of his best playing days and has Crystal Palace winning again. Between the cheshire cat grin, the boundless ego, and the weak headbutts, Pardew knows how to put on a show. That flair was evident when he notched this winner against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi final.

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