Nine odd managerial appointments as Alan Pardew is named CSKA Sofia boss

With Alan Pardew stepping into the managerial hotseat at CSKA Sofia, Planet Sport takes a look at the oddest managerial appointments of recent times.

Everyone loves a completely random and seemingly bonkers managerial appointment, and luckily Alan Pardew seems to as well.

This week Pardew was confirmed as the new manager of Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia.

Pardew had been out of management for two years since his last completely random and seemingly bonkers appointment, that time in the Netherlands, had gone wrong.

He had been acting as an advisor on football matters for CSKA, however, so presumably his most recent piece of advice was to hire a former Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and West Ham manager pretty sharpish. He will be assisted by an utterly eclectic backroom staff of former Kilmarnock manager Alex Dyer, Martin Stoyanov and analyst Hristo Zahariev.

"My goal is to leave a legacy in CSKA in the future and these young coaches who will work with us now, to be able to help the club in the coming years," Pardew told the club's website, presumably in pigeon Bulgarian.

To celebrate this and other weird managerial appointments, we take a look through some of our other favourites.

Tony Adams - Granada

Tony Adams - Granada

It seemed a natural progression for Tony Adams to be offered management opportunities in England once his playing days were through.

After all, Adams was one of the greatest defenders and leaders of his generation in the Premier League.

Wycombe gave him his first chance, but he got them relegated to League Two and left after winning just 12 matches out of 53.

It was surprising enough, then, when Premier League Portsmouth gave him another opportunity Again his record was horrendous, winning just four of his 22 matches in charge.

So quite what La Liga side Granada saw in his record to warrant his appointment in 2017 - a full eight years after he left Portsmouth - is anyone's guess.

It went about as well as you'd expect: seven matches, seven defeats.

Gary Neville - Valencia

Gary Neville Valencia unveiling Dec15

When news first broke about Gary Neville being appointed the manager of Valencia, nearly everyone said the same thing. 'It can't be that Gary Neville, right? Valencia? No, can't be…'

After collectively checking our calendars to make sure it wasn't April 1, it turned out that it was indeed that Gary Neville.

Neville had links with the new Valencia owners and explained that he needed to get away from punditry to "prove his credibility".

If that was indeed the plan, it didn't go very well. He took his brother Phil with him as his assistant but it still all looked weird.

Neither Neville spoke Spanish and Gary had no gravitas at all in Spain despite his Premier League punditry.

Sure enough, his reign lasted just 28 games and he has vowed never to get back into management again.

Edgar Davids - Barnet

Edgar Davids - Barnet

What a playing career Edgar Davids had. He won the Champions League with Ajax and multiple Scudettos with Juventus.

He was also able to boast Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Tottenham as his former clubs as a player. Barnet too, of course. I mean, that was weird enough, right?

It was actually a player-manager role at Barnet, though, which Davids reportedly won after playing street football in north London while coaching Sunday League team Brixton United. A reminder that this is Edgar Davids were talking about. The Edgar Davids.

Anyway, it didn't go all that well. Barnet were relegated from the Football League under Davids and he went on to get sent off three times in five matches for the Bees while in the Conference before leaving them in the January with the club sat in tenth.

David Hockaday - Leeds

David Hockaday - Leeds

Leeds definitely went through a bit of a bonkers spell back in the day, and it hit its peak in the summer of 2014.

Brian McDermott had been sacked by new owner Massimo Callino and the usual array of names were linked with the job.

What no one saw coming, though, was the once mighty Leeds United appointing a non-league manager than no one had ever heard of.

That is what happened, though, and former Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday arrived at Elland Road.

He lasted just 70 days and took charge of six matches, losing four of them.

Chris Coleman - Hebei China Fortune

Chris Coleman - Hebei China Fortune

Chris Coleman must sometimes wonder what on earth went wrong. In 2016 he was one of the hottest managerial properties in football after guiding Wales to the semi-finals of the European Championships.

He then fell into the trap many have before and many will again - he fancied himself to be the man to revive Sunderland.

It didn't go well at Sunderland because, well, it's Sunderland and it never does. The Black Cats were relegated to League One and the club's new owners immediately sacked Coleman the moment they got the keys to the Stadium of Light.

You'd have thought that Coleman would then wait for a better chance and use his Wales success to leverage for a decent job somewhere, but he didn't.

In fact he almost immediately resurfaced at Chinese club Hebei China Fortune. There was money in the Chinese league at the time, but it was career suicide, particularly given his good reputation at the time.

He took charge of just 21 matches, winning seven of them. He is currently the manager of Greek club Atromitos, which pretty much says it all really.

Harry Redknapp - Jordan

Harry Redknapp - Jordan

Harry Redknapp had the top job at no fewer than six Premier League clubs, so it was never a surprise to see him resurface somewhere or other in English football. In fact, it was expected.

I mean, he even appeared in EastEnders once and no one batted an eyelid.

No one saw it coming, though, when he was appointed manager of Jordan for two matches in March 2016.

The first of those he won 8-0 against Bangladesh. The second saw Jordan walloped 5-1 by Australia - a result that ended their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup.

"I've really enjoyed it, the people have just been fantastic," Redknapp said before the Australia game.

"All the staff and everybody, they're the friendliest people I've dealt with, it's been a great experience for me, it really has. So if there was something in the future, I'd look at it, for sure."

He never extended his stay.

Alan Pardew - ADO Den Haag

Alan Pardew - ADO Den Haag

That's right, the ultimate 'embarrassing dad' character of English football has form for this kind of thing.

Everything he does, whether it's his bizarre arrogance that wholly outstrips his achievements, his awful dancing to celebrate a goal in an FA Cup final that his team lost, or scuffling with players on the touchline for no reason is absolute cringe.

It's also strangely endearing too, although probably only if he's not managing your club when he does it.

He eventually ran out of clubs in England willing to employ him in 2018 when he was dismissed by West Brom.

Keen not to be denied further opportunities to embarrass himself, he then took the job at Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag. It didn't go well, and he left the club after winning just one of his eight matches in charge.

Alex McLeish - Zamalek

Alex McLeish - Zamalek

It's hard to imagine now, but once upon a time Alex McLeish was one of the most coveted managers in English football. He even had a public Sir Alex Ferguson seal of approval.

McLeish won multiple trophies with Rangers and then had a really good spell as Scotland manager too.

That brought him to the Premier League and he carried on his success there, winning the League Cup with Birmingham. He got them relegated a couple of months later, to be fair, but a trophy is a trophy.

He kept on getting jobs, though, and Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Genk gave him further opportunities, although it was only really Genk where he impressed.

Still, Egyptian club Zamalek was as left-field a choice as you could imagine for what is, for now at least, his last job in club football.

Mark Hughes - Bradford City

Mark Hughes - Bradford

Absolutely no one saw this one coming, including the Bradford chairman himself.

Hughes had been out of the game for a while after a long spell in the Premier League with Blackburn, Manchester City, QPR, Stoke and Southampton.

In truth, he had slipped from the conversation entirely when new jobs came up. Perhaps that is why he put himself forward to League Two side Bradford, and why his application was almost missed entirely.

"The truth of the matter is when it actually came through, we've had some issues with our emails and it was in my junk folder," chief executive Ryan Sparks explained.

"I go through that every day and obviously I made a call very quickly to his representatives and explained: 'Apologies for the three-hour delay, I'm usually on it but I would like to have a conversation with Mark.'"

Hughes himself added: "I always envisaged I'd get back in at some point. It's fair to say it's been longer than I anticipated."

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