Who has played under the most different managers at the same club? | Soccer

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“César Azpilicueta is up to his 10th manager at Chelsea,” tweets Stu Wilsher. “Is there a record for the most managers played under at the same club?”

Well, Stu, we make it nine managers and one caretaker, but the answer is, of course, yes, which puts that one to bed. Oh! You’d like to know who? OK, here we go.

John Terry played under 11 managers in his time at Chelsea, but beyond Stamford Bridge, the obvious place to look is Watford given the Pozzo family’s penchant for staff regeneration. By our count, there are eight players who have exceeded Terry’s benchmark:

16 – Troy Deeney, 15 permanent managers and one caretaker
15 – Craig Cathcart, 14 permanent managers (13 as a permanent player, one as a loanee) and one caretaker
13 – Tom Cleverley, 12 permanent managers (11 as a permanent player and one as a loanee) and one caretaker
12 – Christian Kabasele, 11 permanent managers and one caretaker
12 – Lloyd Doyley, 12 permanent managers
11 – Ben Foster, 10 permanent managers (nine as a permanent player and as a loanee) and one caretaker
11 – Adrian Mariappa, 10 permanent managers (over two spells) and one caretaker
11 – Heurelho Gomes, 10 permanent managers and one caretaker

A selective search of “one-club men” then produced the following list:

16 – Rogério Ceni at São Paulo (including nine different spells by Milton Cruz as caretaker manager, surely its own record)
15 – Dean Lewington at MK Dons (with three of those being caretakers and one being himself as interim manager)
14 – Xabi Prieto at Real Sociedad and Manolo Sanchís at Real Madrid
11 – Paolo Maldini at AC Milan, Loïc Perrin at AS Saint-Étienne and Bruno Soriano at Villarreal

Rob Marriott then joined the conversation: “In the past decade and a half, Palermo have tended to change managers almost as often as the UK’s current government changes chancellors. I’m not absolutely certain which player holds the ‘most managers’ record, but my best guess is the Slovenian defender Aljaz Struna, who made 63 appearances between 2012 and 2018. He served under 17 managers across 23 different spells (six of the coaches came back for a second spell).”

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The best we could find is Francesco Totti, who had 19 managers during his time at Roma – the same number Javier Zanetti had at Inter in the Massimo Moratti era, notes @stevecoopz82: “21 in total if you count Luciano Castellini and a certain Roy Hodgson each having two separate spells in charge”.

Similarly, @CheapskateShow tweets that “Kevin Fickentscher played at FC Sion from 2009 to 2013 and 2015-present, serving under 19 different managers – he’s currently playing for Paolo Tramezzani for the third time”, but the last word goes to @matsnss. “Daniele Conti played in Cagliari from 1999 until 2015,” he advises. “He had 23 different managers, and well over 30 if you count duplicates.”

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Teammates in the 500 club (2)

Last week, we looked at teammates who had made more than 500 appearances for their club – but there were examples at two European giants that we overlooked.

Marcelo had only recently passed the 500-game milestone when Karim Benzema made his 500th appearance for Real Madrid back in 2019-20 – the pair of them joining Sergio Ramos, who by that point had already made more than 600 appearances for the club,” writes Álvaro Blanch. “In doing so, these three equalled the trio formed by club legends Raúl, Guti and Iker Casillas who, by the end of the former two’s final season of 2009-10, had all played more than 500 games for the club.”

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Then there’s Dundee United. “Five of the six top appearance makers for the club all played together for a number of seasons – Dave Narey (872 appearances), Maurice Malpas (830), Paul Hegarty (707), Hamish McAlpine (688) and Paul Sturrock (575),” notes Shaun McGlinchey. “Their last game together would likely have been the League Cup semi-final, second-leg loss to Aberdeen on 9 October 1985.”

Managerial reigns shorter than the preceding caretakers

Last week, Joe Morris wondered how many times a manager’s reign was shorter than that of the caretaker who preceded him and a number of you mentioned an example from the dark days of “Lads, it’s Tottenham.” When Glenn Hoddle was sacked in September 2003, David Pleat took over as caretaker for the remainder of the season – a total of 39 games. He was followed by the French manager Jacques Santini, who arrived amid great fanfare – and quit after 13 games.

Simone Inzaghi was Lazio Interim for 2 months before Bielsa came in and lasted less than a week. Followed by Inzaghi being made permanent manager and lasting five years

— Conor Smith (@Conorsmithpxb) October 20, 2022

Knowledge archive

“Charlie Mitten once scored three penalties in a game for Manchester United against Aston Villa in 1950,” wrote Dennis Jones in 2005. “Has anyone else ever managed this unusual hat-trick?”

As several of you pointed out, Ronaldo is the highest-profile player to have matched Mitten’s achievement. In June last year [2004], during Brazil’s 3-1 World Cup qualifying win against Argentina, the striker not only won all three spot-kicks (fouled by Gabriel Heinze, Javier Mascherano, and then goalkeeper Pablo Cavallero), but got straight back up to score each time.

Next up is Andy Blair, who scored three from the spot for Sheffield Wednesday in their 4-2 Milk Cup win over Luton in November 1984. “He was the first player to score a hat-trick of penalties in the League Cup, no less,” says Peter Gethin. His efforts were followed by both Liverpool’s Jan Molby (against Coventry in November 1986) and Blackburn midfielder David Dunn (against Rochdale in September 2000).

Looking further back, Adam Purdue recalls that “Ken Barnes scored three penalties for Manchester City in the 6-2 home win over Everton in December 1957,” while, according to the Evening Telegraph, a host of Scottish players have matched the feat, including Bobby Collins, Celtic v Aberdeen (1950); Eddie Turnbull, Hibernian v Celtic (1951); Willie Johnston, Rangers v St Johnstone (1971); Donald Ford, Hearts v Morton (1973); and Bobby McKean, St Mirren v Brechin (1974).

Bogdan Kotarlic recalls that Gordan Petric, formerly of Dundee United, Rangers, Crystal Palace and Hearts, scored three penalties for OFK Belgrade in the Yugoslavian second division back in the late 1980s. Simon Elam remembers a Serie A game in the mid-90s where Giuseppe Giannini scored three penalties for Roma. Hairul Sukaim in Singapore points out that Geylang’s S-League clash with Home United saw their English midfielder John Wilkinson score a hat-trick from the spot. As the report of their remarkable 4-4 draw explains, Wilkinson grabbed all four of his team’s goals.

Paraguayan Jose Luis Chilavert became the first goalkeeper to score three penalties during Velez Sarsfield’s 6-1 victory over Ferro Carril Oeste in November 1999. Cruzeiro striker Alex can lay claim to an even more spectacular record: during the Brazilian Championship clash at Bahia in December 2003 he scored four times from the spot – all in the first 37 minutes. And an update: in January 2022, Oxford’s Cameron Brannagan scored four spot-kicks in their 7-2 win over Gillingham.

Finally, special mention must go to Argentine striker Martín Palermo, who is in the Guinness Book Of Records for missing the most penalties in a game. In July 1999, during the 3-0 Copa América defeat against Colombia, Palermo conspired to miss three spot-kicks. No wonder Colombian coach Javier Álvarez could not believe his luck. “There’s always a first time for everything – and today I saw it,” he said, stifling a chuckle.

Knowledge series link

Can you help?

“As it stands in the Championship table Blackburn, second from top, have lost more games than West Brom, second from bottom. Has a team ever been promoted while losing more games than one who was relegated?” asks Alan Davis.

“What is the earliest time in a game that a keeper has come up for a corner? The keeper doesn’t need to have scored, only to have been up for it,” enquires Marco Buonocore.

“While reminiscing about how good Mike Duff was on Championship Manager, I came across this mind-blowing fact. ‘Duff played in each of English football’s top eight tiers in ascending order: the Hellenic League with Carterton Town, the Southern League (Midland Division) with Cirencester Town, the Southern League (Premier Division), Conference, League Two and League One with Cheltenham Town, and the Championship and Premier League with Burnley.’ Has anyone else played in all of the top eight tiers, in either ascending or descending order?” asks Anthony Richardson.

“Kevin Campbell is the Englishman with the most Premier League goals without being capped for his country. Who are the equivalent players in the other top five leagues?” asks Masai Graham.

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.

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