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I wish Ruud Gullit had never gone into management

Graham Fisher in Editorial, General Soccer News 15 Jun 2011


How I prefer to think of Gullit

Ruud Gullit was a fabulous footballer. He was world player of the year and played in the great Milan and Holland teams that those of a certain age remember with a great deal of fondness. His record as a manager is less impressive and I for one wish he hadn’t made the move into the dugout so that I could just remember him as the great player he was.


His latest unsuccessful foray into the world of club management came to an end yesterday when he was sacked by Russian side Terek Grozny. He only lasted five months.

Gullit had been told by club president Ramzan Kadyrov that he would be sacked if Terek failed to win at Amkar Perm on Tuesday and after a last minute goal saw them lose 1-0 the president stuck to his promise.


Kadyrov simply said,

“Gullit will no longer train Terek. Under him, the team have played exceptionally poorly this season.”

In simple terms, the president is right. Terek finished twelfth in the sixteen team league last season and Gullit was tasked with getting them into a European qualifying position. Yesterday’s defeat left the team in fourteenth place.

The record of three wins in thirteen games simply wasn’t good enough and unfortunately, replicated his previous performances in the manager’s hot seat.


As a player, Gullit won three Eridivisie titles, three Serie A titles, two Champions League titles and eleven other various Cups. With Holland, he won the 1988 European Championships. The individual awards he won are far too numerous to list here but include the European and World footballer of the year together with awards in the Dutch, Italian and English leagues.


He started his managerial career at Chelsea where he finished his playing career. As a player manager he started well. He led the side to an FA Cup triumph and the team finished sixth in the Premier League. The second season seemed to be going well but Gullit was unceremoniously sacked after a disagreement with the board. Famously, after the sacking, Chelsea chairman Ken Bates said of Gullit,

“I didn’t like his arrogance. In fact I never liked him”.

Gullit next turned up at Newcastle United. Again, things started OK and he led them to an FA Cup final. It then became clear that Gullit did not get on with Alan Shearer and the Newcastle fans turned on him. Shearer can do no wrong on Tyneside and it takes a foolish, brave or arrogant man to take him on. Gullit left Shearer on the bench in a game against local rivals Sunderland which they lost 2-1. Gullit left shortly afterwards.


The forty-eight year old Dutchman then returned home to manage Feyenoord. He lasted just one uneventful season.

Remarkably, Gullit was then given a $2 million three year contract to manage LA Galaxy in the MLS. They lost their opening game 4-0 and things got worse from there. He fell out with just about every player and his tactics, man management and arrogance were all publicly criticised. After a seven game run without a win, Gullit was on his way again.


The unlikely appointment at the Russian club followed and now that has ended in tears. The Russians were not too impressed with Gullit’s liking for nightclubs and what they called his ‘party lifestyle’.

Surely this is the last time that anyone will pay Gullit a fortune to manage their team, isn’t it…?


Graham Fisher



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11 years ago

My sentiments exactly.
Any further managerial moves will likely only serve to tarnish his legendary status as a player!

11 years ago

Graham, you seemed to have fogotten to mention that the Russian owner and LA Galaxy also blamed his perfomances in his drinking habbits and party’ing

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