With news of David Moyes applying for a trade to Real Sociedad; as well as the upsetting news of Howard Kendall’s passing, it is a time that we take a look at other British football managers who have left an imprint on the Spanish league over the years.
1. Howard Kendall
One of the greatest managers of Everton’s ‘golden team’ during the mid-1980s left Goodison Park for the Spanish country and a two-year spell with Athletico Bilbao from 1986 to 1989. Despite having won the FA Cup and the Cup Winners Cup with the Toffees; Howard Kendall was not able to replicate the same level of success in Span. Yet, he was able to guide Bilbao to finish within a reasonable standing at 4th and 7th position in his double seasons before picking up and heading back to the North-East UK to resume the manager seat at Manchester City.
2. Ron Atkinson
One of the more exuberant and colorful UK managers is Ron Atkinson. Considering his fiery personality, it was completely understandable that there would be an explosion when he took the helm at Athletico Madrid in 1988 – then under the control of the equally colorful Jesus Gil. Despite the move being an interesting one, it is no surprise that it lasted only three months before Ron was sent directly back to the UK. It can be agreed that he did not have the same impact on the Spanish league as his feel countrymen.
3. Terry Venables
In addition to Atkinson, a second fiery personality was that of Terry Venables. Terry left the Queen’s Park Rangers for the manager seat of Barcelona’s Camp Nou; however, he was able to steady his personality and succeed where Ron had failed. Terry managed to take the 1985 Spanish league title during his first season; he then followed that with a trip to the European Cup Final. Unfortunately, his winning streak fell short with a drop in Barcelona’s rankings and a removal of Venables as manager. He was on a flight back to the UK in 1987.
4. John Toshack
Having guided the failing Swansea team from Division 4 to Division 1 of the UK league during the early 1980s, the former Welsh manager chose a path from Wales to Spain. Toshack, also known as Tosh, was offered the managerial position for Real Sociedad on three different occasions leading a Copa del Rey victory in 1987; as well as taking the helm with Real Madrid twice and short periods with Deportivo and Murcia. The highest achievement, however, was gained in 1990 when Tosh helped Real Madrid claim the Spanish league title.
5. Ronnie Allen
Former West Brom legend Ronnie Allen moved to Spain in the late 1960s completing two years of success in the sunny country with Athletico Bilbao. This outstanding manager achieved a Copa Deal Rey win in the first year, to be followed a respectable 2nd place finish for Bilbao in the Spanish league. After his two-year experience, Allen decided to say goodbye to Spain in 1972 and take up a position with the Portuguese team – Sporting Lisbon.
6. Sir Bobby Robson
One of the greatest England managers, Sir Bobby Robson, enjoyed a highly successful career managing teams across Europe once his international football career had ended; during this period becoming one of the most well-known names in European club management. His one season with Barcelona is one of legend where he brought the soon-to-be legendary Brazilian striker Christiano Ronaldo to the football world. He also led the Catalan giants to a treble Spanish Cup, Super Cup, and European Winners Cup achievement; thus, winning the European Manager of the Year award.