Can Moyes make it in Spain? Here's the top five British coaches abroad in the last 20 years

Can Moyes make it in Spain? Here's the top five British coaches abroad in the last 20 years

11/11/2014 at 09:23Updated

David Moyes is the new manager of La Liga side Real Sociedad.

The Scotsman, who was sacked by Manchester United in April following a dismal first season in charge at Old Trafford, will talk charge of the Basque side for the match against Deportivo La Coruna after the international break.

Moyes becomes the fourth British manager of the San Sebastian-based club, following in the footsteps of Englishman Harry Lowe and Welsh duo John Toshack and Chris Coleman.

And while British coaches have had mixed results on the continent over the years , some others have enjoyed reasonable success - as our rundown of the best Brits abroad in the last two decades shows.

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1. Roy Hodgson

Hodgson has one of the most impressive managerial CV's about, having managed almost 1000 games with clubs from Liverpool to the United Arab Emirates - and almost everywhere in between.

Following successful spells with Swedish sides Halmstads BK, Orebro SK and Malmo - who offered him a lifetime contract after he won seven trophies in three years - Hodgson joined Swiss club Neuchâtel Xamax, where his highlights included a European win over Real Madrid.

Hodgson became manager of the Switzerland national team in January 1992 and helped the country qualify for the 1994 World Cup - their first major tournament since the 1960s.

Under his tenure, Switzerland rose to become the third best international side in the world.

A two-year spell with Italian giants Inter Milan saw Hodgson take his team to the 1997 UEFA Cup final with a team that included names such as Javier Zanetti, Youri Djorkaeff and former England man Paul Ince.

He left the San Siro for Blackburn in the 1997 close season, despite being offered a new deal in Milan. The less said about his time in Lancashire, the better - suffice to say that his career picked up again once he went back over the channel.

Short spells at Grasshoppers, a four-game return to Inter coupled with stints at Copenhagen and Udinese eventually saw Hodgson become manager of the United Arab Emirates senior and Olympic sides.

Hodgson described his stint as UAE boss as "a point in my career where I didn't know where I was going" and he was sacked in January 2004 after finishing fifth in the Gulf Cup of Nations tournament.

Croydon-born Hodgson moved to Norweigan club Viking in July 2004 and qualified for the UEFA Cup in his first season, but resigned just a year and a half later to become manager of the Finland national team.

He drew praise for his team's well-organised defending but boring approach which was exemplified with five of Finland's 14 UEFA 2008 qualification games finishing in 0-0 draws.

The 67-year-old is now manager of the England national team.

WIN RATE AT Halmstads BK: 40.00%
WIN RATE AT Orebo SK: 50.00%
WIN RATE AT Malmo: 61.82%
WIN RATE AT Neuchâtel Xamax: 40.28%
WIN RATE AT Switzerland: 51.22%
WIN RATE AT Inter Milan (first spell): 44.19%
WIN RATE AT Inter Milan (second spell): 50.00%
WIN RATE AT Grasshoppers: 38.89%
WIN RATE AT Copenhagen: 51.43%
WIN RATE AT Udinese: 41.18%
WIN RATE AT United Arab Emirates: 23.53%
WIN RATE AT Viking: 42.11%
WIN RATE AT Finland: 27.27%

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2. Sir Bobby Robson

The late Sir Bobby Robson made the decision to take charge of a foreign side after England were beaten in the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup.

Robson replaced Guus Hiddink at PSV Eindhoven, leading them to back-to-back Eredivisie titles. From there he embarked on a less successful spell at Sporting Lisbon - where his Portuguese interpreter was a young chap named Jose Mourinho - which saw him sacked in December 1993 following a fall-out with club president Sousa Cintra.

Sporting came to regret that move bitterly: Robson moved to their arch-rivals FC Porto, leading them to successive league titles - success which meant brought the biggest job of his club career into view: Barcelona.

Robson received a phone call from Barcelona's vice president Joan Gaspart in 1996 and he took over in July 1996.

Under Robson's tenure Barcelona won the Spanish Cup, Spanish Super Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup, while Robson himself was voted European manager of the Year for 1997-97.

One of Robson's most successful ever signings, Brazilian star Ronaldo, claimed that his then-manager was one of the "greatest coaches in the world".

He was moved upstairs in the 1997-98 season after Louis van Gaal took over the manager's job and a year later he returned to manage PSV on a short-term deal which culminated in a Dutch Super Cup victory and qualification for the Champions League.

WIN RATE AT PSV (FIRST SPELL): 68.42
WIN RATE AT SPORTING LISBON: 57.63
WIN RATE AT PORTO: 71.67
WIN RATE AT BARCELONA: 65.52
WIN RATE AT PSV (SECOND SPELL): 52.63

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3. Steve McClaren

McClaren turned his managerial career around after being sacked as England boss in 2007 following the national side's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

He joined Twente in June 2008 and in his second season in charge led the club to a first Dutch top flight title in their 45-year history - an achievement which McClaren labelled "a miracle".

But he decided to cash in on that success, leaving Twente at the end of the season to take over as manager of German outfit Wolfsburg, making him the first Englishman to manage a Bundesliga side.

A difficult first set of league games included an opening day defeat to Bayern Munich and 4-3 home loss to Mainz put McClaren under severe pressure; in February 2011 he was relieved of his duties by the club.

After an even more disappointing spell at Nottingham Forest, a determined McClaren returned to Twente for a second time in 2012 and finished in sixth place, qualifing for the Europa League in the process.

It wasn't enough for McClaren though, who handed in his resignation in February 2013 saying, "We agree the Club is bigger than any one individual and Twente is too big in my heart to stand in the way of its progress".

McClaren is now manager of Championship side Derby County.

WIN RATE AT TWENTE (FIRST SPELL): 63.37%
WIN RATE AT WOLFSBURG: 29.17
WIN RATE AT TWENTE (SECOND SPELL): 48.44

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4. Graeme Souness

Liverpool legend Souness became manager of Turkish giants Galatasaray in June 1995 and sparked immediate controversy after placing a large Galatasaray flag into the centre circle of the pitch of arch-rivals Fenerbahce following their Turkish Cup final win over in April 1996.

That Cup triumph was both the high and low-point of his career in Turkey: that act made him notorious in the country, and he (probably wisely) decided to quit while he was ahead.

After a spell at Southampton the former defender joined Italian side Torino - but he was sacked just four months into the job after an argument about not being given a say in which players he could buy or sell.

Souness was brought to Portugal in 1997 and made Benfica boss by new chairman Vale e Azevedo. He brought a host of British names to the Portuguese league including Michael Thomas and Dean Saunders - while famously rejecting the chance to sign an emerging young talent named Deco. Ouch.

Two unsuccessful seasons with Benfica saw Souness get the sack - and all of the British players who had previously signed followed him out of Portugal.

Souness is now a TV pundit for Sky Sports and recently stated he has no desire to return to management at any level.

WIN RATE AT GALATASARAY: 58.14
WIN RATE AT TORINO: 33.33
WIN RATE AT BENFICA: 57.75

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5. Chris Coleman

If David Moyes needs any advice ahead of his big move to San Sebastian, then Chris Coleman is almost certainly the man to go to.

Coleman joined then-second division side Sociedad in 2007 after being recommended by another former Welsh boss of the club, John Toshack.

In January 2008 his team sat fifth, having lost just once in 11 games but the ex-Fulham boss resigned on the 16th of that month, citing "a difference in vision for the club" with newly-elected president Iñaki Badiola.

An eight-month spell in Greece followed when Coleman took charge of Larissa. He lost just once in 12 games but again quit soon after - this time, due to financial and corruption difficulties.

Coleman is now manager of the Welsh national team.

WIN RATE AT REAL SOCIEDAD: 57.14
WIN RATE AT LARISSA: 72.73

Chris Wheatley

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