What lessons can John Terry the manager learn from the golden generation?

John Terry is going to be a name to keep an eye on in the early part of the season, especially when poor form puts a few managers under pressure.

The legendary former Chelsea and England captain has quit Aston Villa in his role as an assistant to Dean Smith as he looks to carve out a managerial career of his own.

Right now the 40-year-old is only linked with the vacant Swansea City job following the resignation of Steve Cooper from the Championship side.

John Terry has left Aston Villa as an assistant coach to prepare for a management role

John Terry has left Aston Villa as an assistant coach to prepare for a management role

He is set to become the seventh boss from |England's failed 'golden generation' of 2006, including Frank Lampard (left), Gary Neville (right) and Steven Gerrard (second right)

He is set to become the seventh boss from |England's failed 'golden generation' of 2006, including Frank Lampard (left), Gary Neville (right) and Steven Gerrard (second right)

He is set to become the seventh boss from |England’s failed ‘golden generation’ of 2006, including Frank Lampard (left), Gary Neville (right) and Steven Gerrard (second right)

Terry though is not desperate to jump into a job and is ready to tour Europe to get a better feel and experience for the range of coaching styles he could bring to a future club.

It seems inevitable that Terry will land a job sooner rather than later and it will make him the seventh manager from England’s so-called ‘golden generation’, who so disappointingly were repeatedly knocked out in major tournament quarter-finals, including in the World Cup in 2006, which for so long they were tipped to win.

The previous six have had mixed success in the managerial hot seat, but what can Terry learn from his former team-mates’ successes and failures? 

Terry had become an important part of Dean Smith's (left) backroom team at Villa Park

Terry had become an important part of Dean Smith's (left) backroom team at Villa Park

Terry had become an important part of Dean Smith’s (left) backroom team at Villa Park

David James

Back-up goalkeeper to Paul Robinson at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, James was the first of the England stars to move into management, albeit in a minor capacity compared to his peers.

After coaching stints in Iceland and at Luton, in 2014 he signed a player/manager deal to take control at Indian side Kerala Blasters – owned by the legendary cricket batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

David James (1) did not feature at the 2006 World Cup despite being named in the England squad for the tournament in Germany, as he poses in a team line-up for a B international

David James (1) did not feature at the 2006 World Cup despite being named in the England squad for the tournament in Germany, as he poses in a team line-up for a B international

David James (1) did not feature at the 2006 World Cup despite being named in the England squad for the tournament in Germany, as he poses in a team line-up for a B international

He enjoyed a positive campaign in reaching the play-offs of the Indian Super League, before falling just short with defeat in the final.

After leaving at the end of his one-season contract he returned four years later, taking over from former Fulham boss and Manchester United assistant Rene Meulensteen.

A positive end to the 2017-18 season followed despite missing out on the play-offs but an 11-match winless run at the start of the following campaign saw him depart in December 2018.

The lesson for Terry? Given James has not landed a manager’s job in England, perhaps don’t start your journey in such distant lands, because, win or lose, being out of sight will do little for your reputation back home.

James' only managerial tenures came at Indian side Kerala Blasters, where he initially shone

James' only managerial tenures came at Indian side Kerala Blasters, where he initially shone

James’ only managerial tenures came at Indian side Kerala Blasters, where he initially shone

Gary Neville

Four years on from his retirement in 2011, Neville took a shock plunge into management having previously carved out a role as a leading TV pundit.

What proved even more of a surprise was his choice to jump straight in at the deep end with Valencia, who financially stricken and in crisis were perhaps not the best option for the former right-back to dip his toes into management without prior coaching experience outside of assisting England boss Roy Hodgson.

His positive relationship with club owner Peter Lim played a big factor, but his appointment just short of halfway into the 2015-16 season would soon turn into a total nightmare.

Gary Neville (2) played twice for England at Germany 2006, including during the scarring penalty shootout defeat by Portugal (yet again) in the quarter-finals

Gary Neville (2) played twice for England at Germany 2006, including during the scarring penalty shootout defeat by Portugal (yet again) in the quarter-finals

Gary Neville (2) played twice for England at Germany 2006, including during the scarring penalty shootout defeat by Portugal (yet again) in the quarter-finals

Valencia failed to win any of their first nine league games under Neville’s tenure, before winning three of their next four to suggest a turnaround was on the cards.

But it wasn’t just LaLiga, or even the Spanish language, where Neville was struggling. Valencia had been knocked out of the Champions League group stage on his watch (albeit given no hope to progress in his one game), dumped out of the Europa League last-16 by Athletic Bilbao on away goals and thumped 7-0 by Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Cup semi-final.

After the run of nine points from 12, Neville’s Valencia lost their next three league games to fall to within six points of the bottom three – resulting in his dismissal at the end of March and a return to the safety of punditry. 

Neville's managerial career proved a disaster at Valencia where he was sacked after just over three months in charge at the Spanish side, who were in deep financial trouble

Neville's managerial career proved a disaster at Valencia where he was sacked after just over three months in charge at the Spanish side, who were in deep financial trouble

Neville’s managerial career proved a disaster at Valencia where he was sacked after just over three months in charge at the Spanish side, who were in deep financial trouble

Steven Gerrard

By far the most successful manager of the ‘class of 2006’. Like Neville, Gerrard too dived straight into a deep end filled with piranhas by accepting a job to manage Rangers for the 2018-19 season.

The Glasgow giants had been constantly falling short in domestic campaigns amid the domination of the Scottish Premiership by bitter rivals Celtic, and only by winning the top flight would he be deemed as a success during his tenure.

Despite failing in his first season, there were positive signs including a 12-match unbeaten run to open the campaign, while also inflicting a first victory over Celtic for six years.

Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring against Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup

Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring against Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup

Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring against Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup

The former England captain’s first year saw him linked with the Newcastle United job for 2019-20. But deciding to stay at Rangers the season would again result in a runners-up finish behind Celtic after the coronavirus pandemic brought the campaign to an early end.

But Gerrard has since significantly boosted his managerial reputation after denying Celtic a 10th league title in a row last season.

Not only did the former Liverpool skipper clinch the league title, he did it in a dominating fashion, ending the season unbeaten with an incredible 102 points.

Whenever he leaves Rangers, which does not look like being anytime soon, he won’t be short of offers. 

While engaging on the touchline during a game, Gerrard has often cut a serious demeanour in his management approach. He often protects his players when he can in interviews but that doesn’t mean they are always guarded from public criticism when he sees fit. It’s a balance he has managed to expertly execute.

The former Liverpool captain has since gone on to help Rangers win the Scottish Premiership

The former Liverpool captain has since gone on to help Rangers win the Scottish Premiership

The former Liverpool captain has since gone on to help Rangers win the Scottish Premiership

Sol Campbell

It’s been a strange start to the managerial career of Campbell, who has had mixed success in the lower rungs of the English Football League.

The former Arsenal star was given his chance early on in the 2018-19 season at Macclesfield Town, with the club battling relegation from the Football League sitting five points adrift of safety and bottom of the league.

But results improved under his tenure and on the final day of the season he managed to secure a 1-1 draw to keep them up – marking a successful start to his managerial career.

However, relations with the club quickly soured when he departed at the start of the following campaign at the financially stricken club by mutual agreement. 

Sol Campbell's (centre) only appearance at the 2006 World Cup came in a group match against Sweden, where he is pictured in action alongside Terry and Jamie Carragher

Sol Campbell's (centre) only appearance at the 2006 World Cup came in a group match against Sweden, where he is pictured in action alongside Terry and Jamie Carragher

Sol Campbell’s (centre) only appearance at the 2006 World Cup came in a group match against Sweden, where he is pictured in action alongside Terry and Jamie Carragher

The former centre-back’s promising spell earned him a move to Southend United in League One just weeks later, who were struggling for survival and also in financial crisis.

Campbell was unable to turn around their fortunes, and hamstrung by no finances to bring in January recruits and the pandemic that brought the season to an early close, Southend were relegated 16 points adrift of safety last year. 

However, Campbell’s first two clubs have offered notoriously difficult circumstances in which to manage – especially with limited experience – and the 46-year-old has more than earned another opportunity to prove his worth.

Campbell impressed under difficult circumstances at Macclesfield but failed to repeat his heroics at his following club Southend United (above)

Campbell impressed under difficult circumstances at Macclesfield but failed to repeat his heroics at his following club Southend United (above)

Campbell impressed under difficult circumstances at Macclesfield but failed to repeat his heroics at his following club Southend United (above)

Frank Lampard

Lampard and Gerrard spent much of their international playing careers trying to make a struggling midfield partnership work, and they could now emerge as rivals at management level.

Terry’s former Chelsea team-mate was given his break as Derby County boss ahead of the 2018-19 campaign and in a season where the Rams knocked Manchester United out of the League Cup he also guided them to the play-offs.

A team which included loan stars from Chelsea including Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and even former Blues team-mate Ashley Cole on a free transfer, Derby eventually reached the play-off final, only to be denied a Premier League return after suffering defeat by Aston Villa – and Terry – at Wembley.

He appeared to be loved and well respected by his players and his impressive first season earned him the chance to return to Chelsea as manager, to the delight of Blues supporters.

Frank Lampard (above) was one of England's key stars heading into Germany in 2006 but struggled to shine at the World Cup playing alongside Steven Gerrard

Frank Lampard (above) was one of England's key stars heading into Germany in 2006 but struggled to shine at the World Cup playing alongside Steven Gerrard

Frank Lampard (above) was one of England’s key stars heading into Germany in 2006 but struggled to shine at the World Cup playing alongside Steven Gerrard

Despite a transfer embargo, Lampard used his youth stars at Derby, including Mount and Tomori, to steer Chelsea back into the Champions League via the top four of the Premier League as his promising managerial development continued.

However, despite being heavily backed in the transfer market by Roman Abramovich, key signings including Timo Werner and Kai Havertz struggled under his watch and with Chelsea unable to kick on from fighting for the top four, he was brutally sacked in January.

With Chelsea then going on to win the Champions League and securing a top four finish under successor Thomas Tuchel, whose main change was in fixing the dodgy defence under Lampard, it appears the dismissal has been justified.

His record suggests he will be back soon and probably in the top flight, but while he appears to have the skill to develop homegrown talent there are questions surrounding whether he can get the best out of continental stars – a notion he will look to banish in his next role.

So, beware taking the Chelsea job, John – even a ‘captain, leader, legend’ would be sacked if Roman is not satisfied! 

Lampard has been out of management since being sacked by Chelsea back in January

Lampard has been out of management since being sacked by Chelsea back in January

Lampard has been out of management since being sacked by Chelsea back in January

Wayne Rooney

By the time Rooney took over as caretaker manager of Derby in November, the Rams were a long way from their promotion-chasing exploits under Lampard.

Rooney, as part of a four-man caretaker team, were trying to steer the club out of a relegation fight in the Championship with the club having just fallen to the bottom of the league.

Wayne Rooney was sent off in England's quarter-final loss to Portugal in the 2006 World Cup

Wayne Rooney was sent off in England's quarter-final loss to Portugal in the 2006 World Cup

Wayne Rooney was sent off in England’s quarter-final loss to Portugal in the 2006 World Cup

Results didn’t pick up straight away but once Rooney was named permanent manager (ending his playing career) in December a run of nine wins from 18 games saw the Rams steadily climb towards the lower reaches of mid-table.

However, a run of just one win from the final 15 games saw Derby stay up only by securing a 3-3 draw on the final day of the season and even given the struggling financial concerns at Pride Park, he will be under pressure at the start of the 2021-22 campaign. 

Already there are clouds over his tenure heading into the campaign, after those pictures emerged of him asleep in a hotel with three girls, plus having injured one of his own players following an attempted tackle in training, leaving him with just nine senior stars on the club’s books in what could be a testing season. 

Managing clubs with serious financial troubles is a common thread among the ‘golden generation’ – and Terry would be smart to avoid them.

Now Derby boss, the former Manchester United striker is facing a tough season ahead

Now Derby boss, the former Manchester United striker is facing a tough season ahead

Now Derby boss, the former Manchester United striker is facing a tough season ahead

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