Managers That Are Hired for a Niche Quality

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IFebruary 24, 2014

Managers That Are Hired for a Niche Quality

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    Hiring the right football manager for your side is a difficult task and, if the wrong decision is made, it can be potentially disastrous for any club worldwide.

    It is unsurprising, then, that when certain managers acquire a reputation for performing well in a certain area of their job they quickly become a sought-after asset.

    Whether it be success in cup competitions, winning promotion or, indeed, securing survival, to some clubs it is as important as a league title success. International management, too, has its specialists in different areas.

    Who, then, are some of those managers often hired for a certain standout skill or quality?

Sam Allardyce

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    Want top-flight safety achieved with minimal elaboration? If so, "Big Sam" is your man.

    With Bolton, Blackburn and West Ham, Allardyce has proven to be a master of retaining a Premier League club's top-flight status on a moderate budget.

    Even at Newcastle, where he was removed from his post after just six months, the team dropped from 13th to relegation in the four months following his departure.

    His style may not please supporters and his results, bar a couple of excellent seasons with Bolton, may not be spectacular. However, he is wonderfully efficient at securing points over the course of a season.

Neil Warnock

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    Following four promotions secured via playoffs in the 1990s, Neil Warnock lost his first playoff final with Sheffield United in 2003.

    However, the club bounced back, and in 2006 they were promoted to the Premier League as Championship runners-up.

    The 2007-08 season saw another return to the playoffs with Crystal Palace, while he returned to the Premier League as a league winner with QPR in the 2010-11 season.

    Another whose style can be crude and old fashioned, Warnock's record at achieving promotions and playoff places in the Football League is outstanding.

Rafael Benitez

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    Given that he twice won La Liga with Valencia a decade ago, it may seem somewhat harsh to describe Rafael Benitez as a "cup manager."

    However, with his famed love of rotating players often having been blamed for costing league points since joining Liverpool in 2004, it is in cups that his teams tend to challenge most.

    A UEFA Cup with Valencia was followed by a Champions League and an FA Cup wins with Liverpool during his first spell in England.

    With Inter Milan a Club World Cup was secured, while he even won a Europa League during a controversial spell at Chelsea. His Napoli may be someway off the pace of Juventus in Italy this campaign, but they have unsurprisingly reached a Coppa Italia final.

Guus Hiddink

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    The master of success with second- or third-tier international sides, Dutchman Guus Hiddink has taken South Korea and Australia to their best ever World Cup finishes.

    Besides that, Hiddink was also at the helm of Russia when they reached the semifinals of Euro 2008 against all pre-tournament expectations.

    There have been failures, with his spell in Turkey one to forget, but Hiddink is well-regarded for his ability to unite a national team as a group and achieve good results.

    Having left Anzhi Makhachkala last July, he will almost certainly find himself much sought after following this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Luiz Felipe Scolari

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    To date, Luiz Felipe Scolari has competed in five major international tournaments as a manager. Of those, he has won the 2002 World Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup, finished as runner-up at Euro 2004 and also in fourth place at the 2006 World Cup.

    This summer, once more with his native Brazil, he will attempt to achieve a second world title in front of an expectant home crowd.

    His club record in the intervening period has been poor, but he has been almost faultless at creating his "Familia Scolari" spirit among both Brazilian and Portuguese players at international level.

    With the Selecao in crisis last year, they turned to Scolari to rescue their World Cup dreams. At the Confederations Cup months later, he immediately delivered.

Manuel Pellegrini

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    Given Manchester City's terrible record in their first two Champions League campaigns, it was little surprise when they turned to an expert in the competition to replace Roberto Mancini last summer.

    Over recent seasons, the Chilean has reached the latter stages of the competition with much smaller teams in Villarreal and Malaga on three occasions, making the competition a major feature of his resume.

    Unfortunately for City, a tough draw against Barcelona and a first-leg red card for Martin Demichelis have made repeating the trick somewhat more difficult for the South American.

    His side remain in touch at the top of the Premier League, however, and with Pellegrini at the helm, all is not yet over in the Champions League.

Gary White

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    An English manager who appears on course to achieve big things, albeit via an unusual route, Gary White is developing a substantial reputation as an innovator for some of football's smaller nations.

    Currently manager and technical director of Guam, White has taken the country to their highest-ever world ranking of 161st in his two years in charge.

    It is a trick he also managed with the British Virgin Islands, rising 20 places in his one year in charge, and with the Bahamas, who were FIFA's quickest-rising nation under White in 2006 (55 places).

    White has the responsibility for implementing training programmes at all levels, besides the senior national team, and oversees Guam's new national academy. Besides that, he is also one of just 16 FA Elite Coaches, per Sky Sports.

    For any club or country seeking to implement a bottom-up development system, the 39-year-old is an ideal candidate.

Ian Holloway

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    While relatively young compared to many on this list, Ian Holloway is another manager to have forged a reputation for earning promotions in the English Football League.

    A Division Two promotion with QPR in 2003-04 was the first for the Bristolian, but has since been followed by two forays into the Premier League via the playoff system.

    With Blackpool, Holloway achieved promotion at the first attempt and started life in the Premier League brightly, only to see results fade away and a return to the Championship come to fruition.

    Following promotion with Crystal Palace, he appeared less prepared for Premier League life and lasted just eight games before dismissal. Now with Millwall, he is aiming to do it all over again.