John Giles: "I was never going to be a great manager"

The Leeds and Ireland legend talks about a ruthless profession

John Giles,

John Giles ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

John Giles feels he was never going to be a great manager because he lacked the fanatical and obsessive streak of some of those who have stood the test of time in a tough business.

The Leeds and Ireland legend was speaking to Off The Ball and discussing the case of Arsene Wenger who will extend his 21 year stay at Arsenal by signing a new two year deal. 

Giles then turned to his own experience of management which saw him take charge of West Brom, the Ireland national team and Shamrock Rovers during the 1970s and '80s.

"I was never going to be a great manager. I wasn't fanatical about it," he said.

"My attitude when I finished playing - I was 39, 40 when I finished playing - and I thought if I live until 80, that's half my life gone in football and I don't want to dedicate the rest of my life to football. I just didn't have enough of that to do it.

"I was very satisfied professionally with my playing career. My first job at West Brom, I did OK. We got promotion and that. But I didn't like the conditions you had to put up with as manager. If I was a fanatic or as fanatical as I should have been to be really successful in management, I would have put up with those problems and go along with them.

"A lot of managers have to. Managers have a lot more problems than people think because the directors interfere a lot but they can't say that publicly."