5 managers who crossed the divide like Steve Bruce


Steve Bruce has been named as Aston Villa's new boss, having managed city rivals Birmingham for six years between 2001 and 2007 and also played for the St Andrew's club.

We take a look at some of the managers who have crossed the divide:

1. Alex McLeish

Alex McLeish.
(Rowan Staszkiewicz/EMPICS Sport)

The Scot lasted just 11 months at Villa after his controversial switch from Birmingham.

McLeish had just been relegated with Birmingham, despite winning the League Cup, when he joined Villa in the summer of 2011.

Former owner Randy Lerner appoint McLeish, against advice from others at the club, and he won just nine of his 42 games before being replaced by Paul Lambert.

He had previously done a decent job across the city in four years at St Andrew's, winning a cup at Wembley and returning Birmingham to the Premier League in 2009, but he was doomed from the start at Villa.

Win percentage: Birmingham 36.90%, Aston Villa 21.43%.

2. George Graham

George Graham.
(Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

He made over 200 appearances as a player for Arsenal and Graham became manager in 1986 to guide them to two league titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups and a Cup Winners Cup in nine years.

He was sacked under a cloud after allegations of accepting an illegal payment from an agent and, after a ban, he managed Leeds before moving to Tottenham but failed to recreate his previous north London success.

A 1999 League Cup final win was as good as it got for Graham at White Hart Lane.

Win percentage: Arsenal 49.02%, Tottenham 39.68%.

3. Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp.
(Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport)

The 69-year-old left Portsmouth to join Southampton in December 2004, only to be relegated with the Saints and return to Fratton Park a year later.

His first spell at Fratton Park saw Pompey win promotion to the Premier League in 2003 with Paul Merson and Yakubu Ayegbeni leading the way and he kept them up before quitting and moving to Southampton weeks later, but could not save them from the drop in 2005.

He managed just 49 games at Southampton before walking out after being approached about a Pompey return and led them to the FA Cup in 2008 before leaving for Tottenham as Portsmouth slipped down the leagues.

Win percentage: Portsmouth 44.53%, Southampton 26.53%.

4. Danny Wilson

Danny Wilson.
(Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport)

There were 11 years between Wilson's spells in Sheffield after he was appointed by United in 2011.

He failed to win them promotion, losing the Sky Bet League One play-off final to Huddersfield in 2012 having been beaten to automatic promotion by city rivals Wednesday, and left in 2013.

A former Wednesday player, Wilson was never universally popular at Bramall Lane having also managed the Owls between 1998 and 2000, being sacked with the Owls on the brink of relegation from the Premier League, where they are yet to return.

Win percentage: Sheffield Wednesday 28.75%, Sheffield United 51.89%

5. Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce.
(Martin Rickett/PA)

Allardyce's reign as Newcastle manager was short but still longer than his 67 days as England boss.

He lasted 239 days at St James' Park after being appointed in May 2007 but won just eight of his 24 games in charge and was dismissed in January 2008.

Seven-and-a-half years later Sunderland called on him to save their Premier League skins.

His second game was a 3-0 win in the north-east derby as Sunderland survived last season at Newcastle's expense before Allardyce left for his short and ill-fated spell as England boss.

Win percentage: Newcastle 33.33%, Sunderland 29.03%.